Career talk: every career I have ever wanted to do.

A career: the purpose of our existence. The end goal that will give us a sense of accomplishment and fulfilment. We are taught to think about our career goals, and think about how we will achieve them. It has become the main focus of life from a very young age. As a result, we spend our lives stressing and worrying about what we want to do for the rest of our lives, being pressured to know just what we want to do. What do we like? What are we good at?

“Focus on your strengths” , “pick a career and stick to it”, “work hard in school and you will achieve your goals.” This is what we have been told all of our lives.

But what if we just really do not know what we want to do? Or what if our natural abilities and talents lie within a different area of work – one that we aren’t that interested in, or one that we realise isn’t what it’s made out to be. That’s the position I find myself in now. I have already recently graduated from university with a degree in English, and I am currently working part-time and applying for countless amounts of jobs. I spend hours doing career quizzes, writing down what I like and dislike in a job, working hard to understand myself and who I want to be as a person. Each time finding myself more lost than ever. 

I love to write, but do I just prefer it as a hobby? I love reading and analysing literature, but that’s not a job, is it? Teach, that’s what I’ll do. But then am I outgoing enough? Will I enjoy it? These are the questions I ask myself each time I try to think of my career goals. It’s because I have been conditioned to believe that there is one career out there for me and one alone. I must enjoy it and I must be good at it. However, that’s not what reality is. What if in fact, we are meant for many careers – at different points in our lives. Not just one forever. Or what if we are just meant to work to earn money, in any job, and use our talents and interests elsewhere? 


Here’s a list of every role I ever wanted to do and be:

  1. A Fashion Designer. When I was around ten years old, maybe even younger, I always dreamed of owning my own store and designing my own clothes. I loved to draw and create new things, so this was something that I knew I wanted to do. I drew designs in books and had a whole sketch pad full of them. But then, I got older, and realised that my passion was not realistic in the tough industry of fashion. 
  2. A Teacher. During the time that I wanted to be a fashion designer, I also wanted to be a teacher. I admired the teachers in my school and loved how they were able to decorate their classroom with lovely displays, and teach lots of interesting subjects. I also loved the idea of ticking everyone’s name off on the register. I even made my own at home and would pretend that I was a teacher myself – dragging my poor siblings into it and making them do work. To this day I still consider the profession, but as we get older we realise that a career isn’t always meant to be our dream job, but they can come close to it. I think teaching is still up there with professions I would still like to try.
  3. An Architect. After discovering The Sims, and loving it, I realised that I wanted to design houses as a job when I got older. I would draw plans of houses and would love building cool designs and finding ways to make the houses better. Then, I would create them on The Sims. I knew it was my dream job. To be honest, it still is. During my A Levels, I studied two Art & Design subjects and tried to see what I had to do in order to become an architect for myself. Unfortunately, you had to be really good at maths to even get a place. So that was one of my dreams crushed. And one I believe that I would really have enjoyed. Maybe the reality wouldn’t have been as cool as I thought it was…who knows? I still love watching Grand Designs and creating my own buildings on The Sims – and that’s good enough for me.
  4. An Archaeologist. I used to love watching Time Team with my mum growing up. Sometimes it bored me, but other times I would be so interested in the things they discovered. I have always loved history and being in a job that involves working with real pieces of history was something that I knew I would love to do. Of course, this dream job wasn’t a big dream of mine, just one that I considered while I was at school. I still think about a job in history now. My degree in English focused on a lot of history, even public history: I wrote another blog about the memoirs of a person who was born in the 1800s. I loved every second of writing about his life for all to read. A job in public history is still something I would be interested in doing – but jobs like that are few and far between, unfortunately.
  5. A Magazine Editor/ Full-Time Writer. Ok. So this has been my ultimate dream job since I watched 13 Going on 30 and The Devil Wears Prada. I have read the I heart Paris, and I heart New York books by Lindsey Kelk, and dreamed of being a writer for a glamorous publication. I wanted to write about beauty, fashion, travel, books, and relationships, all while being paid for it and having my own sparkly office. Yes, this is still a massive dream of mine – but it also isn’t realistic. The magazine industry isn’t as thriving as it once was, now that digital has taken over. All the routes into this kind of job are very competitive, and you have to either have to work for free at an internship – which not everyone can afford, since it will most likely have to be in London (pretty much all magazine companies are), or you have to be so lucky to know someone who works there. I do not. I know that there are smaller publications to gain experience from, but even with this experience, it seems like the magazine industry is just too competitive to even get a full-time job in. Now, you have to settle for freelance work with the possibility of waiting weeks to get paid. I just think that, for now, blogging fulfills some of my passions for writing. Anyway, I would have to move to London to get anywhere near the success that I want in this type of profession. Right now, that just isn’t something I can do. Maybe in the future, once I have found a different way to earn a steady income, then I may chase my dreams of becoming a full-time writer in London (Or I may realise that the cost of living just isn’t worth it – paying more than double the rent for a small room or flat that’s not even in the centre? I don’t think so).

    person using green typewriter on brown wooden surface
    Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com
  6. Author. Similar to my dream of being a magazine editor and writer, I have always thought of writing my own book and having it published. This is definitely something I can still do, in the comfort of my own home and in my spare time. The only problem is, it can take years to write the perfect book – and whether it sells enough to become a full-time author is a different question. Nonetheless, coming to terms with the fact that I may have to keep my dream of being a writer as a hobby or part-time commitment, while fulfilling a different career, has given me a little more comfort. I have now realised that I can still be a writer, while also working in a different career or job until I “make it” – if that ever happens.

In conclusion, I have realised that we can be many things throughout life. In my case, I can write, draw, design, and fulfill all of my interests and passions in my spare time. I do not need to do them in a job. If I happen to find myself in a career that does allow me to do these things, then that will be perfect, but for now, I just need to realise that I don’t have to get my career right the first time. I can change and try new things. We all can!

I really hope you enjoyed reading this. If you have any comments about careers or what you wanted to be growing up, then please let me know below! xo

 

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My University Experience: Part Two

Hey everyone,

I know that I haven’t posted in a while, but here I am with the second part to my university experience series. Many of you may be already back at university now, or just starting off, or simply reminiscing on the good old days – in which case, I can relate. Whatever you may be currently doing, I hope you enjoy reading about my university experiences – I will discuss dealing with workload, lectures, student life, flatmates and my graduation. Enjoy!

In part one I left you all with my moving in day experience. I focused on this for part one because it really was an important day for me, and the beginning of an amazing three years that I will never forget. University, as some may say, is the time when many young adults, or at least in my case, move away from home for the first time. This allows for complete independence. For me, university was the stepping stone needed in order to learn about myself and who I was outside of my family home. I felt free and able to be who I wanted. Yes, I was very nervous, but also very excited to be able to live away as an adult – although, let’s face it, university does not completely prepare you for adult life, it is a mere gateway into it.

Anyway, throughout my first and second years, university allowed me to learn in a way that was different to school and college. We were expected to research everything on our own and become self-starting. We had to find books in the library and online to support our own arguments, rather than using what the tutor had given us. This may sound very daunting, but really, it was amazing. I was able to focus my assignments on what I wanted, while also using my own independent research. Yes, it was difficult, but I enjoyed this new way of learning. Sometimes, being told what to use or discuss in essays did not help me in school. I much preferred to learn by doing it myself.

Life in halls and living with my new friends

Living away from home had its ups and downs. It was better living away in a new city than at home, yes. However, living with other people can be and was challenging at times – especially when your housemates have different ideas of what “clean” is. Countless rotas made for taking out the bins, to-do lists on the fridge, rotas for doing housework and buying supplies, all failed miserably. When people fail to clean up after themselves, it can begin to get tiring and very frustrating. However, the best thing about uni is that we all have our own bedrooms to go back to when everything can get a little much. And I certainly loved to know that it was always kept clean, no matter how untidy the kitchen got. Now, I’m no Monica, but I do enjoy a little cleanliness and tidiness now and again- is it really too much to ask?!

The good thing about living with your new uni friends however, is the countless “we should really be in the library but we are having a cosy movie night” nights, and the cold “2:00 am flat trips to the library, because you spent all evening watching a film” nights, as well as the “this is way more exciting than it should be” trips to the nearby supermarket to get food and cleaning supplies. Your flatmates really do become your second family while at university, and I miss every minute of it.

Lectures and workload

While I was at university, I did worry about the workload. I was a little scared that I would easily fall behind on the large amount of assignments that I had due in. This quickly became something that I was no longer worried about. I was an organised person anyway, and still am, so I never wanted to leave everything too late. Even when the work piled up and deadlines approached, all I had to do was give myself enough time every day to do my work. If I stuck to it, then everything was fine.

If you’re struggling with deadlines and workload, my advice would be to make sure that you give yourself enough time every day – morning or evening – to finish your work. Make sure that you also schedule time in for a break. This could man giving yourself time to watch some Netflix, or time to just relax. This way, you can give yourself a treat for every hour or two that you do work. It worked for me and when I spent hours and hours in the library with no distractions, it meant that I could go home guilt-free knowing that I was able to do whatever I wanted. Trust me, start your work early and you will thank yourself. Another tip, find where you work the best. This could be in your room, in a coffee shop, or in the library.

Final year 

The third and final year of an undergraduate degree must be the strangest year of them all. You are finishing off all of your hard work, completing a degree, and becoming a real adult – almost. It must be amazing, right? Wrong. No matter what anyone says, stepping into university in the September of your final year at university has to be up there with one of the worst feelings ever. It’s like leaving high school all over again. It “all counts now”, you have to actually do your best work, no messing around, this. is. it. Unless of course, you’re one of the smug ones doing a Master’s. Yes, we are all jealous. No more freshers weeks. You of course try to relive freshers again, but it isn’t the same no matter how much you pretend. Growing up and becoming an adult is not fun at all.

Exciting times ahead, yes, getting that career and becoming who you really want to be is all very exciting. That’s what we all go to university for, right? Yes, all very true – but there is something very bitter-sweet about your final year at university. Everything you do becomes a “last time doing this” or a “I will miss this”. Who knew you could miss the library when leaving university? It happens. Now that I have graduated, I really do miss those strange sleeping patterns produced by late-nights in the library and random weekday nights out. Alas, university does not last and it isn’t really what real life is like, sadly.

Graduation day

This was the most exciting and proud day of my life. I had just completed three years of my degree and I was ready for my next stage in life. I had never thought this day would come. Honestly, I never thought university would end. It wasn’t all tears, though. When I arrived I began to see my fellow classmates, the ones I had met at the beginning of the three years and spent each lecture with. We were all graduating and moving onto the next chapter. I collected my gown, had a glass of sparking wine, took plenty of photos, and proceeded to my graduation ceremony. In the ceremony, each row was called out to the front for their names to be called out – we had to walk across a stage and shake the hands of some important people, and then sit back in our seats. Three years, all over in the blink of an eye. If there’s one piece of advice I can give anyone starting university, it is to enjoy every minute of it. Go out when all you want to do is relax, enjoy the independence, work hard and get along with everyone no matter how annoying they may be. You will miss being there when you’re in the car or on the train home after moving out all of your belongings for the last time. It may be hard at times, but trust me, you will miss it when you are back home and back to real life.