With unemployment at a high and university fees on the up, we need to think carefully about the advice we give our children concerning their future careers. Times have changed since we were starting out in the world of work and the number of opportunities, and decisions which have to be made have increased.
The Advice We Give
The idea of a job for life is a thing of the past, so whereas we may have worked our way up the corporate ladder, our children will change jobs much more frequently, either due to redundancy or to progress their careers.
In the last 20 years, technology has changed the way we work, introducing new skilled job roles, and doing away with many secretarial and administration roles as computers replaced the typing pool.
Our children now have to choose from a much wider range of opportunities, balancing their needs for job security, salary and job satisfaction. This is a lot to ask of an 18-year-old. Their job choice needs to be future proof and offer the flexibility to gain transferable skills.
Women are still a minority in many traditionally male-dominated sectors such as science, technology and construction. However, these are areas that often pay well, and research has shown in the US that women working in job sectors where they are the minority can end up earning more than their male peers.
Whether this would also be the case in the UK has yet to be tested, but as females working in a male-dominated sector, our daughters are offered a unique opportunity to stand out and let their talents shine.
Working in Construction
The construction industry covers a wide variety of careers from design to engineering, and this is one of the UK’s biggest employers with nearly 10% of people in the UK working in a construction-related job.
A degree in building or construction provides students with a variety of transferable skills including woman engineer with helmet under her armproject management, problem-solving and protecting the environment, so even if they later decide that the construction industry is not for them, there are plenty of opportunities to gain employment without retraining.
There is a general slowdown in construction in the UK, but even so there is still a shortage of skilled workers in the sector so this is a great time for graduates looking for their first construction job.
A career in the construction industry is varied and challenging. You could be working on public sector, commercial or retail projects; creating future schools, hospitals, offices and shops. Construction careers can offer travel opportunities, and days out of the office (a welcome relief to staring at a computer).
Jobs with a well-defined end product are always considered to be more rewarding, and there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a building which will be used by the local community for years to come. The construction industry enriches our lives and the local environment, but is not always an obvious choice for a girl. The construction industry = jobs for the girls!