How many young people – at some point – think they want to follow in their parents’ footsteps?

I definitely did.

I was 14, and I had just finished 2 weeks of work experience at IBM, and it was brilliant. I had decided that I was going to get these pesky GCSEs out of the way, then study maths, computing (and something else) at college, then on to university to read maths at an even higher level – all so I could then get my job at IBM.

My dad loves maths and computing. My dad studied maths at university.   My dad worked at IBM for 35 years.  Can’t help spotting the overlap there…

The “something else” I needed to study at college changed my life.

As well as maths and computing, I had to take another A Level and was pretty much repelled from everything on offer.  I eventually narrowed it down to Media Studies or Business Studies. On the toss of a metaphorical coin, I chose Business Studies.

My eyes were opened to the incredibly interesting, complex, logical and simultaneously irrational world of business.  Within a month of starting at college, Business Studies was now my favourite subject by a mile.  I changed my degree path of choice and studied Management Science at the University of Warwick.  That decision led me to getting a graduate position with a global professional services firm.  After the best part of a decade working for other companies, my path first crossed with Future Foundations and now, 6 years on I own 3 companies, have ideas about what the next 3 will be, and I can’t wait to see what new challenges tomorrow will bring.

What was a job for life for my dad turned out to be a flash in the pan for me.  What was right for him wasn’t necessarily right for me.  I realised that life is what you make it, and I now wanted to take my life in a different direction to the one I previously thought.

  • If you find a thing that you like in life, reach out and grab it.
  • If you think there’s more to be done, get out there and do it.
  • No-one else can live your life for you: don’t feel you have to walk in anyone else’s shoes.
  • Be the person you aspire to be: take a chance.
  • Don’t copy, innovate.

Future Foundations works with hundreds of organisations to help develop and open minds, and create penny dropping moments for young people about where they really want the journey of their life to take them.

Have you had a penny dropping moment or a turning point that shaped your life’s direction?

Please share in the comments below.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Diamond Ofori says:

    I think it’s amazing that you have experienced that ‘penny dropping’ moment. This way, you can relate directly to the young people that Future Foundations works with on their programmes. Absolutely brilliant!