There’s been a new report released this week by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation about how young people from poorer backgrounds don’t actually have lower aspirations than those from richer backgrounds, it’s more that they find it hard to achieve their aspirations and often given up.
We don’t think it should be that way. Here at GoThinkBig, we’re firmly of the belief that anyone can achieve something if they set their mind to it.
Still not convinced? Well, here’s some reasons why it doesn’t matter what your background is when it comes to achieving your career goals.
Firstly, unlike years ago, young people aren’t expected to just go into the family business anymore. No longer are sons and daughters of grocers or builders expected to follow in the footsteps of their mothers or fathers and discover a way to love apples and pears or bricks and mortar.
They’re free to make their own decisions and set their own career goals. You can literally do whatever it is that you want to do: tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, doctor, lawyer, marine biologist, air traffic controller. You name it and with a bit of work, some good career advice and some support you can achieve it.
The debate about how school prepares you for university is one for another time, but student loans and grants mean that loads more people can afford to go now if they decide they want to. There’s often also more funding available in the form of bursaries.
Bursaries work in a really similar way to student loans and grants but they come from universities or charitable trusts and are non-repayable. There may be certain conditions attached to bursaries and the amount you could receive will vary depending on who is offering the bursary but there’s loads of different bursaries available (just look at this list of unusual bursaries from The Telegraph!) so do some research and you might be pleasantly surprised.
And you don’t even need to go to university to achieve your career aspirations. Just look at Alan Sugar. He’s estimated to be worth over £770 million and he came 92nd in the Sunday Times’ Rich List last year. But he grew up in a council house. And he left school at 16. But he was determined to succeed. So he saved up and he bought a van and he started selling car aerials and electrical goods. And then at just 21, he started Amstrad, initially as a general wholesaler. And two years later Amstrad started manufacturing and soon it was doubling its profit and market value every year. And the rest, as they say, is history.
And there’s even more funding and support available for entrepreneurs these days too – you probably won’t have to sell electrical goods from the back of a van like Lord Sugar did. In fact, just a few weeks ago we mentioned how the government has extended the Start Up Loans Scheme that gives up to £2,500 to bright entrepreneurs. Or you could try going down the crowdfunding route with a site like Kickstarter.
So don’t let yourself be put off if you’re not sure how to achieve your career goals. It’s really easy these days to get good career advice online, there’s loads of options available to you – even if you don’t want to go to university. And as we’ve just said, there’s funding and support available too. So, er, go think big. (Sorry.)