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Dublin: 12 °C Monday 16 September, 2019

Poll: Did a lack of confidence have an impact on your career choices?

‘Stick to the blueprint and you’ll be fine.’

DURING A BRIEF interview with RTÉ News this week, Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope actress, Seana Kerslake, touched on the importance of instilling confidence in young people.

90427453_90427453 Source:

While considering the issue of diversity in the film industry, she acknowledged the progress which has been made, but maintained that more needs to be done to encourage the younger demographic to get involved.

“It’s getting better; I still think there’s a million miles to go,” she said.

It starts with instilling confidence in young people to know that your voice is important, your stories are important, and that we want to see them.

“To encourage people to be confident with their writing, and to go for it. It’s getting there, but there’s still miles to go,” she reiterated.

While Seana’s focus in this instance was the film industry, her perspective can be applied across various realms when it comes to the transition from adolescence to adulthood.

When I was completing my CAO form at 16 in 2004, much of the focus was on pursuing a degree which would result in a steady job.

There was an underlying implication that veering from any well-trodden career path would be a fool’s endeavour; a long and unnecessary scenic route that would only result in a U-turn before too long.

Stick to the blueprint and you’ll be fine, diverge too drastically and you may well regret it.

Learning how to cultivate the confidence which would allow you to eschew this rhetoric was not something I recall, to be honest.

Social media was in its infancy at this time, so my generation certainly wasn’t familiar with a cultural landscape which would suggest that confidence was not something that might be in scarce supply.

From vloggers and bloggers to Instagrammers and influencers, the concepts in themselves would have been viewed as bizarrely self-indulgent, and, as such, act as evidence that when it came to the future’s young people, confidence certainly wouldn’t be an issue.

And yet, as we all know now, these are often the very outlets responsibly for slowly eroding young people’s confidence, and contributing to drastic dips in self-esteem and self-worth.

Consistently instilling confidence in young people was as important in 1980 as it was in 2000, as it will continue to be in 2020.

But what about you? Do you think you would have chosen a different career path had you been more confident?

Poll Results:

Definitely. I wish I had done something different. (1036)
I'm not sure, to be honest. (274)
Nope, I'm in my dream job. (168)

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About the author:

Niamh McClelland

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