Is this a surprise to anyone?
March 4, 2010
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Careers advice is rubbish. The only surprise to me is why people find this surprising, or why they suddenly think it's a new problem. At my school – Fountain Street Comp, lest we forget (that really is a joke only one person is ever going to get) – there was a room running parallel to the corridor between the old and new buildings – or, horribly old, cold and hospital-green turn-of-the-century block and 70s pebble-dashed fun – that was designated the 'careers office'. It was unlocked a couple of times a year to allow the fifth formers to desultorily turn over its sad stock of leaflets, trying to find anything even remotely relevant or interesting. At the time I wanted to work in radio production and I think they pointed me towards something on journalism, because they're clearly the same thing.
In the sixth form, we were given a high-tech (for the time) computer-readable form to rank our interests, the idea being that a machine would crunch our answers and suggest careers we might find rewarding. Unfortunately, technology turned out not to be able to reconcile my fondness for humanities and physics (arts and sciences? What am I, some kind of freak?), and suggested I become a lab assistant. And yet, even with such laughable careers advice, somehow I failed to become a NEET. I suspect the answer to the NEET issue may lie elsewhere.