It’s that time of year again when the postman’s arrival is so aguishly anticipated that every rustle of movement outside the front door is met with a child’s scream. Sound familiar? If you have kids yourself or family members who’ve just received their exam results, you’ll know first hand the anxiety and trepidation that can follow if the marks weren’t quite what was expected. So whether an academic whizz kid or a footie fanatic, at Primo Associates we understand the pressures that young people face in the UK when it comes to choosing where to go next after leaving school. This is why we support the recent #NoWrongPath movement, a movement that encourages young people to carve out their own journey and follow the career path that is right for them.
DYW Glasgow is the Scottish government’s national strategy for connecting opportunities between schools and businesses, with the aim of reducing unemployment rates by 40% by 2021. They asked people to post a photo to themselves on social media with sign that shows their name, what they did when they left school and the job they’re in now, to illustrate that there is no wrong path to success.
This movement was sparked after exam results were announced last week and Twitter took to the hashtag #NoWrongPath to discuss the career options for school children and the fact that you can be successful without having to follow the traditionally instilled academic route. This phenomenon has received support from successful, well known names in several industries, including musician KT Tunstall and Chef Tony Singh and STV Presenters Jennifer Reoch and David Farrell, aims alleviate pressure on young people and inspire a new generation to follow their passions, whatever way it leads them.
Primo Associates M.D John Devine shares his path to success, proving that finding the right career is a journey that takes time and effort, not something that can be simply achieved through a university degree, as most schools would have teenagers believe:
“I only started to find my niche when I left school. I started college on a course, which I never really was interested in or enjoyed but after some great times meeting great people working in retail I went to work in Livingston for Sky television. I loved this experience, and at 18/19 it kind of shaped me as a person. I met my future wife at Sky television! I also met some brilliant people but most importantly that is where I developed a confidence socially and an awareness of being professional in approach and delivery.
I was at Sky TV for just over two years before moving into direct sales mainly with Scottish power. I was door to door sales for 8 months but I was absolutely loving the job. It gave me freedom, I was speaking to people all day and the commission was tremendous if you were achieving the targets. I was month on month hitting and exceeding the targets when Scottish Power approached me to go for a team manager post.
Fast forward two years and I was approached by an American recruitment company to work as a branch manager with them. I was 23 years old and they offered me a great salary and a chance to be in an industry, which was booming, It was taking me personally to a new level. I didn't come from a privileged background although I never felt poor so this opportunity was massive.
I thought where I was and what I was doing was brilliant but the culture started to change dramatically. I was achieving great figures, I had a very low turnaround of staff but the rest of the UK was struggling and the more you achieve the more they wanted. It became highly pressured and the recognition stopped, the culture was aggressive and not very nice to be in. A good salary is important for the lifestyle you want although there needs to be a balance with culture and you being happy. I decided I wanted to step into the world of being self-employed and I started out on my own in 2007. We had a really good couple of years and I was successful - or that's what I thought.
By the recession in 2010 It all fell down around me, no one had told me about PAYE, VAT, CORPORATION TAX, CASHFLOW AND PAYING THE OVERDRAFT BACK! It was a nightmare, and I handed the keys to the HMRC 14 months later. At the same time I lost my Mum through cancer who worked in the business with me she was only 46 and probably my best friend. I went on a bit of a spiral for the next 18 months doing what I could to repay the debts I had built up. When I stopped feeling sorry for myself the realisation set in that I was very good at what I had done and I learned so much from experience after experience that If I didn't try again I would be an absolute fool, so I did.
We set up again with my brother who is now a director and we have a great business, great people, good culture but always trying to improve. We don't have any debt and we are profitable, we are an award winning company but most importantly we enjoy coming to work. I don't have a degree, or a HND, I did have the student loan and the failed company but to me that's now worth more to me than being at University. It's life experience and I am happy with that.”
This campaign is therefore a massively positive for young people and will hopefully change the stigma around leaving school without pursuing a place at college or university. Since we recruit for positions across Construction, Healthcare, IT and Finance we know that there is a lack of talent in tradesmen and nurses positions, roles that don’t necessarily require degrees to fill. #NoWrongPath is therefore beneficial for our economy and for the future of Scotland’s youth.
What do you think of these recent discussions around career paths? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re looking for fresh prospects yourself, give us a phone on 0141 212 5130 or peruse our current vacancies here.