University of East London 28.02.17

Why I like giving career advice to students.

“It will be too competitive, try something else instead.”

These words are the reason I give talks to students. Because thirty years ago when I explained to my school headmaster that I wanted to work in the media, he told me not to even try.

It was my childhood dream to work in radio and TV. I used to sit in my bedroom playing at being a DJ. Before that I’d sat at a table with a globe on it and pretended to be a newsreader.

So my jaw hit the floor when the advice from my headmaster was to give up on my dream. Fortunately I ignored him.

I told that story this morning during my guest lecture at the University of East London. I told my audience if you have a career dream or ambition, go for it. I told them to ignore anyone who says ‘no.’

How did my story end? Two months after ignoring my headmaster I got my lucky break reading the gig guide on BBC local radio. Three years later I left university and started working in TV production. Ten years later I returned to my school and gave advice at a careers fair. My desk had the longest queue all day.

So when universities and colleges ask me to give a guest lecture, I remember my headmaster’s advice. And then I always try and do it.

I’m on a mission to help the world of work and business be more human. Want your organisation, business or career to be more human in 2017? Let’s talk! Email

Ian Sanders Consulting. Walk & Talks. Skype coaching. Stories. Workshops.

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