According to the latest statistics, there are over 3.5 million 16-24 year old employees in the UK today with employers commonly citing innovation, enthusiasm and tech-literacy as reasons for investing in young talent.
However, for many young employees – particularly those termed ‘Gen Z’ – career paths don’t always run as smoothly. In 2023, it’s estimated that 183,000 to 232,000 18-24 year old’s took a gap year.
While many of these may be students deferring university places, other young graduates often grow disillusioned with their career path. Overworked, underpaid or simply stuck in a job which doesn’t align with their values.
Gary Clark, Academy Director at gap year adventure company: Basecamp, shares how to spot when there’s no clear career path at your company and when to consider an alternative.
Read on for how to keep your future on-piste.
Assessing your career path
First of all, it’s helpful to understand the trajectory your career path offers. While some employers may view junior positions as transient – often accompanied by a high turnover of staff – you don’t want to do anything kneejerk which jeopardises your growth potential.
Instead, strike up a conversation with your line manager or HR department to gain greater clarity on the potential career path available to you.
Are there any training opportunities or mentorship programmes available to expand your skillset? How about the potential for progression and greater financial rewards?
Assess whether your company values personal development and whether their definition aligns with your own.
Exploring external opportunities
If, upon research, your company values none of these things and has no clear development plan for you in place, it could be time to explore your external opportunities – be it a new role, up-skilling or a gap year or sabbatical.
‘Job-hopping’ is becoming increasingly accepted in today’s dynamic job market, especially for those seeking growth and diversity in their formative experiences. Statistically, GenZers are far more likely to ‘job hop’ than their older counterparts, with 70% of Gen Z who say they are ostensibly ‘loyal’ to their employers, while actively seeking new work.
When looking elsewhere, ensure you assess potential employers not only on job descriptions but also on a commitment to development, financial progression and prevailing workplace trends.
Expand your network
The key to broadening your horizons may be networking – a powerful tool in discovering external opportunities. Seek out jobs fairs and seminars, attend industry events and engage online with professional communities and key players in your chosen field.
Networking not only expands your knowledge base but can also open doors to potential job offers and mentorship opportunities.
The gap year
Of course, you may wish to take some time out to fully consider your options. Whether you’re travelling, teaching abroad or hitting the slopes, a gap year can be a transformative experience, combining career growth with adventure.
A gap year ski season course offers an opportunity for young people to step out of their comfort zones, acquire valuable life skills and gain a globally-recognised qualification.
Gary Clark, Academy Director at gap year adventure company: Basecamp, explains: “Embarking on a gap year with Basecamp doesn’t mean you’re placing your career on hold but quite the opposite. It can actually be a savvy investment in your future.
“Our specialist ski instructor course can help cultivate your leadership, interpersonal skills and resilience, while having a world of fun in the process. Whether you’re a seasonal skier or a complete novice, our courses are designed to provide comprehensive training and certification – many with a job guarantee at the end of it. Upon completion of the course, you’ll not only have had an enriching life experience, but also a totally unique qualification that sets you apart from the crowd.“
The beginning of your career path can be exciting and overwhelming in equal measure. Take charge of your future by assessing the opportunities currently available to you and exploring any avenues which may resonate with your goals.
Whether you commit to climbing the corporate ladder, reinvent your skillset or kickstart your career on the slopes as a ski-instructor, the secret is to make committed career choices which align with your long-term values and aspirations.
With these handy tips, it needn’t be all downhill from here.