4 Lessons I learned from the Careers Expo
So.. I went to the Careers & Employment Expo on Friday. WHOA.
I’ve never been to anything like it and seriously, I’m considering getting a booth there next year just to hand out vodka and limes to anyone stressed out about seeing that many highschool kids in one spot.
And then there’s the overwhelming choices, enough to give anyone anxiety about their future (da-da-DUMMMMM..). It all feels so final. So important.. so.. daunting?
When I think of planning for the future, I think of a giant party of dreams in my head – it’s EXCITING and ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE! I guess I need to remember that my head can still have those thoughts (yay!), but I have to mix it with a bit of real-world planning to make my dreams a reality.
My plan was to go to the Careers Expo, find out a bunch of stuff and report back to the HFM community about all the awesome things we can do with our professional selves. But oh little child.. I was wrong. I was naive to think it was that easy.
Maybe it’s my age, gender, background or personality type (or combo) that left me with a different set of lessons that the ones I was in search of.. here’s the drill:
LESSONS I LEARNED AT THE CAREER EXPO:
1) The onus is on YOU to ask the questions.
They aren’t psychics.
When I rocked up each booth, I needed to be the one to explain why I was there. Simply standing there and picking up a brochure was not enough. I needed to ask questions to get info. This is pretty obvious to some of you, but others of you may expect the representatives of each company and/or educational provider to be selling you on their offers. Most of them don’t know why the hell you’re there! YOU need to specify what info you’re after. They aren’t mind-readers. Do you want to know about part-time study? Scholarships? Jobs options? Online courses? Have a list of questions ready so you don’t waste time hearing about the super great Hairdressing Course they offer, when you’re actually interested in Bio-chemical Engineering.
2) Don’t feel bad if they don’t give you a fancy brochure. You still matter!
This one actually pisses me off, but anyway. There were lots of brochures with options for School-Leavers, but not that much for Adult Education. DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY! This is just a marketing thing. Brochures cost money, they print out as many of the ones they think they’ll use and mostly these expos are full of students. (In fact, lots of people thought I was a teacher!) They might only have brochures for kids, but you can still take those pamphlets to get the info you need. (Or, you know.. go to a booth that actually caters to the type of learning you want.) Don’t feel bad if the information at a booth is substandard, they clearly got their demographic wrong when preparing brochures for the event. You have every right to be there. And, online stuff is better for the environment anyway. Save a tree.
3) GO ONLINE Yaaaaay – the future is online! It’s where you’re reading this fab sentence!
Getting glossy brochures is fun! They make you feel good and it’s like a fun little magazine with options – but then you come home and you’re dining room is covered in booklets, you feel guilty and don’t want to throw them out because it’s like literally throwing our future choices. BUT REALLY IT’S ALL ONLINE ANYWAY. Just because there’s an Expo, doesn’t mean you can’t find all this sh*t online every freaking day. Google is your friend. Search the web for the stuff you’re interested in. If the educational provider is any good at all – they’ll have a kickass website with SIMPLE options for you to ‘play along at home’. It shouldn’t be that hard to get your questions answered. If it is.. then contact them. They don’t know their website is crap or confusing unless we tell them.
4) Don’t feel STUPID! It’s all business baby.
Don’t forget, every one of these places are BUSINESSES THAT WANT TO PROVIDE YOU A SERVICE OR PRODUCT. This means, YOU ARE THE CUSTOMER. They talk about this stuff everyday – you don’t. So don’t ever feel silly about your questions. (If you attended HFM Event #1, you know allll about my story of feeling stupid when trying to upskill myself. You’re not alone!).
Overall, I'm glad I went.
It was good to see so many industries in one hit. Things sure are changing all the time and it's good to know about options that may suit us oneday (like that dress you keep in your wardrobe that you don't wear, but hey, you actually might want to one day?).
It's okay. You don't need to know the answers right now.
After all, that's what Her Future Moves is all about... a safe place to figure it all out!
Other fun things:
· Getting into Real Estate College seems pretty cool. This is something females excel at and you can get into this at any age, of course! Everyone needs places to live!
· I kind of want to work for Border Security now. I learned a whole lot about their flexible working hours, the training and types of jobs. You don’t need a degree, it’s important work that we need in the world. Fascinating stuff, actually.
· Are you a do-gooder? Minda offers options for study and can get you into some awesome work helping people. Put your empathy to good use for others. I like their benefits too.
· We’re building a bunch of submarines here and need people to help! All types of jobs, like project management and procurement. How cool is that?!
· There’s a school for Creative Media! This is def a creative fun option which you know will be useful for the future. THIS LOOKS WICKED FUN.
Do you want me to get someone from these places to come talk to us about these and how they work? I think it’d be fun. Let me know!
But... remember that you can build a KICKASS FUTURE. It's 100% okay to be confused, overwhelmed or just get analysis paralysis. We've all been there (or are currently there!). No shame in not knowing what the hell you're doing.
It's about finding the little puzzle pieces that help you get an idea of the future you want to create. Nothing wrong with that! :)
If you enjoyed reading this, check out what else Her Future Moves has to offer you!