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What matters most: A-Level results day

For some young adults in the UK, today will feel like a momentous day that will be a defining point for their future. I’d like to share my observations and learnings for what’s really important. 

Firstly, if you have got the results that you wanted a huge congratulations. You’ve no doubt worked hard - keep going as this is just the beginning. 

Secondly, if you haven’t got the results you needed, please don’t panic. With the right attitude you still have a bright future full of opportunity ahead of you. 

So my top ten tips to make that future a reality are here:

FOCUS - Don’t focus on what you haven’t achieved. Focus on what you have achieved and how you did it.  Clubs you have participated in, other qualifications gained outside of school. Why were you successful there - did you enjoy it more, was it more suited to your skill set?

RESILIENCE - this is a skill that any future employer will need you to have. Demonstrate your ability to bounce back, find something else, with courage and strength. Talk to others if that gives the required support. 

GROWTH MINDSET - ok, it’s disappointing I know if you feel you could have done better, but learn from any mistakes and move on with those learnings. 

PLAN B - in life we always need a plan B. This is a good time to learn how to apply it. Your plans haven’t worked out - what’s the next best option?

AMBIGUITY - right now you don’t know what’s next, embrace that feeling and get comfortable with it. It reflects real life!

COLLABORATE - do you have friends in the same position? Work with them to find your options together, you might learn from each other and this is an important skill that employers need. 

MENTORSHIP - do you have any idea of your future field of work? If you do, try to find role models in your network, or even use social media (with adult supervision to connect to strangers) to find someone who can inspire you and guide you to future success. 

WORK EXPERIENCE - there is no doubt that one of the most useful parts of my Maths, Stats and Computing degree was my year in industry. Also valid was the year I had a Saturday job at the Warner Bros store - teaching me team work, customer service and how to arrive on time! 

STEAM - so you want to work in science, technology, engineering, arts or maths? NO?! I’d like to argue that you do - this just about covers everything, IT is purvasive, our future is all about IoT (internet of things) meaning everything will be connected. Start learning about this now in your field, whether it be media training, business management training, a makeup artist etc. Learning the IT side (even if it’s how to manage your social media) will give you a huge head start. 

PATIENCE - my final advice. It’s ok, you don’t have to plan your future out today, likely that plan would unravel anyway. Take one day at a time and be kind to yourself. 

About me - I was fortunate to get in to my chosen University with an unconditional offer as I had been ill during my A levels. Though I still remember the crushing disappointment of not getting the results that I wanted. I studied hard but had fun on the way. After uni I’ve worked at IBM, Shell for 20 years, Microsoft and now Accenture. I like to think I’m a good role model for what can be achieved. I know many more. 

Good luck and don’t panic. If you want to get more support, come and join my group The Career Mum on Facebook, with over 6000 Global men and women it’s a great network and you never know what opportunities might arise. 

Thanks for reading,

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