In these unprecedented times, it really does feel like as careers advisers we are having to put our money where our mouth is – and so we should!

So often we at Luminate Careers and Coaching are guiding, advising and supporting students. Encouraging them to develop skills that will help THEM cope with change, work in new ways and contemplate the future world of work while not really being able to comprehend or imagine what this might mean. Here, in March 2020 we are in that boat with them and having to navigate the way.

Acting fast and creatively

As a career’s guidance company, we are having to act fast and creatively to work out how we support our students through this time. One of which no other student, careers service or school, have operated within before. In fact, the education system probably hasn’t seen anything like this since World War 2. However, new technology is our saving grace, with so many online advice and guidance resources, but the challenge as usual is how to make it individual and not overwhelming in an already tense time of media and information overload! What really helps in times like this are personal connections, a chat and reassurance that everything will be ok. And it will be.

As a small business we have to ensure that we are implementing those all-important resilience and creativity skills that we talk about to find new ways to work. If there was ever a lesson in why we need to support young people to develop valuable skills needed for the future world of work, coping with change and adaptability, it is here now. We at Luminate have had lots of discussions about how we remain in contact to offer personal guidance to students via various video platforms, emails and telephone conversations, as ever we are mindful of schools safeguarding process and procedures and well as GDPR regulations.

#careersfamily pulling together

But, thankfully, the solid #careersfamily is a safety net of advice, resources, good practice sharing and support with CEIAG practitioners and organisations pulling together for the best of our young people, who are really in the middle of an unknown storm. Being part of the careers community at this time is a great honour, we are seeing so many professionals coming together to share resources that will ultimately support young people over these turbulent weeks. We and lots of other careers professionals will all be supporting you to get to where you want to be.

After a year of no exams – a first in a lifetime situation, and potentially 6 months out of education for all students, especially crucial year groups such as year 10 and year 12 – our role providing guidance and support with be essential when the world is back on track! These months will be talked about for years and years to come, how the #classof2020 were affected, how they coped, but also what they learned, and what skills they developed to handle it. It will become part of their journey. What we all need to remember, students, parents, carers and teachers is that learning is for life not just exams and what you have done up until now still counts and will help you to succeed in the future.

Best lock-down platforms

Our speciality is one-to-one guidance, and right now that isn’t possible, but we can keep in touch and share our guidance methods the best way we can via action plans and setting tasks, and there’s plenty young people can be doing at home by accessing the best online platforms. We can then follow up with a telephone guidance session giving the opportunity to reflect and discuss what has been learnt and talk through any ideas, worries or dilemmas. As ever we can direct to relevant online IAG and talk through the new processes for applications to higher and further education as well as apprenticeships.

Get to know yourself during #corona2020

One area this lock-down could be handy for is ‘getting to know yourself’. A career is about the life that you want to lead – not just the job, occupation or profession that you may end up in. It involves choosing between possible and preferred options for your future – what are you career anchors?

Now is an ideal time to think about your own values, what impact do you want to make on the world? What is really important to you? What do you want to achieve - careers wise and life goals? What do you want a career to give to you? Gaining some clarity on this will give a young person a good foundation to build their careers education, it really helps with decision making too.

Ask yourself these questions, discuss with friends via facetime and online, chat to your family. Talk to them about their ‘career journeys’, chances are they are varied and interesting and no two will be the same.

One day, future generations will ask you ‘How did you cope during the Corona2020 lock down?’ What will you tell them…...?

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