Here to provide you with the tools to build a successful career

Taking Advice

There are times in your life where everyone has an opinion on what you might decide to do next, or how you might go about it. Taking advice can be really difficult, especially when you feel it is unsolicited or inappropriate. So, what should you do?

I remember being 18 years old and applying to go to university, everyone had thoughts on where I should go, what I should study, what I could do with it afterwards. I had no idea. I didn't go to university, I trained as a pharmacy technician and carried on my life as normal, not giving university a second thought. Fast forward to three years later and someone close to me suggested I go along to a university to see what it was like. I went for the interview with the admissions officer, applied and got in through clearing, starting 6 weeks later. I never looked back.

What did I learn? That you have to make your decisions based on the information you have at the time and you have to listen to your gut instincts. I wasn't ready to go to university at 18 emotionally and although people who gave advice were well meaning I just didn't know where to start and it was all a bit confusing.

I see this a lot when talking to people in careers consultations - they are being given advice by the people closest to them and they don't know what to do for the best. My first rule in making a career decision is to decide what you want to do - don't think about anyone else, just for a moment. Ask yourself:

If I could do anything, what would it be?

I know, you still don't know! Think about what you could do if you weren't restricted by anything at all - change your career to something you have always wanted to do but never been able to, take on a promotion, retire! It could be anything. Once you have decided on that you may need to consider other factors like your family and be realistic in your expecations of what you can achieve (I will blog on this next week).

Want my advice? Take all the advice you can, so that you can make your decision with all the information you need. You are the one in charge of managing your career and therefore responsible for the consequences of your actions. If you want to seek advice, choose someone who has been through something similar as their experience will be able to give you good information, although of course it may not be exactly the same for you.

You will need to forge your own path.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
Posted by Charlotte Ashley-Roberts on Jul 30, 2014 10:08 AM Europe/London

Share this |

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Linked More...

Leave a comment?

You must be signed in to leave a comment on MyRSC blogs.

Register free for an account at http://my.rsc.org/registration.