How things change… Catherine Bushell, Cardiff University Enterprise, part of the Careers & Employability Team, shares her thoughts on how to best prepare yourself for the world of work.
The world of work is changing and for many people it is unlikely that they will stay in the same job or even the same career path for the whole of their working life. With portfolio careers with a mixture of employment and self-employment or freelancing becoming more common – how can you prepare yourself for this future? It’s really all about making sure you have the skills to make the most of any position you find yourself in.
I recently realised that I’d been working at Cardiff University for 10 years. When I joined as a recent PhD graduate, I had never anticipated staying in a job that initially offered a 15 month contract for quite so long. However, here I still am and I think the reason I am still here and loving my job is that I’ve come to realise that every year has been hugely different and I’ve been lucky enough to be able to shape the direction my role has taken.
To me this is the most important thing in finding a job that suits you – the ability to use your own skills, knowledge and experience to spot opportunities for change or improvements and come up with an approach that lets you get involved in making these things happen.
I am the Founder of what is now Cardiff University Enterprise, set up in around 2007 when it was just me sitting talking to myself in a tiny office in the Students’ Union with a view from my window of a wall with a feature drainpipe to add interest. Over the past few years the team has steadily grown and we are now in a rather plusher office in the Centre for Skills, Enterprise and Volunteering.
In that time ‘Enterprise’ has become less of a scary word, seen perhaps as relevant to only a minority of students, to being a skillset of relevance and value to students from across the University whatever subject you’re studying and whatever your career aspirations. Enterprise is not just about starting a business or even necessarily working within one. Enterprise skills give you the opportunity to develop your confidence, knowledge and skills to enable you to spot something which needs to be changed or improved, coming up with an original idea and crucially then acting upon it.
Essentially, enterprise is: Having an idea and making it happen.