School feels like a million years ago in adult time, since then I’ve been to university, left my retail job and entered the real world, rented a flat, bought a flat and tried so hard to save money without living without a life. School’s are there to educate us and help prepare us for later life but here are seven things I really wish they’d taught me during my school days.
My school barely talked about jobs and careers when we were studying, even though we were there to get a foundation before going into the working world. In all honesty, I didn’t know a lot of the jobs that existed out there when I left school and was choosing my university subjects. I wish at school they’d have taught us where to look for jobs, how to apply for jobs and what skills and experience we may need for certain jobs. For example, a lot of the writers on my music site are in the sixth form or university and I wish I had begun that early but I didn’t know the options were there.
Crafting the perfect cover letter
Much like the above point, I wasn’t given guidance in writing covering letters, and while part time jobs we would have had at school wouldn’t have required them pretty much all ‘proper’ jobs do. It would have been nice to know what employers expect from a covering letter and the types of things you should cover as sometimes I just find myself talking about things from my CV then worrying that I’ve doubled up on things.
What skills employers really look for
So many people go to university now and so many people do internships and work experience so how can you really stand out from other candidates in the job market? I’ve read that employers value travel as a lot of people learn things about themselves when travelling, but at school, it would have been nice to be taught the transferable skills which could be useful for employment.
I’m still pretty unsure about career progression, to be honest, and am just winging my own job in regards to progressing but knowing how you can move around and what jobs and experience reflect later jobs would have been something really interesting and useful to know. I’ve heard about a lot of bloggers who have moved into jobs they love in PR, marketing, and social media directly off the back of their blogs which they ran alongside a more traditional job which I think is great, and knowing how these things all link is really important to know.
Filing your own taxes
This is something I couldn’t even find a huge amount of information about online and accountants just want you to pay them to do them for you. When I filed my very first tax return last year I had to bombard my friend with questions in the hope that I wouldn’t do anything wrong. So many people have to file tax returns from those who are full-time self-employed to those like me who run a blog and do some freelance work on the side of working full time. It’s scary how many people just think as they don’t earn much that they don’t have to declare it. Being told these things at school would have made such a difference.
Mortgages and savings
What I know about mortgages has come from either my parents or a financial advisor but I wish I knew more earlier on. I was lucky enough to start saving for a deposit early in life, making decisions like staying at home during university to ensure that I got on the property ladder but with so many options such as rent to buy and shared ownership it can be a minefield. School’s are meant to set you up for life and I feel knowing about mortgages and savings would have been very important.
Another minefield. I keep reading scary stats about how if I don’t save around £100 a month into my pension I won’t have enough to live on when I retire. Stats like this are very scary to read but I don’t really know enough about pensions without trying to seek out help to make any decisions, for example what are the different types of pensions, differences between private and those through work and how your money is managed/ when you recieve it.