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Myth Busting

National Careers Service – Myth Busting

It’s time to unravel the common misconceptions about the National Careers Service offering and our personalised careers advice and information. Whether you’re a recent graduate, a career changer, or someone navigating the intricate paths of professional life.

We provide careers information, advice, and guidance and can help you make decisions at all stages in your career.

I can only see a careers advisor if I’m unemployed and claiming benefits?

Anyone from the age of 18 can see a careers advisor via National Careers Service either in a job centre face to face or over the phone. Simply call the 0800 100 900 number and you can book in for an appointment tailored to your needs

Contact us | National Careers Service

I can only see a careers advisor in a job centre?

National Careers Service is available in a variety of locations. We are in job centres, we provide telephone appointments. We also attend several job fairs and participate in specific recruitment events with employers such as NHS.

Job Fairs Ltd | Jobs Fair | Recruitment Events | Career Fairs | Job Fairs across the UK (

I can only do an apprenticeship between the ages of 16 to 18?

Apprenticeships are now available for all ages and there’s no upper age limit. It is also a myth to think that all apprenticeships will be exploitive and offer low pay – it’s only in the first year that the pay is capped and then in the second year it goes up to minimum wage for your age.

Once you achieve your qualifications, the pay goes up in incremental stages. Look at the longer term benefits – in the future you will have more career opportunities, chance to progress and be paid more and/or start your own business. Find out more about apprenticeships and search for apprenticeship vacancies on.

The Apprenticeship Guide listing all apprenticeships available

I’m too old to get a new job – nobody will employ me?

Age is a protected characteristic under the Equalities Act of 2010. You don’t need to disclose your age during the application stage of the recruitment process. When you get to interview it may be apparent what your age is but if you are told that it’s a reason for not employing you, bear in mind that is illegal and you could potentially make a legal claim against the employer.

Instead, keep your attitude positive. Stay focused on your transferable skills, your enthusiasm for the job and what strengths and experiences you bring to the role. Look closely at the job description and work hard to demonstrate how your skills, experience and knowledge match the requirements.

Acas guide on age discrimination | Acas

Careers advice | National Careers Service

I can’t do a certain job because nobody from our family/community/culture does that?

Job choices are often made based on suggestions from friends, family and people in your social network. Sometimes this results in finding yourself in a job which isn’t really the right match for you.

Use the National Careers Service skills assessment to help you identify your skills and a range of possible careers that may be suitable. Even though you may have been doing a job for a long time, it’s perfectly OK to change direction. Use the skills assessment and explore profiles to help. Book an appointment with one of our careers advisors to explore your options further.

Another consideration is labour market information or to put it simply, how many jobs are available and in what roles. Certain jobs are in tremendous shortage for example social work, teaching, most construction trades and many others.

You may have a fixed idea that because you are a woman you can’t work in construction or because nobody in your family has been to university, you can’t train as a dentist. Explore what jobs are available and whether you might be suited to any of them. Look at what your skills are and what you will enjoy rather than copying what someone else in your family is doing.

Skills assessment | National Careers Service

Explore careers | National Careers Service

I don’t have any transferrable skills?

Take the skills assessments on National Careers Service website. Look back on your work history, jobs that you’ve done before and also non paid roles that you’ve had including caring responsibilities such as looking after children and/or other relatives. You will have gained several skills. What are they? Write a list.

Skills assessment | National Careers Service

I’m ‘just a mum’ !

Recognise the value of this unpaid, highly responsible, multi skilled position. The role is demanding without any of the reward systems or supervision of most paid roles. You will have developed a range of skills including budgeting, dealing with difficult people, behaviour management, leadership, food hygiene/catering skills, coordinating activities…the list goes on.

You may been liaising with health professionals if those you have been caring for have health conditions. Know your value and don’t overestimate what people in the paid labour market are doing – perhaps some of their roles are not as challenging as yours!

Flexible Working | Work & Training | Information |

There are no jobs I can apply for! Definitely not the case in Bristol – situation is different in other areas though…

Labour market information can be found online on websites such as lmi for all and shortage jobs. Using a search engine such as indeed is also a very quick way of finding out labour market information. Look at what jobs are available in your local area you will almost always find organisations or roles that you haven’t heard of before or certain conditions in a role that you didn’t know about for example a free bus to a location that’s quite inaccessible.

Check out shortage jobs and then research these roles on National Careers Service explore profiles. Make sure you are applying for jobs with your skills because if you going for a role such as animal care for example you will find very few jobs and they’ll need a lot of experience and qualifications.

Be realistic about what you are going for. Find a role that’s both going to suit you and you’re going to enjoy. Match these requirements with a role that is available in your local area. Consider moving to a different area, even temporarily, to gain skills and experience in a role.

LMI For All – LMI For All

Shortage occupation lists – GOV.UK (

I don’t need careers advice – my CV is fine!

Even the most professional CVs will benefit from a quick review from a trained professional. National Careers Service offers this service free. Other organisations will ask for payment. We can give you free, confidential, impartial advice.

CV advice | National Careers Service

How to write a CV |

I can get a job by word of mouth. I don’t need to learn to use a computer

It is still possible to get a job by word of mouth but this comment reminds me of the phrase ‘it could be you’ who could win the lottery. Yes, it is possible but it’s very unlikely. The majority of roles are going to be need an online application form or for you to submit your CV by e-mail.

Regardless of the type of role you are looking for, a basic use of computers is often needed. So if you don’t have these skills, you may be immediately excluded from the labour market.  National Careers Service can signpost you to courses to help you learn these skills.

There are plenty of free courses to gain digital skills and some organisations even provide free laptops. If you don’t want to attend a face to face class, there may be online courses that you can do depending on your skills level. Get in touch with National Careers Service and we can signpost you to some useful organisations.

The Skills Toolkit | National Careers Service

Results | Find a course | National Careers Service




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