“The view of success is different for each individual; it is rarely something as crude as salary, title or status..”
About seven years ago, I had an idea for a new approach to get young people interested in careers, jobs and the world of work. Rather than start with information and advice, I wanted to use the power of inspiration and imagination to encourage people to explore the possibilities before them. “Real people telling their real stories,” became my mantra and that’s what we went on to create!
It is this idea of personal stories – people talking about their skills, desires, attributes and motivations and how these can lead to a range of careers – which is at the heart of icould. As a charity, we provide free access to over 1100 video career stories of people giving their own account of what they do and how they got there. It’s a simple way of finding out about jobs and careers that you may not have known about or considered, and a source of practical ideas for getting started.
But what difference does this focus on real stories make?
One of the unique features of icould stories is to recognise the role of mistakes; most deal with turning points and things that go wrong as well as those that go right. Success isn’t usually something that comes first time. It’s not just about perseverance through hard times, for many people a setback can help them understand what is really important. In fact, the view of success is different for each individual; it is rarely something as crude as salary, title or status. A common ending to a story is “now my Mum/Dad is proud of me.”
“Over 1100 video career stories…people talking about their career route, rather than just their job.”
You can search icould videos by job type or subject or explore how other factors can shape career choices. Our videos are supported by labour market information, such as average salary details and future employment prospects, as well as a range of articles featuring expert advice and tips.
From the outset, we went for quality in our films, and the idea of people talking about their career route, rather than just their job. We also decided to become a virtual organisation with no office and few overheads. Difficult at times but is does allow us to be highly responsive – even though we sometimes miss water cooler moments and shared coffee.
Do come and visit us – virtually! We’re always on the lookout for new ideas, contributors, and general feedback, so if you’d like to share your story, or tell us what we could do better, we’d love to hear from you.
Jeffrey Defries is the founder of icould.