I seem to have read a few posts recently about the end of college or university. http://whitepicketdreams.wordpress.com/2011/05/05/and-just-like-that-college-is-over/ This post was freshly pressed yesterday and it took me back to the end of my uni days in 2004.
When I left University I literally had no clue what to do next. My degree was sociology – an arts degree which meant you could use it for pretty much anything and with nod desire to go on to do a PHD, I left with no firm plans and a high student loan (which never seems to get paid off!) Looking back, I don’t think I was that scared. This was before all the finance crisis and diminishing jobs so I felt like I would get something great once I figured out what it was.
As I was leaving, I did what most graduates do and applied for lots of graduate jobs in big name companies and in the public sector – civil service etc with no real passion to do any of them but just a hope they’d lead me on to something. I didn’t get far with any of them probably due to this lack of enthusiasm and so ended up in a retail job just to give me some money.
One of my past posts shows you want I wanted to be when I was younger but I found actually out there in the real world, you’re really unprepared for the reality of chosing a career. There isn’t much help. Sure my Uni had a careers centre but no one to say to me – this is what you’d be good at. And how do you really know until you’re doing it? They don’t really prepare you for life after Uni, they wave you off clutching your degree probably laughing at how much they got out of you.
In the end I went back to one of my passions – reading and writing. Where does that happen – publishing! I had to started out doing unpaid work and ended up not at a book publisher but at a B2B one but it lead me into human resources, which I broadly enjoy and got me thinking about writing myself. And I think that’s the problem with careers – if you don’t have a dream job, one that you’re passionate about, a vocation I suppose, it’s so hard to choose your path.
I know now that my dream is to publish my own novel one day and until then I will continue to do the work that I do. I can’t believe it’s been 7 years since I left university – I don’t feel like a fully fledged adult yet and even though career wise I’m on the fence about whether it actually helped me, it was a good experience and hopefully one day I’ll get invited back as a famous author guest speaker 🙂
Did you go to University / college? Did it help choose your career?