Follow Your Dreams...

08th May 2012
Henry's Visit to the Forest School Careers Fair, Tuesday 1st May 2012.

Having volunteered to participate at the Careers Fair at my old school, I arrived at about 5.00pm, and went to the dining room to enjoy some very tasty 'nibbles', and chatted to a few of the others who had also volunteered. I must say, that it was good to hear that some of them were as uneasy [as indeed I was] about not knowing what kind of questions were likely to be asked by the students [or possibly even the parents!] when we got into the Sports Hall, and were set up!

I had already spoken to the man who was in charge of the Fair about a week before the actual date, and he had warned me not to worry about what questions might be asked, and he had made me feel a bit more relaxed about it! I then proceeded to the Sports Hall, and set up my small display, and some business cards, and a few pamphlets, and I waited until the first person approached my table, I asked him 'How can I help?' It turned out that he had noticed from the card on the table that I was 'self-employed' and that I had my own business, and wanted to know how he could do the same, namely start his own business. I asked him what he was planning to sell, to which he actually said that he didn't know yet! [this didn't surprise me, he was only about 15, or 16 years old]. I tried to put him at ease, and then I asked him what he most liked to do in his free-time, he thought about it for a while, he then said that he liked music, and that he played a musical instrument. This was a great start, I thought, "then am I right in assuming that you enjoy practising, even in your spare time?" "Oh yes." came the reply.I then said that if he really enjoyed practising, then the chances are that he would improve his playing and become very proficient at it, [much quicker than most], purely because he so enjoyed practising! Rather than trying to persuade him to follow the usual ethos of studying hard for exams, and going on to University, [I certainly wouldn't have suggested that he did otherwise] I just tried to impress upon him that he ought to try to think of something that he would enjoy doing for the 45 years or so of his working life. It is after all much more enjoyable to be in an occupation that you would do anyway, perhaps something that you might do in your spare time, as opposed to something that you 'had' to do because it was your job!

Whilst I realise that not everybody can pick and choose their occupation to fit this criteria, some can, and have done so very successfully, I am absolutely convinced that Eric Clapton, Jamie Oliver, Stephen Fry and many others, started out doing what they really enjoyed doing, and they practiced and experimented until they became much better than anyone else in that field, until eventually people beat a path to their door, to watch and appreciate what they were really good at! You do not need to be an expert to see from such people that their love for what they are doing shines through, in the very thing that they are doing. One only has to look at a brick-layer doing his job in an expert manner to appreciate that he is indeed an expert at what he is doing, and he gets great satisfaction from doing the job.

To sum up, I just hope that some [if only one or two] of the students who I spoke to at the Careers Fair, took on board what I had said about their choice of career, and I hope that they didn't just think that I was talking rubbish, 'about following their dreams', and maybe they will go on to be involved with careers that they actually 'enjoy' doing, because far too many people nowadays just don't!