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Option choices! That’s what you do in year 9 and year 11, right?  Well no. Actually you make option choices every day of your life. You choose what you eat, what you wear, what you say and what you do. Some of your choices don’t matter very much - sugar puffs or muesli? - but others can be life changing. Make no mistake, some of the decisions we make can follow us around for the rest of our lives.

So, it’s clear we all need to think carefully about the choices we make. What friends will we have? Who will we have relationships with and how hard will we work for our qualifications and our jobs. What choices will you make about your education? Will you grasp it in both hands, hold it tightly and see where it can take you? Or will you let it go because it is too hard, too confusing or takes too much effort? When you are looking at your career choices, try to broaden your horizons, push yourself and remember that you can achieve a lot more with hard work than by good luck.  Don’t settle for the obvious, the easy or mediocre.  

Why not look at STEM careers? Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Not enough people do and there are some amazing careers to be had. Did you know that a new material has been developed which is a million times thinner than a human hair and 200x stronger than steel?  That in the future your mobile phone may be made of this stuff and you’ll be able to roll it up and put it in your pocket? And charge it in 5 seconds because this material is such a good conductor of electricity!  Materials scientists do because they developed it. And for anyone who’s interested, this amazing material is called graphene. Did you realise that game theory can tell you, amongst other things, how to win at rock-paper-scissors? Or if you love maths and become an actuary, you’ll earn over £60,000 per year. Want to work in medicine but don’t think you’ll make it as a doctor? Why not look into other things like cardiac physiology or audiology or medical engineering where you can be involved in developing new hip joints or heart valves.  If you want to be an actor, don’t just act as if you want it. You need to want it with every fibre of your being. 

The possibilities are endless and whatever you decide to do, you have to give it 100%. So come on guys. Look up. Look ahead. Tell TOWIE to take a hike.  Forget about taking all those ‘selfies’ for Facebook. Focus on your future and forge yourself a career that will take you places. Remember, as the great Mahatma Gandhi once said, "The future depends on what we do today.” So think carefully - what are you going to do today? 

Aileen Sinclair is Careers Adviser at Adviza


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