The start of your career story is vital to get right. When you shop for university courses or graduate training programmes or jobs, or when you attend interviews or network, do you know what questions to ask? Do you know how to put yourself in the best position to adapt to the changing employment market?

It is called a job market for a reason – it is a two-way conversation. You have skills and qualities to sell. Likewise, you may have to apply to university but with fee increases, you are also the customer. With any major investment, it is vital to research reputation, performance, security, risk and the long-term value and prospects of a return. Take the same approach to your career, learning and training choices.

Last week, Google’s Vice-President Laszlo Bock, listed the five key qualities they look for in candidates. It included the ability to learn, potential to lead, humility, ownership and ideas generation. ‘Talent can come in so many different forms and be built in so many nontraditional ways today… Too many colleges don’t deliver on what they promise.’

He added that a degree is not a proxy for the ability to do any job ‘The world only cares about – and pays off on – what you can do with what you know.’Impact International Ltd 2014 Trend Report for Learning and Development lists ‘Reverse Mentoring’ as a trend – can you find a job in an organisation that places value on Multi-generational Learning; one that recognises that everyone in an organisation has something to bring to the table? Is the organisation you want to work for sufficiently agile to sustain growth?

‘In 2014, the brightest organisations will look to redesign work processes and spaces with the individual in mind, supporting and encouraging preffered work patterns and time management and taking steps to enable self-directed ways of workings.’

The Next Steps Show will feature exhibitors from the FTSE 100, SMEs, Universities and Start Ups. General careers guidance and skills workshops will feature, including CV writing, interview tips and talks from undergraduate and postgraduate students. As pupils and our recent OS continue to explore their future, in an ever more competitive and changing employment market, the Next Steps Show is an opportunity to start asking the right questions.

Attending the Show: The Next Steps Show is open to all current pupils and to OS aged 18-25. 

Skills Workshops will run for no more than 30 minutes, repeated throughout the day. It provides exhibitors with an opportunity to put their name in front of an eager audience, with the opportunity to influence them in making life-changing decisions.   

To register your interest, please contact Mr Matt McVoy, Head of Careers on 015396 22265 or email

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