I am not an inspiration! I am just a ………… [please fill in the blank]

Updated: Jan 20, 2020

Why would anyone be inspired by 'me'?

Call it a cultural issue or put it down to our modesty, either way it needs to be debunked, to many people in this world, you are an inspiration.

There are 3 million* households in this country in which no member of it is working. Many of these have children residing in them too. Many of these also have long term, multi-generational unemployment. Where does the inspiration come from for these children?

These children who do not understand what it is like to operate in a house in which alarms go off, there is a routine for breakfast and you watch parents or carers go to work. Children who do not get to listen to tales of your day over the dinner table. You may not think they are listening but they are listening to you and learning how to deal with the stresses and strains of daily life. They will be learning just like I was lucky enough to learn from my parents.

‘Who should’ inspire them is a different conversation altogether but the answer to ‘who can…’ is you. A flippant conversation for you may contain the sentence that sticks with a young person forever and changes their path in life.

The impact of you visiting a school is immense, you could spark the dreams and imagination of a child that may be the future leader of your industry. Even as a teacher you do not have time to identify the strength and ability that lies within every person, irrespective of their background. The wider the range of people young people can meet, the bigger the chance they will find their path.

That is just doing a school visit, what could you achieve by having schools come to you and meeting more of your team or having work placement students from different backgrounds?

You may inspire them just by being a particular gender, religion, skin colour, sexuality…… Only 5 years ago when teaching construction, I had parents of 14-year-olds telling their daughters that they couldn’t study construction as it ‘wasn’t for girls’.

So the answer to who can inspire the next generation is you.

Read with school children, visit a school, invite a class to your workplace, have a work experience student……

Put yourself out there and you will be the spark that creates many careers, dreams and aspirations that may not come from home.

You are an inspiration.

*ONS Working and workless households in the UK:April to June 2018

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