I’m not sure what I want to be when I grow up. I’ve had a few careers and enjoyed all of them, but I’ve rather fumbled my way around rather than have any clear direction, although I’ve usually acquired that once I’ve got my knees dirty.

It’s not ideal. Careers Advice I’ve been given has generally been poor, inept, out of date, or non-existent. That was especially true when I was at school. I don’t think that’s much different for youngsters entering the world of work now. Sad really. I have the impression it’s always about 20 years out of date….

So here’s the advice I’d give the 17 year old me now I’ve done what I’ve done – if I could sit down long enough to listen some bloke like me lecture me…….

So sit down Martin. Listen.

Will you please stop fiddling with that THING and listen!

It’s all about SKILLS

If you want to earn money, get skills. Not the same as everybody else. Get some different skills. I’m not telling you what those skills should be, just get some – and remember what they are – and keep them bang up to date.

If you want to earn minimum wage, just do the bare minimum. Scrape by. Lots of people do it, so there’s no shame in it.

You’ll just get bitter when you get older.

Get a LinkedIn profile

I bet you’ve not heard that at school have you?

They’ll have bored you to death about CV’s I bet – “Let’s all sit in a classroom and develop a CV that looks like everybody else’s”. And they still think it’s a paper document. How dumb is that?

Write your LinkedIn profile first. It’s where the rest of society (well the ones that can read and write) manage their careers. Start early. You can remember stuff then. Cos trust me, you’ll not remember it later. You’re shit at dates and the like.

If you want a CV, you can download your profile as a pdf CV anyway. And you can get found on LinkedIn. People will hunt you down.

And that can be rather neat.

Don’t fret about wrong choices

When I was young, people would fret about making the wrong career choice. People of a certain age (like me) will still fret, and tell you to fret.


There are more different jobs now, and if you get it wrong, you can change. Indeed more people might expect it up to a point. It makes you look nimble.

Just don’t jump around for ever. That just makes you look indecisive.

Jobs are different – They are!

If you hear that engineering is greasy, and construction is grubby, you’re listening to the wrong people. Technology has changed how these sectors operate. Jobs here can be varied and interesting.

And you’ve heard of the skills shortage? Yes? That’s had a really positive impact on salaries. For those who have skills that is.

Jobs have changed. Whatever Mum and Dad tell you, it ain’t necessarily so.

Try – Make an effort

People will forgive a trier. So make a bloody effort. Always. People notice.

I could tell you loads of other stuff, but you have the attention span of a wasp, so let’s work with what you can handle. You’re also approaching the time when you discover beer, pubs and parties. You will have more fun than you ever thought imaginable.

Let’s take this one step at a time.

Best eh?

Martin Ellis is the Headhunter at the RSE Group. He’s the quiet chap just getting on with things in the corner. Don’t disturb him. He may have fallen asleep, or worse, died. If you want to contact him, just send a quiet email to martin@rsegroup.agency. If he’s still alive he will respond.