In our last Sector Spotlight on Career Education, we hear from Findlay MacLeod, a Careers Adviser with Skills Development Scotland (SDS) in Orkney.
After leaving school Findlay went straight into work while he planned his next steps. He then went to Orkney College UHI to study Business Management, on completion of his degree he began working as a Trainee Careers Advisor with SDS Orkney, where he completed a Postgraduate qualification in Career Guidance and Development with the West of Scotland University.
Can you describe a typical day in your role as a Careers Adviser?
Every day is different! I mostly work in the schools but, sometimes work in the Kirkwall Careers Centre. During this Academic Year, I support pupils at Kirkwall Grammar School, Stromness Academy and Westray Junior High School. Usually, I am working one-to-one with pupils but also sometimes deliver sessions to groups or classes.
How did you end up in this role?
When I left school, I worked in several jobs before deciding to study at Orkney College. I finished a degree in Business Management and shortly after this I saw a vacancy advertised for a Trainee Careers Adviser. I then studied for a Postgraduate Certificate in Career Guidance and Development at the University of the West of Scotland while working for Skills Development Scotland.
What is the best thing about your job?
I’m lucky enough to work with a range of people at different stages in their careers. It is a privilege to listen to people and hear about their journeys. It is great to see people move on and recognise how they have progressed.
What is the worst thing about your job?
What skills do you need to undertake your role?
We are a very small team who are trying to see many pupils right across Orkney. The careers advisers need to communicate well and plan ahead to try and make our service work. When we are working with someone, listening is a very important part of this job too.
What qualifications do you have?
I have a degree in Business and Management and a postgraduate qualification in Career Guidance and Development.
What advice would you give someone who wants to work in Career Guidance?
The Postgraduate qualification is really valuable in this field and can be studied at the University of the West of Scotland and at Edinburgh Napier.
The Skills Development Scotland team in Orkney are currently recruiting for a Careers Adviser to join their team. For more information about the role contact the careers centre in Kirkwall on (01856) 872 460, or visit here.
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