Throughout last week we celebrated National Careers Week (NCW), an initiative launched in 2011 to put a spotlight on careers at an important stage in the academic calendar. We were supported by our members and career partners to highlight the exciting and diverse range of retail careers through blogs, videos and social posts.
Here are the top 7 things we learnt during NCW:
1- THE RANGE OF RETAIL CAREERS
Through our website Rethink Retail we shared some of the fascinating stories of those working within the industry to promote retail as a career of choice. Including:
- Kate Rylance - from helping the Police solve problems to leading User Experience research at Shop Direct
- James Lipton - why having a head for maths isn’t all you need to be a data analyst at Walgreens Boots Alliance
- Al Aldous - from Finance Graduate to Trading Director at WH Smith
- Jack Benson - from building websites in his spare time to building customer experiences for Shop Direct
- Lucy Smith - trading a degree in Radiotherapy for a career at Sainsbury’s
- Matthew Pearson - the placement year that led to career in Marketing with Freemans Grattan Holdings
- Mairi Oliver - how a strong social purpose and a passion for books led to an unexpected retail career as Owner of Lighthouse Bookshop
2 - EVERYONE HAS CAREER OPPORTUNITIES
The timing of NCW is deliberate as those in education face tough choices about their future. Some students may even feel that they don’t have any options. We spoke to Melanie Raftery, Area Retail Sales Manager at Portmeirion Group who gave us the following advice:
"Growing up I had a tricky upbringing. I felt that I had two paths I could follow. The one laid out for me where I had no hope of improving myself or my prospects or one that meant I would have to work hard for myself on myself."
"With the right attitude you can achieve what you want to achieve."
3 - HOW MANY CAREERS WILL YOU HAVE?
Stuart Lewis, Founder of Rest Less, a digital community that helps those in their 50s, 60s and beyond find fulfilling opportunities to work, volunteer or find a new career path, shared his views on lifetime careers and asked the question - how many careers are you going to have?
"The idea that we all stay with the same company for 40 years before retiring has long gone, but what about the idea of having not just multiple jobs, but multiple careers? At Rest Less, we see huge numbers of individuals looking to change careers in their 50s, with many on their third or fourth successful career and the idea of slowing down a far off idea..."
4 - JOIN THE MOVEMENT AND CLOSE THE GENDER GAP
During NCW our careers partner Donna Robertson, Director of Modern Muse shared some shocking statistics about the current state of the Gender Gap and the steps they're taking to bring equality to the workplace.
5 - TOP TIPS FOR ATTRACTING AND DEVELOPING YOUR FUTURE CEO
With so many opportunities available to those leaving education how can employers attract and retain the best talent? We spoke to Sam Redman, a learning & development professional and former Leadership & Talent Manager at Pret for her thoughts on how businesses can attract and develop their future CEO.
6 - THE LESSONS LEARNT THROUGH A Leadership Journey
NCW is an opportunity to celebrate inspirational careers and put into focus some of the lessons they’ve learnt along the way. We caught up with Emma Cushing, from The Centre for Inclusive Leadership to discover her leadership journey and to find out what are the key things she’s learnt along the way.
7 - APPRENTICESHIPS: TALK DIVERSITY AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT
Our final highlight of NCW was an article by Andy Smyth, Chair of the City & Guilds Industry Skills Board who talked diversity and career development when attracting new apprentices:
"Most of the talk when it comes to apprenticeships is about the system and what we should do differently, rather than focussing on the impact that apprenticeships make to individuals and organisations."
"The truth is that if you focus your attraction and positioning strategy correctly, apprenticeships can add much more to your organisation than just another competent worker."
Through our OSS Retail Leadership Programmes and our Management and Degree Apprenticeships, BRC Learning helps retail businesses attract, develop and retain the retail leaders of today and tomorrow. We want to help retail leaders upskill and future-proof their capabilities and support retail businesses to identify and capitalise on the trends and opportunities in an ever-changing environment.
To find out how we can support your business please visit - brc.org.uk/learning