Get thinking about your future career
The Tomlinson report puts a new emphasis on vocational education, so careers is set for a renaissance with the demand for good impartial advice and guidance for 14 to 19-year-olds.
Good careers co-ordinators are unlikely to be deeply wedded to their subjects. They are more likely to enjoy working on the edge of their expertise, crossing boundaries and taking an overview of what's available.
Specialist training is available for niche areas such as university advice, and the Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC) runs training courses for teachers who want to specialise in this area.
You need the ability to liaise with outside agencies. Business links and employability are given high priority by the Government and many schools are run as "business partnerships".
When advisers from the Government's Connexions service visit schools, careers teachers work with them. You will need to organise work experience for pupils in Year 10 and above. You may also be involved in organising collaborative links with other schools and FE colleges to deliver the 14-19 curriculum.
As a careers teacher you will need diplomacy. You'll meet parents who want to speak for their children, for example. But more difficult are the pressures from colleagues who want students to opt for their subjects when that may not be in a student's best interests, and from senior managers who might want, say, a Year 11 student to remain in the sixth-form when a college course might be more suitable.
The job of a Connexions adviser may be less well paid than teaching, but it can be very rewarding and can lead to other areas of advice and counselling.
Next month: Travellers education service