• Stride

Moving on from results, one qualification at a time...

Last week, I took my GCSE and A-level results off my CV.

Although I got good results, which I'm still surprisingly proud of, for years they had been creeping down my list of education and qualifications, until they became totally redundant - something that I had never been prepared for. It turns out that this is a common thing!

When you're waiting for exam results, whether for school, uni or professional accreditation, they can seem like the be-all and end-all. They really aren't!

Especially in school and university, exams and qualifications can become all-consuming. We're encouraged to spend our free time revising or reading around our subject, and with good reason: after all, getting good grades can open lots of doors for you!

The thing we're not told is that, once you've opened that door and gone through it, you will only look back so far. When you take your A-levels, your GCSEs become less important - by the time you have a degree, or three years of work experience, your A-levels are something potential employers will hardly look at.

So, if you're nervously waiting for your results on the 13th, remember these three things:

Your results won't define you as a person

As much time, effort and energy as you've put into your work, you are so much more than your education. Make time to follow your hobbies and passions, and work towards happiness. Life is more than a string of exams!

You can always get another qualification

Whether you resit a subject you didn't meet your goal for, or you take a change of direction and try something new, there are always options available. The way people approach careers has changed - hardly anyone has a 'job for life' these days. Maybe when you're 30 you'll study ceramic glazing - perhaps at 40, you'll become a fitness instructor! Life will throw different opportunities at you, and if something doesn't go the way you expected, that's absolutely ok.

No-one will ask what A-levels you studied in five years' time

It's true! Employers are only interested in what's relevant to your ability to do the job they're advertising, and that usually means work experience, professional accreditation or a specific qualification. They'll be making hiring decisions based on your cover letter, performance at interview, and maybe a portfolio or similar.

One day, you'll look at your CV and think, 'do I really need to list out all these subjects that I don't remember?' You'll have grown as a professional, and armed with your new skills and experiences, the answer will be a big, happy "no!"

If this has resonated with you, or sparked any questions, get in touch! You can send us questions or feedback via our ask page, and we'll talk through any questions you send on our Stride Talks podcast.

If you're feeling worried about your results, check out this article by Ofqual - they have some great advice and links to support services.

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