Starting Out

10th September 2004 at 01:00
STARTING OUT: ESSENTIAL STEPS TO YOUR DREAM CAREER. By Philippa Lamb and Nigel Cassidy. BBC Books pound;7.99

Because career-defining choices have to be made at a time when we know little about ourselves or the world we're entering, outside influences - parents, relatives, teachers, friends, the media - hold sway. As a result, too many people reach middle age beset by a feeling that they would rather have been doing something else.

That's particularly true for women. As the authors remind us:

"Three-quarters of working women are still employed in just five areas (administration, caring, sales, nursing and unskilled manual work)."

This is an area where knowledge is power. Given that, as the book says, teachers have limited understanding of many careers (especially in engineering, for example), it's clearly important that young people take some control.This book sets out to help them - and their teachers and parents along the way. It provides lots of self-assessment advice and checklists, then urges them to discover what the world of work is really like. For example, work experience can, if it's well organised, "help you discover more about how you get on with people and what skills you already have or would like to develop".

A chapter called "Working Smart" deals with the all-important but oft-neglected issue of what it's like to be at work every day with other people. Here, say the authors, is where parents can help: "More than you realise, they will understand how important human relationships are at work and how central they are to a happy life."

So, for example - and many young workers should have this tattooed on the inside of their eyelids - it simply doesn't do to get legless at inappropriate moments. "Bosses like staff they can rely on, and heavy drinkers are notoriously unpredictable."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today