Career advice…. (GCSE's only…)

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  • Career advice…. (GCSE's only…)
  • Premier Icon st colin

    Hi all,

    Yes, a long shot. And probably stupid for asking on here.

    Anyway, short story is, same job for 10 years, out of college which I didn’t complete (after 3 attempts). Technical Sales role, so 10 years experience in that field. Only GCSE’s to my name. I’ve never been a fan of sales, I enjoy the technical side more. I can’t look at an engineering job because pretty much everything needs at least an HNC or 3rd degree.

    Going back to school is out of the option, I simply can’t afford it. So, what to do? My pay is below average for this industry, however I’m living in Northern Ireland so it probably is anyway.

    Anyone got any decent advice? Head out to the agencies and register? Sell my soul and start my own photography business? Who knows….


    Could you not afford an OU course?


    Sell my soul and start my own photography business?

    This sounds like the opposite of selling your soul?

    I am a firm believer that people tend to succeed best at what they believe in/are passionate about. Find that and follow it.


    If it really is qualifications holding you back (and it doesn’t sound like you’ve pushed that yet) try doing a reloaded evening class at the local uni or college. It will show you are willing to invest in your learning and a future employer may be willing to top it up with more training and qualifications.

    Lack of qualifications isn’t always a problem – I only have GCSEs and basic BTEC NC/NVQ/C&G stuff from an unfinished apprenticeship 14 years ago and when looking recently I was offered quite a few test/service/production engineer roles. It does help that I’ve got 12 years’ hands-on experience rather than having been in a Sales role but I think a lot will depend on what industry you’re in.

    Contact all the technical agencies that you can find and let them suggest stuff – you may well find that they will know of jobs that you didn’t know existed and should (if they’re any good) know what your experience may be able to translate to in terms of a more practical role. Do be prepared to take a step sideways or even a drop in wages or position when switching though, as most technical positions are specialist to a certain degree and will all require a level of retraining.

    Alternatively, become self-employed as a photographer if it’s something you’re passionate about!

    Premier Icon st colin

    Thanks for the suggestions so far. I’ve built up a lot of technical knowledge over the 10 years, so I know it will stand me in good stead somewhere down the line.

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