Students get their exam results this week. I can remember how this event became the basis for the most stressful time of my life.
That was because the ONLY thing that mattered in my life were the results I got.
My belief then was that the results would determine which university I go to, and that would determine which course I took, which would determine which job I would get and determine what kind of life I would have.
OMG - the feeling of exhaustion in just remembering and writing these words!
Suffice to say I got two Es in my A levels, I was distraught.
I had to go to university, because that’s what you did then, and I took any course. It happened to be HND Mathematics with Statistics and Computing.
A disaster…but it I will not go into that now. (watch out for "What I did after took got my Masters)
As students receive their exam results this week, I ask are they really supported to look at a bigger picture than the world view I had back then?
I am not against university. I went, got a degree and a followed it up with a Masters.
I know first hand, as I think many of us do, that results are important, but not critical.
Go to university if you are looking to do a specific vocation that requires a degree, like medicine, accountancy, engineering or law,. There are certain professions that require degrees, but there are so many that do not.
Even Ernst & Young have changed their recruiting practice to one where the “undergraduate milk-round” does not necessarily happen exclusively in universities. They know to cast the net wider these days.
And many professions are better served by working in the job.
Learning by yourself, around people who are doing it, in the right environment is much more effective, and connecting with the right people can be even more so.
The young adults in our lives need to understand the bigger view, and it is our responsibility as parents, teachers, mentors, coaches to explain what the big view of the world is.
We might have wisdom of life and dealing with setbacks and failures, but the young have exposure to so much opportunity and success, that to assume they don’t know what it takes might a little presumptuous.
Through their digital channels they are absorbing huge amounts of information all the time, but does this equate to the bigger view. I am not sure.
They can see that it is possible to achieve what you want. What they may lack is the belief that they can do it.
So here are 3 things we can do to support the ‘kids’ to see the bigger view…
1.Encourage them to understand they have everything they need to achieve what they want given the right support.
2. It takes time to find their “path” but, What they need is a path encourage them to take calculated risks, try different things, and speak to different people. Most of all encourage them to get into different environments. When we are around the same people and same ideas we can get blinkered to how big the world actually is.
3. Network – this is the one single skill not taught, but is probably the single essential skill to get ahead. It is who you know, and how you know them that counts. Encouraging them to understand this fact and helping them to start networking now, will pave the way for the future.
The schools as much as they try are not equipped or even incentivized to do this kind of programmatic work with the kids. It is not part of the national curriculum, in terms of being measured. So how can we do this?
Here are some 3 ways to bridge the gap:
1. As many of you know this issue has been a great concern to me for a long time. That is why EnSpirit Global will be launching the EnSpire Life & Work Ready Program in September specifically designed for 16-24 yr olds to be life and work ready, even starting a business if they wish
2. One of our partners Ultra Educationteaches entrepreneurial skills to 7-14 yr olds, via public workshop and within school curriculums.
3. In addition to working with Enterprise Lab, another partner of EnSpirit Global we run employability challenges that bring real live business issues to students to solve, with the potential of these solutions being taken back into the business.?
So - let’s support the kids! We can show them the bigger view, and encourage them to experience that view as well.