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'My Best Careers Advice' from 10 Careers Practitioners

It’s that time of year when thoughts turn to hopes, dreams and career ambitions. And who better to give advice than the people who do it every day of the year?

We asked careers practitioners across the UK to share the very best advice they have ever given or received. The responses ranged from practical to motivational to aspirational. Here are 10 of our favourites:

"If you don’t have a passion, don’t panic. Take a step because the first step is the hardest. The passion will develop over time and we’ll help you with that first step."

Practitioner from Cardiff University

"Call the person recruiting for the job to informally chat about the role."

Practitioner from University of York

"As well as looking at the role, look at the values of the organisation you’re applying for. Think about your career goal and what steps you need to take to get you there."

Practitioner from De Montfort University

"You’ve got to be in it to win it!"

Practitioner from University of Sheffield

"I was told that ‘working in retail is a waste of time and dead-end career’. The words left a mark on me and inspired me to prove the advice-giver wrong (and to give better advice!)"

Practitioner from University of Essex

"Self belief is key. If you think you can make it, you are halfway to convincing an employer."

Practitioner from University of Kent

"Look at the long-term potential in a job and company. Your first job might not be perfect but it’s a place to learn and explore."

Practitioner from Lancaster University

"Don’t be afraid to be yourself. You can’t be anyone else, so take pride in who you are, what you value, what you’ve achieved, can do and would like to do. Confidence engenders confidence. Use any and all positive influences around you to help."

Practitioner from Lancaster University Management School

"Do what you enjoy!"

Practitioner from University of Dundee

We thoroughly enjoyed reading all the excellent responses, but the winning piece of advice came from Sheffield Hallam’s Chris Webb. Here’s the response that earned him two Hotel Chocolate gift boxes:

"Take every opportunity to try something new and don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Building relationships (both personal and professional) is key in any industry and can open more doors than you’ll ever realise."

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