Updated: Jun 29, 2020
What comes to mind when you think of school careers advice? Filling in a questionnaire and being told which jobs were suitable for you by someone else?
Not so for a group of students from BSix College in Hackney!
They got to experience an altogether different form of careers advice when they spent the day at the ‘Future Ready’ programme run by tech company Salesforce, and arranged by Money A+E.
They had already gained budgeting skills crucial for the next phase of their lives, having recently completed the Money A+E Schools Mentors course.
Many of the students are from socially excluded backgrounds, and their teachers along with Money A+E are committed to providing them all the skills they need for success. Their visit to Salesforce, in the heart of the City of London, formed another pillar in this process.
Start by looking inwards
The programme leaders, Morgan and Alastair, first explained the ‘why, how, what’ approach that has gone a long way towards Salesforce’s success. They believe that it is also the blueprint for building a career and a contented life.
First up for the students was to look inwards and identify their values. This was their ‘why’ – and the responses took in loyalty, belonging, truth-seeking, justice and love.
The next challenge was to match these values to their professional and personal goals – their ‘vision’ or their ‘how’. As Alastair put it, ‘For every little bit of your vision, just say, ‘Why? Why do I want that?’
Good intentions are turned into a reality with the final ‘what’ of the equation. The students were asked to think carefully about the specific actions they need to take to achieve their visions, at this defining period of their lives.
The students’ visions
BSix student, Isiku, is 17 and has learned English in just two years since he moved to the UK from the Congo.
He told the group that his vision is ‘to share truth and knowledge to the society, to help people.’ He wants to get a law degree, because ‘law is related to justice, and is also for me, a way of showing truth.’
His fellow student Wiktoria shared with the group her values of ‘intelligence, determination, commitment and success’.
She also intends to study law, and says that ‘my vision is that I want to feel very comfortable in my workplace, because I will be more creative.’
As the students themselves put it, ‘[the framework] Salesforce use to establish alignment in the organisation, has taught us how important it is to be in alignment with yourself.’
First steps into the working world
As well as being introduced to the impressive surroundings of Salesforce Tower, high above Liverpool Street station and the Gherkin, the students were given an insight into the reality of working in tech.
After a tour of the offices, Salesforce’s Vice President for Communications, Simon, explained the surprisingly varied careers that are possible within the sector. These not only take in the many technical roles, but also highly creative pathways such as marketing and design work.
The students ended the day feeling that their eyes had been opened not only to the working world, but also to the work to be done inside of themselves.