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Life is not dictated by a set of exam results

A picture of a student looking happy on exam results day

A set of results doesn't need to affect your future

Exam results
For many students May and June is known as the dreaded months. Whether you sat your GCSE's, A Levels or University exams you’ve probably spent the summer on tender hooks awaiting your results.

Studying for the exams is exhausting, sitting the tests is worrying and waiting for the outcome is excruciating.

But nothing is as stressful as actually knowing the final grades and whether you passed or failed. Some people will do better than expected and some sadly will do worse. It’s a difficult time and one when you are caught in the moment can either be a thrilling or devastating experience.

Returning home and telling friends and family will either spark the start of a party or an awkward exchange of commiserations as to what went wrong. Plans will either be confirmed, broken or changed with a mix of joyful or sorrowful tears being shed along the way.

What does the results mean long term?
Regardless of the end result just know that it's not the end of the world. It may feel that way now but going forward it won't have much hold over your long term future. And you will come to realise that your career doesn't depend on just one piece of paper or a single set of results.

As we mature into adults we change and what we once thought of as an exact science when depicting our decisions, changes. Exams can be retaken; gap years can be used to give your head time to rethink or you can enter the job market at a lower level with plans to work your way upwards.

In most industries experience trumps education. You may now have plenty of letters after your name and know a subject inside out but without actual working skills and references your CV won't be greatly received by recruitment agencies or companies. Without working knowledge, business etiquette or basic admin skills you may find yourself at the bottom of the pile and out of your depth.

Changes to education system
In the past subjects at primary school focused mainly on traditional subjects such as maths, English and Science. With other areas added at Secondary school level including languages, home economics, basic computing and typing, religious, history, theatre and social studies.

Today the school system has adopted an early learning approach. Primary schools are introducing more complex subjects masked with fun activities and school trips. And with the world operating smarter young children are being taught computing to ensure they have the necessary skills to keep up with ever changing technology.

Students were once taught that education should be their main focus and without it, they wouldn't have a successful career. The route was clearly defined as GCSE's, into A Levels then onto University. But since the budget cuts to education and less funding being made available not all students can afford to go. Nor do they want to embark on University knowing that whether they pass or fail they will be left with a large debt to repay before they've even found a job. Instead students are trying different approaches, ones that see them gaining experience.

Advancement in study opportunities
This educational change has created a shift and although traditional careers are still very much on the table other forms are now considered the norm. Ask a child of twenty years ago what they wanted to be when they grew up and you would have heard a mix of doctor, nurse, pilot, lawyer, teacher with train driver, astronaut, gymnast and hairdresser thrown in for good measure.

Ask that same question to young people of today and the answer will be different. Psychiatrists, counsellors, architects, IT programmers, cybersecurity experts, yoga and gym instructors, dog walkers, plumbers, web designers and YouTube star added into the mix.

With options available to study literally any subject online or at a recognised institute to gain a relevant qualification. Students now have the option to ditch the costly University approach and instead go onto study subjects at colleges or undertake apprenticeships. Enabling them to learn on the go without costing the earth.

Life experience has also become a recognised qualification in itself. Take everything you have done, been through and overcome gives you valuable tools that employees find attractive. The about you section on your CV gives you the place to pad your attributes and sell yourself to include hobbies, interests and an insight into your personality.

Become your own boss
One of the biggest transformations that has taken place is the ability for anyone, regardless of age or educational status to start a business. Entrepreneur is now longer a buzz word; it is a reality.

Entrepreneurs used to be limited to the likes of the investors on Dragons Den but today anyone can become an entrepreneur. All you need is an idea, motivation, passion and confidence in your abilities. The opportunity to become your own boss is so appealing young people now aspire to becoming one before even leaving full time education.

Being chained to a desk, working set hours is considered old school. Running a business can provide flexibility with the chance to work from anywhere at any time. With choices to work from home, from a serviced office or via co-working spaces there are many cost-effective places to run a business.

The world is truly your oyster so don't be afraid to change or reset your plans. Whichever direction you choose don't feel that your plans have to be set in stone. Now is the time to go and do something exciting. In years to come you will look back on this time and wonder what all the fuss was about.

So instead of stressing about the paper in your hands, embrace your youth and think about what you really want to do and follow your gut. Your instincts will become your new best friend so learn to listen and whichever direction you choose, we here at Halcyon Offices wish you every success.

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