Monday, 28 September 2009

Career Advice Hits the Road in the UK

Did you know that The Career Advice Service - or CAS for short - are a public service here in the UK and they'll give you free advice and guidance on your career?

The CAS have recently taken their message out on the road too. Telling their story and listening to people like you and me talk work and careers.

To find out more, I asked CAS Careers Coach, Paresh Damani, a few questions about life, the Universe and everything else career related.

Paresh, it's over to you...

What's the aim of the CAS?

The Careers Advice Service provides free and impartial information, advice and guidance on issues related to work, training and education. We can help you whether you’re trying to decide what job is right for you or you want to know how to get the job you want. We also let you know what financial support is out there to help you develop your skills. The Careers Advice Service is available both over the telephone and online.

What has it been like to take your service 'on the road'?

It has been a great experience to tell people face to face what we are about. The Careers Advice Service did some research and discovered that almost three quarters of the nation are planning on changing their careers, however one in four suspects they never will as they are unsure about what they really want. Given these results, we thought it would be great to mobilise the Careers Advice Service and bring it directly to the people. Whilst we were on the roadshow, the feedback we’ve been getting from people has been really great. People don’t realise that there is a free and impartial careers advice service for adults. There was a lot of interest and many people were queuing up to speak to careers advisers.

The CAS on the road in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.

What are people saying about their careers?

At the moment a lot of people are worried about job security. Many fear redundancy and are considering retraining in case the unthinkable happens to them. Having said that, a lot of people are just happy having a job at the moment. That’s understandable but people shouldn’t rule out refreshing their skills or re-training as there are some exciting opportunities out there.

You mention redundancy as a common worry. What general advice would you offer to anyone facing redundancy?

Get your finances in order, make sure you’ve received a correct redundancy payout and go to the jobcentre to sign on. Also speak to a careers adviser about your next steps if you are not sure and make sure you have an up-to-date CV; we have a CV checking service and can help people review theirs if it's a bit out of date.

How are you seeing the world of careers changing?

I think people would like more of a work life balance now. With the credit crunch and high flying banking and financial services jobs taking a hit, people are realising there is more to life than making money. I’ve found that there is still strong interest in media and broadcasting roles even though competition is stronger than ever but with fewer permanent jobs available.

How did you become an advisor?

I have a background in education, having worked as a school bursar, university finance officer and a college administrator. I graduated with a politics degree but had no intention of going directly into politics. But when I saw the position of learning advisor advertised in my local paper I thought it could be the perfect job for me - and here I am 4 years later. I love the fact that the role involves helping people find their niche in training and education, while helping them to develop their skills.

What's the best piece of careers advice you were given?

To be honest I don’t think I had any decent Careers Advice and I think this is part of the problem. I can’t even remember anyone saying you should do this or you should be that – I wish they had. That’s where the Careers Advice Service comes in. I suppose the best piece of advice I was given was to be curious and explore, and that way you may find something that suits you and you will enjoy doing.

Where can we find out more about CAS in general?

You can visit or call the Careers Advice Service on 0800 100 900 to get advice on expanding and updating their skills. The service is free from a landline and is open from 8am to 10pm Monday to Sunday. We are also now on Twitter - you can follow us at for the latest news and information from the Careers Advice Service.

Paresh, on behalf of work/life fusion and its readers, I'd like to say a big Thank You for telling us more.

As always, you can join the conversation or ask questions by commenting below!

Best Regards for now,



  1. Hi Paul,

    I'm not surprised the UK is taking care of the public - you know of anything like this in the US?


  2. Hi Kyle,

    I know of a couple of new things in development that will be appropriate to the US market too. Keep checking back for more details soon!

    In the meantime, I've also had some experience working with the people behind PodCamps, LaidOff Camps and Job Angels - all of which are US based.

    Check out their websites, LinkedIn and Twitter Feeds for more info on all three in your area!

    Does anyone else out there know what responses US Federal and State Governments have put together on the subject of careers?

  3. Paul, thanks for sharing this information. It seems that while there are subtle differences in each region, around the globe working professionals have the same concerns. This economic meltdown has exposed the need to make yourself priority. Career management is a year round job and should not be reserved for traumatic changes such as losing a job. Even in a good economy, we need to keep our eyes forward, plan for the future and develop new skills.

  4. Hi Karen,

    Thanks for your comment :)

    I think you are absolutely right too! Responses around the world may vary but a common factor can be found in the way we as individuals learn to cope with (and more effectively manage) career change.

    In my opinion, the world of work and careers moves in cycles just like the economy and the future we see ahead of us right now, looks like it will be favouring individuals who are taking active responsibility for their careers all year round as you put it!

  5. Ahh! What a beautiful things! I'll definitely check this work and I am sure it will be awesome!