Disappointing A Level results? It's not the end of the world.

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When you don’t get the A level results you’d hoped or expected, it can feel devastating. It can even be a defining moment in your life. This is particularly true if you were relying on certain grades to get to university.

But don’t worry. Not only are there lots of people in the same boat, but there are plenty of other options available. Your future is still bright with amazing life experiences ahead! We can help you figure out what to do next. Read on for our suggestions:

Try the Clearing process

Maybe your A Level results aren’t what you expected, but they don’t rule out further education. If your heart is still set on going to university this year, your first move should be to try the Clearing process. It’s a way to get a place on another university or college course if you can be flexible about where or what you study. Here's an inspiring story of a student who started out with disappointing A-level results and through Clearing, ended up with a first class degree from Kent Business School. But move fast – places can get snapped up quickly.

Even if your results weren’t too bad, you may decide to take a break from academia for some life experience, or to reconsider further education in the future. If so, take a look at our other suggestions below:

Consider an apprenticeship

Perhaps not getting your expected grades has made you reassess your next move. An apprenticeship scheme could be just what you’re after. You train as you work, so it’s a way to earn a salary doing a job and simultaneously gain recognised vocational qualifications such as NVQs, BTECs or City & Guilds.

There are more than 1,500 different apprenticeships to choose from in over 170 industries, so there’s bound to be something to suit your skills and aptitudes. You get to work with experienced people and pick up practical skills and knowledge, while your employer pays for you to learn at a local college one day a week or in block release.

Apprenticeships usually last between one and three years,. When yours is over you’ll be best placed to land a full-time job at that company. And you will have boosted your employability to also help you land a role at another company in that industry.

Register for volunteering or temp work

Apprenticeships can be ideal options if you know the area you want to work in, but what if you haven’t made your mind up yet? To try your hand at different areas you could explore volunteering opportunities with a charity or not-for-profit organisation.

Another smart move is to register for temp work. This will give you the flexibility to try out a variety of job roles in different sectors. You could be working summer festivals, gaining office work experience, learning the catering trade, or gaining important customer service skills working in hospitality.

When it comes to future employers, it packs a powerful punch if you can prove yourself as the type of person who turns up regularly to work and gets the job done. Any transferable skills gained through temping will help your CV shine, too.

Getting some temporary work under your belt will help widen your life experience and pack your CV with good stuff to make you more job-ready in the long term. Whether you’re planning to make it to uni at some point, or want to get other experiences or gain more skills before you take the next step, keeping one eye on your future employability can only ever be a positive move.

Get help from the experts 

Recruitment consultants provide job seekers free careers advice and assistance. We’re here to help you succeed by making smart, well-informed choices. And just the process of getting on an agency’s books can be a valuable exercise. It might be the first time you’ve had to compile a CV, think about your strengths for an application letter, or talk about yourself in an interview. In fact, helping first-time job-hunters navigate their way through with confidence is as important to us as the vacancies we fill.

Just remember: your A Level results don’t define you. There are still plenty of great options out there for you. And we’re here to help if you need us.

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