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 hello@iansanders.com.

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

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