When the economy is in trouble and the job market isn’t brilliant, a standard choice for many is to stay in education (or return to it) and take a higher qualification.
Getting another shiny new piece of paper that sets you above the rest seems like a good idea.
But how distinctive is it really?
BBC’s Director of the North, Peter Salmon, spoke to students at Edge Hill University recently about opportunities and finding success. He said something that may lead you to question why another qualification isn’t necessarily enough to truly make you stand out:
“You have to be able to develop your own voice and make yourself distinctive and ask yourself how far you’re prepared to go to make it.”
The sentence may appear quite vague and difficult to achieve, but there’s a deeper point here. Another BBC employee, the head of editorial development, Pete Clifton, said to Salford students:
“When somebody like me looks at job applications, I’ve got to come up with a way of distinguishing between people. One of those ways is if they’ve got a link to what they’ve done. If I can go away and look at it and see it’s good quality then they’re probably going to have a chance.
“This is why you should think about ways in which to showcase what you do.”
What makes you tick? Where have you made a difference? What can you show off right now?
The main point here is that you can start being distinctive right now. You don’t need to wait for someone to give you a green light and permission to shine. And you don’t always need to rely on another qualification just to look better on paper.
If you want to do more study, great! If you simply want to use that study as a gateway to distinction, start thinking about the other gateways out there. There are more than you think.
Qualifications support your quest for future success. But you are the driver. How far are you prepared to go to make it?