There is so much pressure on people these days, especially younger people to know what university course to choose and what career they want to pursue. I think it’s a shame and that many people like myself feel a little trapped when in a university course and feel the need to have a career in this area. But I want to tell you that it’s okay to change your mind and that you shouldn’t feel like you have to go a particular career because it’s what you thought you wanted when you started university.
I’m going to give you a little background about myself so you might be able to see any similarities and so you can see that you’re not stuck to the career you originally thought you wanted. I left school at 16 mainly because a lot of my school friends were leaving and there was a chance that I was going to have to take higher maths – this I really did not want. I went to college to do my Highers and then choose stay on at college for another year to do my HNC in Social Sciences. It was during my Highers that I thought that I would like a career in Psychology and applied to do so at university during my HNC. I really enjoyed Psychology and still do but towards the end of my second year at university I started to feel like it might not be the career choice that I really wanted. But I continued with the incessant lie of “I want to be a clinical psychologist, and after this course I’m going to do my post grad”. I felt like I had to say that I wanted a career in psychology at the end of university as it was what I originally set out to do, but I began to realise that no matter how much I repeated “I want to be a clinical psychologist” it didn’t make me want it anymore.
During my third year I set up a meeting with a career adviser at my university, and I really recommend that you do this if you want to do something different or just for finding out where you can go with your degree. I knew from the previous general career talks with the class that journalism was one of the areas that I could go into, but would obviously have to gain relevant experience first. This one to one meeting meant that I had more of an idea of how to gain relevant experience and it really helped me realise that I wasn’t going to be stuck with psychology forever.
I think that one of the hardest parts is telling those you know that you’re not planning on the career that you originally chose, but trust me, people will understand. I have to admit my mum was a little shocked when I told her but I think it was mainly because she thought I wanted to drop out my course which towards the end of third year probably would have been quite drastic. But once she understood that I wasn’t leaving that I wanted to explore different careers she understood where I was coming from. I mean think about it, anyone who truly cares about you will want you to end up in a career that you love rather than one you felt that you had to choose.
So the message of this post is you can do anything you want and you shouldn’t feel pressured to stick to the career you thought you wanted – whatever your age! I don’t want to go into the career I set out to do 5 years ago and you know I feel much better since I “unstuck” myself from it. If you’re at university and want to do something different; go talk to your careers service! I know all universities will be different but I can use my university’s careers service even after I graduate, so if you have graduated recently see if you can still use it. If not there are lots of websites like to help you out like; National Career Service and Prospects.
Have you changed career at somepoint or thinking about changing what you want to do/what your doing? I’d really love to hear how you got on 🙂