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  • Volunteering

    People choose to volunteer for a whole range of reasons. Some people want to give something back to their local community or make a difference to the people around them.

    For other people, it is an opportunity to develop existing skills, experience and knowledge.

    Volunteering can be very rewarding but at the same time challenging.

    For those who have been made redundant or are looking for employment, voluntary work is a good way to keep work skills up-to-date and for continuous professional development (CPD). It is something you can add to your curriculum vitae (CV), it gets you out of the home and gives you an opportunity to make new friends and acquaintances and help build a network.

    Alternatively, those people in work can benefit from volunteering in another environment as these experiences can be taken back to the existing workplace. Some organisations allow their employees to do some voluntary work during the working week.

    To book a Careers Consultation either call us on 0790 461 4946, email us at info@stirlingcareersconsultancy.co.uk or contact us via our contact form on our website:


    We look forward to hearing from you.

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    Leaving Teaching

    Alistair Stirling of Stirling Careers Consultancy spends some time working in schools delivering careers education lessons and one to one careers advice across the age/year groups.

    Whilst working in schools he sees how rewarding and attractive teaching can be with the ability to make a difference to young people’s lives. However when he talks to teachers it is not always what it appears on the surface and many are choosing to walk away due to the stress of heavy workloads.

    When talking to teachers they often ask what other careers they could do.  The first thing that Alistair does is to help them to identify some of their transferable skills.

    What are transferable skills?

    Transferable skills are general skills you can use in many jobs. 

    You can gain these skills from previous jobs, projects, voluntary work, sport, your home life, hobbies and interests. They enable you to be adaptable and flexible in case you need to change your career in the future.

    Secondly, it is about re-assuring them that they have a lot of marketable skills and experience gained from their training and experience in the classroom. In addition to their teaching skills, they will have good communication and presentation skills. Also they have lots of experience of dealing with difficult situations e.g. pupil behaviour, emotional and pastoral support.

    There are many educational related careers outside of the classroom that would be ideal. There are also opportunities in the private sector working for an educational organisation. 

    Some of these careers could be:

    • Private Tutoring – delivering one to one private lessons
    • A Training Manager manging training programme working in an organisation
    • Working for an educational supplier – there are many organisations which see schools as their target market.
    • Working in Museums, or for the National Trust or English Heritage. They often have Education Officers putting together programmes for schools and young visitors.
    • Corporate Learning and Development. Putting programmes together e.g. induction programmes, coaching and marketing.


    There are also careers related specifically to the subjects you have taught for example if you have taught mathematics there will be opportunities in the finance industry or engineering.

    These are just a few ideas that you can consider and depending on your skills and experience, there are other options available to you.

    Before you make the leap from the classroom to your next career, it is worth talking to your line manager to see if you could change your role or consider moving to another school. Finally, if you decide to leave teaching it is really important to do some research. This could be talking to somebody who is currently working in the role you are considering or even shadowing someone for a day or so.

    It may be difficult to step into a new role straight away as you may have to gain additional experience or qualifications. However, there are many roles that you can consider.  

    This could be the start of a new life / new future / new beginning!

    To book a Careers Consultation either call us on 0790 461 4946 email us at info@stirlingcareersconsultancy.co.uk or contact us via our contact form on our website:


    We look forward to hearing from you.

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    Changes to GCSEs

    Pupils in year 8 / 9 will need to choose which subjects they study for GCSE. There are significant changes taking place for GCSEs and it is worth considering them.

    There is a move towards examination assessment at the end of the two years for most subjects and a lot less emphasis on coursework.

    Fewer subjects will be divided into ‘foundation’ and ‘higher’ tiers .Those students taking a foundation tier were only able to achieve grade C, whereas those take higher tiers could achieve up to a grade A.

    Examinations are changing too. There will be more essay-type answers rather than those requiring short answers.

    A new development is that grades will be from 9 (the highest) to 1 (lowest), rather than the current letters A* to G.  A grade C will now be equivalent to a grade 4.

    Stirling Careers Consultancy has put together a step-by-step approach guide to help parents / guardians and carers support their sons or daughters making their GCSE subject choices. It is important that your child should think carefully about their subject choices and do their research.

    Step 1 Research find out what your school is offering

    Each school will produce a booklet, often called an ‘Options Booklet’. This is a booklet about the subjects to be offered. Some schools will have an Open Evening whereby parents and pupils can talk to teachers. Some will hold assemblies and in some cases offer the opportunity for a senior member of staff to meet individually with pupils.

    Compulsory Subjects: These are subjects that have to be taken. They include Maths, English (either literature and language separately, or as a single English GCSE) and a science plus maybe 1 or 2 others e.g. ICT, history, geography and/or a language depending on the school.  You also take PSHE, PE and Religious Education, which may involve a GCSE. These are subjects that they can use throughout their lives and in every job.

    Option Subjects: These subjects may include subjects such as art, design technology, humanities and modern languages.  Studying a range of subjects at this stage is useful so that pupils have a wider base of options for later study and for career choices.

    Step 2 Research each of the option subjects

    Step 3 Consider what you are good at and your interests

    Step 4 Think which subjects you might need in the future

    For some careers particular subjects are required.  For instance careers in medicine or veterinary science will need at least double science. Creative careers may need art/design and languages would be important if you want to work abroad.

    It is important to find out about careers you are considering and check to see if you need any particular GCSE subjects.  If you need to find out about entry requirements a good website is the National Careers Service. You should research under job profiles.

    Step 5 Draw up a shortlist of all subjects you might like to choose

    Step 6 Making a Decision

    Having done all your research, you can then to do the advantages and disadvantages of each subject and score each one between 1 (lowest) 10 (highest) based on how much you think it will suit your skills,  interests and career direction (if known) otherwise keep your options open.  Your family and teachers will be able to help you do this. Pick the subjects with the highest scores.

    You have finished and you can now submit your ‘Options Form’ to the appropriate person in the school.

    For additional help and support either call us on 0790 461 4946 email us at info@stirlingcareersconsultancy.co.uk or contact us via our contact form on our website:


    Well done.

    Good luck!!

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    As undergraduates start the spring term it is time to start making plans and consider their career options for when they graduate in the Summer of 2016.

    It is important to start thinking about careers.

    These could be:

    • Careers related to your degree
    • Exploring your career ideas in more detail
    • Careers related to the part-time working that you have undertaken whilst at school or university
    • Careers related to your hobbies and interests.

    It is important to undertake research through visiting the careers library in the university and talking to a careers adviser at the university.

    • What are you good at
    • What do you enjoy?
    • What do you believe in and how does it fit in with your career plans?

    For those who are unsure, universities will have access to computer aided programmes which can suggest possible suitable careers.

    When you approach the job market it is really important that you take a targeted approach to your job search.

    Some of the options are as follows:

    Time Out (by choice)

    This could be:

    • To travel
    • Work Abroad
    • Voluntary Work / Work Shadowing
    • Time thinking about your next move.


    Postgraduate Study

    • Many jobs need postgraduate study such as teaching, law, librarianship, human resources.
    • Alternatively you may like to continue studying because you enjoy studying for its own sake
    • Or it may give you further time to consider what career paths is right for you. 


    A Graduate Entry Job.

    This is a job which needs a degree and will include Graduate Training Schemes. Be prepared to be flexible as there is a lot of competition for these jobs.

    A Direct Entry Job  

    This role you are applying for does not need a degree but having a degree will speed your progression through the organisation. Years ago many people starting out at the bottom of an organisation and then worked their way up through to the top. This will also give you a really good grounding in the organisation and perhaps more acceptance by your peers? And they can see that you know what the organisation is all about. Who will your competition be – those just leaving school?

    This could also be your fall back plan. You have tried really hard to get a graduate entry job but unfortunately through no fault of your own you have not succeeded. (Perhaps your sector is not recruiting at the moment,  alternatively, there is too much competition or too few jobs around).  Don’t think of it as a failure but it maybe you will need to think about your transferable skills.


    Starting up your own business

    You may see:

    • A gap in the market or
    • The degree course you are about to graduate in has inspired you to set up in business
    • Want to turn a hobby into your career.


    Quite often people who talk to a Careers Adviser will say that they do not have any career ideas but when they start talking to a careers adviser they do have ideas but it is just that they are not sure

    Remember that this is an exciting and challenging part of your life.

    Don’t be afraid to try out a few jobs.

    This is your life and you want to be sure that you find a satisfying and enjoyable career. 

    Either call us on 0790 461 4946 email us at info@stirlingcareersconsultancy.co.uk or contact us via our contact form on this website:


    We look forward to your call.

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