National Careers Week is a golden opportunity for businesses

National Careers Week stands as an opportunity for students to gain valuable insights into the professional landscape.

This initiative shines a light on a diverse spectrum of career opportunities, serving as a catalyst for numerous young people to recognise and harness their potential.

This event is not just beneficial for those in the initial phases of discovering their trade, for business owners it as a prime opportunity to attract fresh talent and lay the cornerstone for a workplace that prioritises the happiness, health, and fulfillment of its workforce.

Developing a meaningful career starts at the beginning, when people are fresh out of their place of education. Whether that be secondary school, college, or university – every young person can offer valuable input when it comes to developing an environment where they thrive.

This National Careers Week, ask the question: What makes a great workplace?

Mastering your role at work is crucial, but so, for sustainable employment, is finding genuine satisfaction in your job. Businesses should assertively prioritise sustainable employment measures from the very first day a new team member joins, ensuring they recognise the value in their work, receive consistent support to progress, and genuinely enjoy their working day.

There is a train of thought that people fall into when looking for a healthy work/life balance, and that is believing that working days cannot be enjoyable. Spending Monday to Friday waiting patiently for the weekend so you can finally enjoy yourself has become commonplace – that culture must change.

As businesses, we have a duty of care to our employees and must do our best to nurture an environment where the nine-to-five becomes an asset to your well-being, and not just a tool to fund the escape of a weekend.

SMEs in particular can set the example here. Smaller structures allow for tight-knit teams and a collaborative culture from top to bottom of the business, in addition to allowing for decisions to be made more swiftly, and diminishing bureaucratic hurdles.

The ability of SMEs to adapt to the culture around them also makes it easier for them to foster a sense of community in the workplace. This is bolstered by the support they provide to local economies, providing new jobs, and helping out local not-for-profits and community good causes creates a better environment all round.

In addition to learning from students, business owners should use National Careers Week to look at their current workforce, providing upskilling opportunities that will strengthen internal talent and encourage sustainable employment.

A culture of sustainable employment enables employees to reach their full potential, and develop a passion for encouraging members of their team to do the same.

The crux of sustainable employment lies in authentic connections between individuals and their roles, their company, clients, and the wider community.

As SMEs, our aim is to create an environment where work is not merely an obligation but a vehicle for personal growth and fulfillment. We want to create opportunities for people where it does not feel like you are coming to work – instead, it feels like you are enjoying your life.

That’s the kind of mentality we should be sharing with young people who are about to embark on the path to employment. By investing in our people, we are not just building a workforce – we are cultivating a community of individuals who thrive personally and professionally.