Out of the frying pan and into the fire as I escape a scorching and sweaty Bermuda for a scorching hot and sweaty London!
I fly to London tonight for a week primarily to see family and take my son into the City for the day and attempt to show him what the old man does for a living, albeit nowadays not in the square mile but in Bermuda.
Careers week for me when I was at school was an hour with a scary lady sat in an office talking to me about apprenticeships and higher education, and writing a letter to every company listed in the Yellow Pages, which I actually did, pretty much anyway.
The topic of careers advice was taken away from local authorities and given to the schools under the coalition government, and I think has been met by much negativity mostly because many schools have neither the skills nor the finance to provide any external services.
My son’s school in Maidstone however have been proactive about the subject and have set aside the whole of next week to give their Year 10’s (aged 14-15) a holistic insight into the world of the workplace encouraging them to plot links between their studies in school and future career plans.
On Monday the whole day is dedicated to spending time with local business leaders to work on presentation skills, effective communication, problem solving and team work.
Day two is work shadowing and I have set him up with four meetings with senior members of my work community in London, where he is expected to complete a series of tasks, including finding out about the organization that these individuals work for and interviewing them about their jobs.
Back at the school on Wednesday they are to report back their findings and will also meet with organizations and businesses in the local area who will present the students with a range of challenges. These challenges will involve working in small groups off and onsite, carrying out studies, investigations and surveys to help them meet some of the tasks set out for them.
On Friday the week culminates with the students making a presentation to business leaders in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ type scenario. Better than writing to every company in the Yellow Pages and I applaud my son’s school for their early initiative in supporting their students in life after school.
Tomorrow is my 7th year anniversary of living in Bermuda and our office is closed ‘to observe’ the July 4th holiday. To celebrate I might start with a Bud, just the one, as I join my mates for a big night out in Bexley Village. On Saturday we gather the whole family, of which there aren’t many, in Brighton for a day out and then I will spend Sunday and Monday with my parents. Then Tuesday and Wednesday I will hole myself up in London before flying back to Bermuda on Thursday.
July 1st normally represents the end of a crazed five months at work, and this year has been particularly difficult and has been at times both distressing and reassuring with everything in between. I made a conscious decision to travel less these past six months which has been a good decision, but I am looking forward to landing at Gatwick tomorrow.