Career progression for young people

18 Apr 14:00 by Adam Pyle


Getting a foot on the career ladder is the important step in the life of a young person, and often seen as the most difficult. However, whether your first job is as a paper boy, barista, cashier or even a babysitter, the skills we learn in the beginning steps of our working life are ones that will stay with us to even the most high powered jobs.

Beginning of Working Life…

While many young people begin working in vocational trades whilst still in education, for many teenagers, their first real taste of the working world begins in an apprenticeship or internship. This is a good way to ease their way into a life of a full-time job, as well as having other responsibilities, such as studying for a qualification. In addition to this, apprenticeships also provide young people with a base and steady salary monthly, teaching an important life lesson of money management and budgeting.


Another crucial experience learned from working is teamwork. As simple as it sounds, in many everyday situations, we’re required to work with others on tasks that may be challenging or trying. However, being professional, and keeping a cool head is a given in the world of employment. As well as this, we often must work with people who don’t necessarily have the same vision or end goal, so it’s important to compromise and collaborate in order to get the job done. In fact, 97% of employees and executives agree that a lack of teamwork effects the outcome of a project or brief.

Managing your time effectively is a skill that you can gain from even your school years, as this is something that will be used in everyday life - not just in the working world, from planning a holiday to meeting up with friends! Good time management can lead to increased productivity, greater opportunities, a better reputation in the work place and ultimately just less stress - therefore making work a more happy and positive working environment. This also works hand in hand with meeting a brief, as good time management is essential to working towards targets and projects that you may be set along with way.

Soft skills, such as punctuation, spelling and grammar are also things picked up throughout first jobs. These are useful in the work place for sending emails, meetings and speaking with clients - especially in customer facing roles. For a huge range of jobs including marketing and advertising, a high level of accuracy is required in order to make sure you are presenting the best parts of a brand/company.


Sometimes, when starting off in a working pathway it may be required to begin in a different field or sector than where you’d like to end up. This can sometimes be frustrating or boring at first but can give you exposure to a completely new route, and perhaps may even cause you to change your mind completely about your chosen career journey. Working your way up in a job is a key part of progressing in your future. Most first jobs allow for young people to grow as well as learn the basics of working in an environment alongside professionals and executives alike.

Apprenticeships can be a great way of beginning a career, as they allow young people to gain a qualification as well as experience in a field of work they are particularly interested in. Much like a university degree, apprenticeships allow students to pick a pathway and specialise in it. Whether it be accounting, journalism or marketing, there is pretty much an option for everyone, from an intermediate level all the way to a degree or masters, and gives the opportunity to those who’d like to go in to work but also continue to learn, coming out from school.

After all, many first jobs don’t require a degree - including fields like marketing. Marketing is a good example as its broad focus allows you to hone your existing skills, such as creativity, maths or languages, to gain a qualification. The Chartered Institute of Marketing offer a range of qualifications that are recognised worldwide, starting at a broad entry level and then branching off on to more specific areas of study. This allows young people possessing a broad range of talents – from analytical to literary to practical – to gain the required industry skills and knowledge to enhance their CV and gain an entry point in to the marketing industry.  CIM courses not only helps with those soft skills, it helps you direct those skills in to the relevant areas of industry that’ll help you thrive.

Regardless of whether your first job was in a skyscraper in the middle of central London or out of a little shop in your town, the skills you gained along the way will help you throughout your future.

Find your first job and much more on Not Going to Uni, and begin the first steps of your career journey today.

Check out the latest vacancies on CIM Marketing Jobs to find your future in marketing.