Just thought I'd share one of my sisters route to finding work recently as an Administrator/PA with no prior experience/qualifications, the pay isn't amazing (19k) but fantastic for her and her situation and experience level.
Basically left school with not much direction, not the best grades (c-f grades so to speak!). Bummed around for a few years, wasted time, dossed, drank, etc, as some do! At the grand age of 23, she decided that her new years resolution for last year was to 'fix-up' (her words lol) and get a career. So, what did she do? She decided she wanted to be an Executive PA one day, but not to go to college, but to self train! Of course none of us took her too seriously, knowing what she was like. However, she got herself a 2 voluntary jobs as admin and receptionist last January, one day a week at each. They put her through training in basic office skills stuff like IT etc, and she spent her JSA on learn direct courses, one course a week, and followed them religiously. Almost like her own made up course. She stayed at these volunteer jobs for 6 months and then got another one which was aimed at more experienced administrators, this time 2 days a week, and she knocked on doors locally until a company offered to take her on voluntarily for the other 3 days a week, for 3 months. This was to get 'real' office experience in addition to the voluntary stuff. She basically kept doing all this kind of stuff all last year, really stuck it out, only got basic qualifications like ECDL, first aid etc. Was up all night reading, familiarising herself with office and legal lingo, learnt all the health and safety laws, taught herself database stuff and everything. The learn direct courses didn't give her qualifications but some skills. Honestly, even though she doesn't have much by way of qualifications, her CV looks amazing.
Anyways, at this start of this year she started applying for proper Admin Jobs, and the response she got was amazing, so much so that she decided to hold out for one of the better paying roles...which £19k is pretty good for admin work. She has fought and got past graduates a few times which has really made her confidence shoot up!
Apparently, what made employers like her was her 'grit' (whatever that means), determination, ambition and discipline to self teach like that in a year. Basically a self-taught fully trained administrator/PA who can do everything all the years-of-experienced admins in her office can do, at the same if not better level. Her employer has put her on a level 3 Business Admin course - which he didn't do for the other staff - and she's planning to do some office management or legal secretary training next year and move into a law firm, so in the long term she can train as a legal exec...and I actually now believe she will do it. Her employers think so too.
This story is basically here to show how proud I am of my sister who exceeded all my family's expectations of her and to show others and give some hope that no matter how little experience/qualifications you have, if you REALLY want something and are determined to achieve, regardless of your situation, where there a will theirs a way. Good luck to all out there!
I really like this story and admire your sister's determination. Sometimes you have to take time out, to relax and find out what to do in life. I also done that for two years and now I feel ready to go down the academic route and because I took that time out I don't feel like I'm missing anything when I spend weekends in studying... I believe your sister will reach the top... Good for her!!!
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