Melissa Higham, Kier Group – “I came back with a renewed sense of purpose”

by | May 15, 2019 | Volunteer Story

Melissa joined the Worktree Team for a Career WorkOut session at Bridge Academy last week working with students who have emotional, medical or social difficulties.

“I am a Human Resources Graduate at Kier and have been there since September 2018”

“At Kier, we have a campaign called Shaping Your World, aiming to encourage young people to consider careers in the built environment. I am a Shaping Your World Ambassador, along with nearly 500 of my colleagues, so I have pledged to visit at least 1 school a year to talk about my work and other opportunities. When I saw the Career WorkOut sessions, it had an instant appeal for me as I really enjoy having conversations with young people. I know that there is a lot of pressure on young people to know what you want to do, and I want to draw on my own experiences to show that it’s OK not to have a fully-formed plan, and it’s OK to change your mind. Before arriving in HR, I had been a Primary School teacher, a foster carer, and worked in operations at a start-up coaching nannies. I’ve learnt so much from those different experiences, more so than if I’d taken a direct route. If I’d known that at School I think I would have felt a lot more relaxed!”

“The young people I met were at a School designed to support them with the mental health issues that mainstream School hadn’t been able to manage effectively. I was impressed by each young person as they described their interests and aspirations, particularly because meeting a stranger would definitely be putting them out of their comfort zone”.

“Taking a step back to think about and explain my work as a whole gave me the perspective to see all the positives I had perhaps forgotten about. I came back buzzing and feeling really motivated with a renewed sense of purpose and a warm fuzzy feeling from having contributed to my community”.

“The jobs young people know about are those they have contact with (e.g. cashier, hair stylist), those that are well represented in the media (e.g. forensic science, footballer) or those that family and friends have (which doesn’t help social mobility). These jobs will only be a small proportion of those available. Take part to help empower young people to make informed life choices, to remind yourself what you love about your job, and to come away feeling great!”

To sign up for your Career WorkOut session visit www.worktree.org/events or email Bhupinder at bhupinder.roda@worktree.org

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