To follow through on my commitment to social responsibility, I volunteer 5 days every year to help young people with their employment prospects and act as an independent mentor on their cv and career planning.
A school leaver called Nathan came to me in some distress after being told by his careers adviser to get a job in a call centre. I listened, created a safe and calm environment, encouraged him to take a deep breath, and then listened some more. I asked him to look back at the achievements of his life so far, and there were plenty; we quantified these and included them in his cv. I reassured him about how there is no need in early life for specific professional goals and we looked at some options. He had never travelled outside the UK before. He is now working abroad, filled with vitality and a sense of opportunity, and is one of the happiest people I know.
Student business start-ups
I have been a judge for UWE’s student business planning competitions, sharing as much feedback and “wisdom” as I could. Many of the entries I judged have gone on to set up successful businesses.
Bridging the education – workplace gap
I act as a volunteer business expert for an excellent organisation called Working Knowledge which is well worth checking out.
Another way in which I uphold my social responsibility is to make my knowledge and experience available for the general public to learn from. I make no charge for writing articles like this one for the national Investors in People website, In this way, people can find out what it’s like to a) go through the process, and b) work with me. I believe strongly in the power of organisational development and want to share this passion.