This week I spoke to Mark Battista, who after graduating jumped on a plane to South Africa to volunteer teaching in local schools. Whilst he had a lot of fun there he wasn’t sure if teaching was realistically something he’d like to do for the rest of his life. This can be a difficult decision to make for graduates; ruling out a profession before they really know what they want to do. But we agree, why do something you’re not sure you want to?
When it comes to looking after your investments, your company, then it is essential to start with your employees. By introducing a benefits scheme you can really excite and encourage a team. Consider how your employees balance their work-life commitments and perhaps think outside the box when it comes to benefits – you may not be able to afford to give them a holiday, but you may be able to offer spa vouchers, theatre tickets, voucher meals, activity days, dental healthcare, or childcare – the list is endless.
Whether you are thinking about taking a gap year or not between leaving education and entering the working world, it is essential that you are prepared for questioning; questions from employers, education institutions, friends, family, the government. More specifically, the question ‘WHY’? Without a doubt you will be asked this several times by a number of people who will each hold different prejudices or personal opinions on the matter – even before you speak. Be ready or you will look unconfident (in yourself and your decisions) and the impression you will give off will be of someone who is unprepared.
Recently we have run a lot of blog posts about sexism within the workplace as well as at university but I think it is important to also take a look at the big media reports that are released each year about the boy vs. girl success rate. What is the point of this report? Perhaps to encourage male students to work harder? Who knows if anyone really takes heed of this. Should this have been reversed I’m not sure I would feel motivate to change this around, just for the media report. None of my interviewees have said that undermining studies have motivated them. None of my interviewees have felt that they needed to prove themselves against the opposite sex. This is a relief, but I can’t say that hearing that ‘girls academically achieve better than boys’ is. It’s a pointless statement and incredibly vague.