Last week I attended the Sunderland College Graduation Ceremony at the Quayside Exchange, and was over the moon to be asked to be their guest speaker and deliver the closing address.
It was such a privilege to be part of the event and watch as so many people collect their qualifications that they have worked so hard for.
In the opening address, the college’s principal, noted that many of those graduating on the day were people who had gone back to education, meaning they’d needed to juggle their studies with work, family commitments, being a parent or carer.
I remember going through Sunderland College and university and thinking that it was a struggle to manage working part-time and studying (plus I still had the luxury of living at home and having my tea made for me), so I really take my hat off to those who’ve made the big decision to further their studies alongside real adult commitments.
It also got me thinking that it’s never too late to change your career and pursue work in an industry or field that you have a passion for. It is a bit of a cliché, but life really is too short to spend it doing something you dislike or have lost the love for.
I also never realised that there were such a broad range of qualifications to choose from, and without wanting to sound too old…there certainly wasn’t the same level of choice back when I was in full-time education.
After the ceremony I got the chance to chat to some of the graduates to find out how they were planning to use their new found knowledge and qualifications.
Many were using it to take the first steps into their chosen field of work and others were using it to progress to the next level and climb the career ladder in their current place of work.
Ultimately, the possibilities were endless and it is now, clearly the start of some very exciting times for the graduates.
The college has such a great range of opportunity on offer, and it’s all right on our doorstep.
They have first class facilities, enthusiastic staff (many of whom I got to meet at the event) and a great range of courses, many of which I had no idea were on offer.
So if you’re sat reading this in print or online, and for some time have been thinking that you’d like to take your current career to new heights, change the industry you work in all together or acquire new skills in order to help you start your own business, then what are you waiting for.
If you’re in Sunderland, it’s all on offer right in front of you.
Don’t be sat in the same position next year, wishing you’d done something different. Instead, go for it.
Ask your friends and family to support you along the way as best they can, set yourself a goal and go and make it happen, just like all of the graduates I got to meet last week did!