Monday, 9 September 2013

Young Man for Sale

It's a funny old time in the Misfit house - at this time of year our son would usually be back at school but he's currently at home, A level results and CV at the ready, and hoping to grab the right job opportunity.

Because he's one of a 'strange breed'!  He opted out of University - practically unheard of in this day and age.  Only three kids from his year chose not to go - and I know we're talking private school, but it's also clear from his old friends who didn't take the private route, that it's become the done thing.

It's almost considered a bit 'odd' now if kids choose not to do a degree. When I was at school it wasn't the norm to go to University, unless you wanted to be a doctor, dentist or lawyer.

I have to say, as a parent, I don't mind either way - Uni has to be because you want to do it, not because your parents want you to.  I also believe that it's not the be all and end all if you choose to go later in life, as I think so many kids feel like they've had enough of studying by the time they leave school. One boy that went to school with my son told his parents that he felt burnt out with books and just wanted to get a job for a while - they insisted that he go to Uni and he was left with no choice.  I just hope it works out for him but a little part of me doubts it.

I don't like the fact that it's now considered part of the progression to apply to Uni.  I also don't like the looks people give me when I tell them that my son has chosen not to.  It's not for him right now - maybe never, who knows?  But why should that matter?

He's chosen another route - the one that he feels is right for him at the moment. And what does that entail?  Applying for job after job and never hearing a word back from anyone!  How rude is that?  Just a one line email is all it takes - a 'thanks but no thanks'.  And I'm not talking jobs that are way out of his range either - I'm talking bottom rung, internships, apprenticeships, junior roles - some paying less than a hundred quid a week for a full time position but a great way for him to get experience and training while earning a bit of money and finding his independence.

He's currently hanging on to the hope of a job through a contact from his old piano teacher - the classic 'it's not what you know, it's who you know' syndrome, and we have everything crossed for him.  All he needs is a chance at that first job, the first role to put on his CV other than his work experience and the various other design jobs he's completed from home - off his own back, incidentally, from contacts he's made on line and then gone on to complete a great piece of work.

So ...

People!  Don't look down your nose the next time you hear that someone hasn't chosen Uni straight from school. 

Employers!  Think about when you applied for that first job.  Please send that email to tell a young person if they've not been successful.

And if anyone in the London area has a heart of gold and is looking for a hard working IT whizz with a HUGE talent for graphic design, get in touch!  I have just the young man for the job.  You won't regret it and you can help him get his foot on the ladder - how good would that make you feel?

AUTHORS!  Got an image for your book cover but no idea what to do with it next?  He's your man!


  1. I do wish him luck - it's so hard for young people finding work these days, with or without a degree. But he clearly has the courage to stand out from the crowd, and a mum who believes in him - the best possible start.

  2. He is quite right. Every year I talk at least 1 student out of applying to uni ...they admit they're only doing it because school puts pressure on them and parents ''expect'' it. Debts of over £40 thou? No job? Stroll on. The sad thing is that once they (and sometimes they've already reached the decision before I suggest it) have stated they're not going, teachers 'abandon' them and they get no career advice. My lovely husband always helps them produce a professional CV and ''interviews'' them. I interesting how some of the 'top' entrepreneurs (Richard Branson?) didn't go to uni. .....