Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.
We asked Ian McKinley from Languages Connect to give some advice for people considering this job:
It needs to be something that you really love to do. When you have to train during winter it can be difficult so you have to be mentally strong.
What are your interests?
The Social person's interests focus on interacting with the people in their environment. In all cases, the Social person enjoys the personal contact with other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.
Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?
I took science and geography options at GCSE level (up to 16), followed by geography, biology and psychology A-Levels (16-18). At A-level, I followed my interests, but with hindsight I wish I had pursued Maths and Physics. The UK system has changed now and you do a wider number of subjects between 16-18 which is a good thing. My lack of science at A-Level did hurt my career progression at university, which required me to get extremely high grades to demonstrate that I could take on the harder science topics at University. My advice is to study Maths (in addition to other things you’re interested in) for as long as possible. It’s like a VIP pass in your career. If you’ve got maths, then that takes you anywhere. I wish I had known this earlier on.