By Paul Thomas

Expressions of work and education in our country change so quickly that anything you write about them is redundant by the time the ink dries.
While this can create a feeling of trepidation when negotiating post-school pathways to success, this shifting landscape also makes for an unending sea of possibilities for young South Africans looking to leave a meaningful foot-print on society’s beach and, in doing so, realise their country’s endless potential.

This bi-weekly column wrestles with precisely these issues: Attempting to define the rules of this new game. The game has changed since your parents found their version of success, and so too have the rules. Resources such as read like a veritable rule-book, outlining the parameters, opportunities and potential pitfalls. This forum (along with First Step’s free consultancy service) aims to provide a coach and referee, teaching you how to manipulate the rules to your advantage and find yourself on a winning team.
Rule 1 is the simplest, shortest, and arguably the most important: “Ask!” By staying informed through asking the right people the right questions, questioning their answers, and wrestling with the complexities in your own mind, you will have taken the most important step towards making a good, future-moulding decision. Subsequent columns will deal with the question of what, whom, where and how to ask, but adopting an I-need-to-know attitude is the equivalent of getting out of bed in the morning: If you don’t manage that, a successful day is unlikely.
…and remember, the one thing you don’t get better at is watching TV.