Our society is built around expectations. Expectations as to how we look, how we behave, the type of job we should have, the type of person we should marry, the trajectory our life should take. Often these aren't even conscience thoughts about a person, just things we naturally assume to be the case. But why?
With National Apprenticeship Week in full swing last week, and since youth unemployment remains at 20%, it's more important than ever that we do everything we can to help young people into work. I'm an example of how an apprenticeship can give you a job for life after joining British Gas as an apprentice 34 years ago, back in 1980, and now I run our six training academies across the UK training the engineers of tomorrow.
Three chronic illnesses that left me bed bound, feeling more ill than I had ever done in my life, and more and more depressed (which certainly didn't help the situation). I spent hours trawling the internet and asking people online how they were able to live 'normal' lives. That's all I wanted. I had had to give up jobs that I loved...
Increasing complexity and diminishing workplace security define our society. We live in a time in which straight careers with long lasting company affiliation have been replaced by an increasing number of patchwork careers. Vocational training and retirement in the same company, as it was normal for our grandparents, is hard to imagine these days.
I'm an ordinary, hard-working woman and have climbed the corporate ladder vigorously. At 25 I was already earning a 6 figure salary & won every award along the way. At 26 I was managing employees 20 years my senior and hosted a business radio show on the side. My whole life up to this stage has just been: Go, go, go! But something lacked.
I'm hurtling towards my 42nd birthday. It's not even around the corner, it's standing right in front of me with a mean look on it's face and it's punching one fist into the palm of it's other hand. It looks like trouble, it looks like it means trouble and for all intents and purposes, it most probably is trouble.