Archive for November 29th, 2012

Thursday, 29th November, 2012

It was careers day at school today, there have been posters up about it for ages, and just about every class that I’ve been in for the past two weeks has gone on about the fact that there is going to be a great big careers day organised for us – we are so lucky – and that we must “make the most of it” and get some “really useful advice and information.” I was dreading it for lots of reasons, prepare for a list.

  1. I really hate it when people tell you you have to do something and how you must do it.
  2. I hate organised things where you’re bossed into a queue to wait for something and you stand there like a prat shuffling your feet and waiting for your turn, which invariable

    is not worth a quarter of the wait you’ve had.

  3. I hate thinking about this business of careers, people almost expect you to be born knowing what you want to do, but my mind is a great big black muddle over the whole thing.

Sub list on why careers are a muddle

  1. Years ago people used to do what their parents had done or there were different kind of jobs – the posh ones, doctors, lawyers and that kind of thing and then there were apprenticeships in carpentry and plumbing and that stuff. Then there were other things like being a grocer or a postman or whatever. I’m not saying that those jobs don’t exist anymore, it’s just that firstly you never do what your parents have done and secondly, there are all these other jobs that have a title but you don’t know what they are like media executive or research assistant or account manager, what does it all mean? I have no idea.
  2. You have to plan your career so much in advance and then get A’ Levels to match and degrees, but how can you know what you want to do at 16 unless you have a vocation – no I don’t want to be a nun.
  3. People ask you all the time what you want to do and you never know what to say, but more importantly, they never have any good ideas either. When you hear people talk about what they do it’s always confusing and you never know what they actually mean, so it seems that most people sit at work for eight hours answering the phone every now and then and fiddling about on a computer.

So, I ended up going to this bloody careers day worrying about what to say without looking like an idiot and not really knowing what was going to happen. I sat at a desk opposite a well meaning bloke who gently asked me if I had any idea what sort of a career I wanted. I told him that I really didn’t know, the only thing that appealed to me was some sort of journalism but that I had reservations about it. The reservations are that I don’t want to work on some grubby tabloid newspaper where you only ever write lies and innuendos mostly about sex scandals. I didn’t want to end up on some “women’s magazine” where I had to write about knickers and handbags and the latest blusher. I didn’t want to work on some celebrity obsessed mag where you snapped people out on the razzle absolutely hammered. But I also didn’t want to work on a broadsheet newspaper where there was some stuffy old boys network going on.

I asked him if he could see my problem, but he seemed a bit taken aback by this and sat there blinking and opening his mouth trying to say something but then closing it again. But just as I was getting really bored and about to leave him to try and find some trout pellets he said: “Well there are different sort of magazines for different attitudes that might interest you, or you could think about being a foreign correspondent for a paper, or maybe even write in advertising.” Which is odd – Uncle Angus was a foreign correspondent.
It was quite good actually, because he had listened to everything that I said and he didn’t just dismiss it as the rantings of a mad person, he actually tried to help. I said thanks very much and he gave me some leaflets about journalism and what qualifications and degrees that you’d need – he actually had it on his desk.