Jamal Edwards and Jess Glynne talk work-life balance

ncs 19/09/2016
Jess Glynne & Jamal Edwards

NCS Ambassadors Jamal Edwards and Jess Glynne share their wisdom on ways to deal with the pressures of juggling work and life activities.  

Jamal Edwards MBE, digital entrepreneur, established online music platform SBTV when he was just 15 years old. He is now 26.

“There was a lot going on when I was 15! I did manage to find time for both school and SBTV when I was doing GCSEs; it only really affected me when I was a bit older and in college and SBTV was getting bigger. When I was not turning up to lessons they wanted to kick me out, so I sat down with them to explain what I was doing. Then they worked with me so I could do SBTV at same time. We found a way to balance it all, but it was easier when people around me knew what was going on.

“I would say, tell your teens that they shouldn’t be afraid to talk to the people around them. I feel like now, with everything going on, I should have been more open with my parents about what I was doing in my spare time and letting them know what I really wanted to do.

“People now are much more supportive of entrepreneurs, much more than back in the day – so teens should be able to be honest. Be open with the people around you and hope you get their support while you are also doing your exams.

“The one thing I would have learnt more about if I could go back would be the legal side of things – contracts and things – and financial things like VAT…apart form that it’s all good!

“If there’s lots going on, I’d say, where there is a will there is a way and be as organised as possible. 

“When I was that age I had a job in Topman, school work, SBTV and I knew I had to use all the hours I could. So I got really strict with my time – I got straight home from school, I wasn’t hanging around at McDonalds or with mates at bus stops. I was straight home, getting on with it – being like clockwork with my time. 

“If you calculate how much time you have in the day, and how much of it you can waste just hanging around, walking slowly home from school – you realise how much you are wasting!

“It’s like with sweets. When I stopped buying sweets and put the money in a jar instead, I suddenly had £100! It’s the same with time – be strict with it, don’t waste it then you can fit everything in. Run your life like clockwork!”

Award-winning singer-songwriter JESS GLYNNE on striking a balance between academia and her musical passion:

“When I was at school both my teachers and peers told me there was no way I’d make it as a singer. This made me more determined to work hard at my passion and be a success.

“I’d advise my teenage self to enjoy every part of the journey when growing up. Whether that’s having fun with your friends or going out into the world to find a job. Every part of that journey makes you who you are, so you might as well do your best and have fun doing it!

“If you have a passion, spending time doing that can help take the hassle out of doing the other things you don’t enjoy so much. It’s really important to find a balance between having a laugh with your mates and doing your studies.”

Find out how NCS Autumn is a chance for young people to strike a healthy life balance and develop the skills employers are looking for – confidence, leadership and communication.