Communication skills are at a premium in this digital age. Knowing how to argue a point, to think independently, to summarise, to write reports and speak well are all important skills. Ability and competence in English is the starting point not only for writing a good CV, but also for careers in journalism and advertising, marketing, sales and many other occupations.
icould Video Interviews
Colin Burgess is the Operation Supervisor for London Borough of Lewisham Bereavement Services. He looks after the cemeteries. Tha means he has to help people when they are bereaved and he feels it is important to "leave a really good impression with that person that you've helped them kind of release a loved one in the best way you possibly can". When he started in the cemetery, he wanted to do physical work like gardening - but his mates told him he would be running the place one day.
Nigel Adams is a Strategic Regeneration Communication Manager for Lewisham County Council in London. His job is to involve local people in local regeneration and keep them informed. He did a degree in English and Drama and was going to become a teacher - but came to London without a plan. His love of writing led him first to writing a newsletter for employees of Pret a Manger. He was made redundant in that job - but now he works to get "local people to understand what's being proposed, what's being planned, to keep them up to date with what's happening, and to give them opportunities to be involved".
Stephen Peel is a Conservation and Design Officer for North East Lincolnshire County Council. He makes sure the historic environment is in a good state to be passed on to the community's children and grandchildren. "The biggest mistake I made would probably been when I was about 14 or 15 in not realising that I did have an artistic side and that art combined with history was really my big passion in life and that's what I should have been doing rather than the maths or the sciences. I was very much pushed in that direction both specifically by my parents and also by the general society around me." But his wife supported him while he studied for a degree in architectural conservation, which enabled him to get his dream job.
Lawrence "wasn't always brilliant at school" and went back to university after completing an access course. He realised he wanted to be a librarian because "I had never been unhappy in a library" and so went on to do an MA in Library and Information studies. He loves his job and says "there's a definite sense of vocation about it; this is what I'm here to do".
Mike's first career was in the catering industry and he worked on board a cruise liner after leaving catering college. Highlights included looking after members of the Royal Family. He then went to work as a lecturer before joining the library service where he can incorporate his love of cookery with his love of books. "My job is my hobby is my job". He is now past retirement age but hopes to stay on "until the last day".
Graham Orchard is a Sound Engineer at the Sage in Gateshead. He has spent three years in the army, where he picked up a lot of skills and confidence, but after that he had a major rethink about his career and returned to education. He enjoys working on live performances. "The only downside is the long, unsociable hours but I love the job and so you can't have everything."
Chris Durant is Head of Technical Operations at the Sage in Gateshead, which is a venue for live music and drama events. He got his passion for the theatre from his parents, who were amateur dramatics enthusiasts. He left his engineering course in university early to take a technical job in the theatre, and has worked his way up the management side.
Neil Colebeck is Senior Lighting Technician at the Sage in Gateshead. "Work-life balance is always a problem in this job because you're working, by the nature of the job, your work is at night and your work is in the evenings when other people are going out to enjoy themselves."
Louise Lonie is a Sales and Events Manager for Dakota Hotels. "I was a karaoke presenter when I left school and one of my punters, if you like, that used to come up and sing, worked at Hampden [Park in Glasgow] and she said to me, 'Oh you'd be perfect as my assistant, would you come and work for me?'" So she did, and that's how she started in marketing and events.
Jamie Kerr is Head Bartender at Dakota, "in the space of two years I've worked my way from ground level to the head bartender". He says "there's opportunities to climb the ladder left, right and centre really. As long as you're willing to work for them".