Students! Want The Attention of Employers? Do Supermarket Shifts & Not a Postgraduate Degree, Here’s Why…

Frustrated student studying with pencil between her teeth

Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay 

By Ummay Aimen, Legends Report Writer

First of all, well done for choosing to click and read this article - taking action to improve yourself is something to be proud of. So, whether you’re only in your first year of college or sixth form, or in the final year of your Bachelors degree considering postgrad study, this article is aimed to benefit you. It will explain - using evidence - why many students’ belief, that postgraduate study is the ultimate key to unlocking great success, is inaccurate in most cases. It will also provide you with simple practical tips on small steps you can take to effectively boost your career prospects.

How Does Higher Education Ultimately Fail To Prepare Students For Life?

University study teaches scholarly skills like how to think and write critically by providing special access to countless academic journals. This allows students to apply the skills that they have learnt in order to create high quality pieces of writing in assignments.

But the vital truth is that there is much more to be learnt and understood in order to be successful competent individuals in everyday life. These other areas include but are not limited to, our personal, spiritual, social and creative intelligences, as taught by the late British educational consultant and author, Tony Buzan. The life-changing significance of having well-rounded abilities is powerfully reflected in his insight: 

Like our physical bodies, our memory becomes out of shape. As children, we are constantly learning new experiences, but by the time we reach our 20s, we start to lead a more sedentary life both mentally and physically. Our lives become routine, and we stop challenging our brains, and our memory starts to suffer.” 

Therefore, it logically follows that to prevent this poor outcome and become more successful, students like you and I must feed our natural human curiosity by regularly nurturing our mental, emotional and spiritual intelligences. 

Here is something for you to reflect on. Have a think about how ‘health’ or ‘being in good health’ is defined. Being in good health is not simply a product of looking after our physical well-being, it is also, crucially, about nurturing one’s mental, emotional and spiritual well-being too.

In a very similar way, one simply cannot attain the highest levels of success through academic studies alone; 

’‘What makes you stand out to employers is interaction with the real world’ in order to develop ‘real world resilience’

These are the words of the Institute of Student Employers’ (ISE) chief executive Mr Stephen Isherwood. But what does ‘real-world resilience’ mean? Simply put, it means being able to learn from mistakes and view them as a learning curve from which to improve, rather than a failure. 

A key aspect of this interaction with the real world is learning about people, accepting that each and every person has their own personalities and beliefs and developing functional relationships with them. For example, working in a busy supermarket means communicating with a flood of people - both staff and customers -  on a daily basis. 

What’s more, the chief executive of the ISE also states; 

“Even driving an Amazon van for the past year would make you far more employable than spending the past year doing a Masters”. 

As a result, this work experience - even if it isn’t related to the future career you wish to pursue -  will allow you to learn how to better adapt and overcome stressful situations. These situations require you to have problem-solving skills as well as emotional intelligence - the ability to perceive and respond to your own feelings and thoughts and those of others - because working with others to achieve a common goal is a must-have skill.

Let’s Have a Moment of Self-evaluation...

Now that you are hopefully more informed on what employers today are looking for, and why these experiences are important, it is now time to start taking steps on how to make small additions and alterations to your daily life in order to yield big results! 

Start today so that tomorrow you can wake up knowing that you are one step closer to that finish line, and regularly remind yourself:

   “Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.” Oprah Winfrey 

Some Ideas On How To Become More of An All Rounder (And As a Result More Employable)

Embed from Getty Images
  • Volunteering (such as for charities or at the local library) 
  • Reading more non-fiction such as books on self-improvement e.g. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey on how to improve yourself, better time management, how to be a better communicator and much more
  • Learning a new language 
  • Taking up a sport
  • Entering yourself into writing competitions
  • Enrolling on free online courses 
  • Watching educational videos such as Ted Talks 
  • Listening to podcasts.

Ultimately the most important thing to building the life you want is that education never stops, we must never stop learning and developing ourselves, continual learning and education is what all legends do. Then they surround themselves with people to support, encourage them and hold them accountable to their goals. Unfortunately, mainstream education doesn't help us with this. If this is something you'd like to do more of, just contact us on the live chat in this article or complete the form below. Wishing you all the best for your future!



Guardian article on this topic

Guardian article on this topic

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