An adult today finds seven to 12 jobs in their lifetime, but even though a career is never at the front of anyone's mind as a kid, when it comes to it, a lot career advice can often be more confusing than helpful.

Having a career plan is motivating. Deviating from it has benefits, too. "Be flexible and open", advises Martin, CEO of a 3D technology firm. "If you have a chance of getting a job which is not ideal, consider going for it; whatever you learn will be applicable to other jobs in the future."

Michael, a political communications consultant, gives similar advice: "Deviating from my anticipated career path enabled me to reach where I am today, although it was crucial to stay focused on my final target." 

Martyn, director of a Leeds-based housing association, also suggests that being spontaneous can serve career goals, as "moving jobs every couple of years broadens your knowledge".

How about the need for work experience in the area of work you want to go into? Christian, head of international relations at a leading German university, said: "Work experience was essential to my current line of work, which is not an entry level job". 

Work experience increases your knowledge of professional environments. Unsurprisingly, there are are many out there to gain experience from. Pick up transferable skills by trying your hand at several. Don't just restrict yourself to one. 

Those who wish to gain knowledge of the world of work should "gain experience in as many areas as possible", says Rupert, chief executive of a French engineering firm. 

A civil service spokesperson echoes this, stating that "specific work experience is not important, so long as the experience reflects that a candidate has the skills we look for". 

So, don't just make tea for your ideal employer to get your foot on the career ladder. Make cakes, sharpen pencils or do whatever else for as many employers as possible. 

Career advice from the top of the career ladder beats advice from the front of the classroom. Seeking out industry professionals may not seem worthwhile to young people, but the only other option is to put blind faith in generalist wisdom. 

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