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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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