Starting the second week of our Sector Spotlight on Career Education, we hear from Samantha Craigie who is a Careers Adviser at Skills Development Scotland Orkney.
Samantha left school at the end of S4 and initially studied for an Admin qualification through college and work-based learning. She then went on to work in a variety of roles, during which time she gained Higher English through an evening class, and began studying with the Open University. After completing her degree, Samantha worked in the careers service in Manchester. A move back to Orkney saw her working with Skills Development Scotland as a Careers Adviser in a temporary role, before working as a Journalist for five years. She then returned to Skills Development Scotland in a permanent post and completed her postgraduate qualification.
Can you describe a typical day in your role as a Careers Adviser?
My typical day includes me meeting with individuals (school pupils, young unemployed, college students, adults) face-to-face, via Teams, telephone, email and text and:
Meeting with partner agencies- face-to-face, via teams, telephone and email:
Groupwork – in school or in the Careers Centre in Kirkwall:
Admin associated with the above activities.
How did you end up in this role?
I left school after S4 and went on to study admin for 18 months through college and work-based learning. I undertook a variety of roles including library assistant, school admin/auxiliary and bar work.
After achieving my Higher English through an evening class, I studied Humanities/Literature for two years through the Open University and went on to complete a degree at the University of Wales.
After completing my degree I worked as a volunteer in a Volunteer Bureau in Manchester where I gained my first qualification in Information, Advice and Guidance. I then got a job with a career service for Adults in Manchester and went on to study further in Information, Advice and Guidance while working. During this time I was able to access short courses and further on the job training.
I moved back to Orkney and worked as a Careers Adviser with Skills Development Scotland on a temporary contract to cover someone on maternity leave. When the maternity cover ended, I went on to become a Journalist with The Orcadian, training on the job. Although I enjoyed many aspects of this job and learned lots of new skills, I missed helping folk to move forward with their skills and future planning. A vacancy for a careers adviser came up again with SDS and I was lucky to get it. This time it was a permanent contract and I was given the opportunity to study for a postgraduate qualification.
What is the best thing about your job?
The best thing for me is being able to help people to recognise their potential and move forward with their career goals.
What is the worst thing about your job?
Sometimes there is not enough time to do everything you would want to do. But we all work hard to make sure everyone who needs an appointment gets one when they need it.
What skills do you need to undertake your role?
What qualifications do you have?
Would you recommend this job to young people, if so why?
I would definitely recommend this job to anyone who is interested in helping people and who wants to see people reach their full potential.
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