“What are your plans for after university”

You see, I have this problem.
I don’t know what I want to do after I leave university. I don’t even know what field I want to go into after university.
Sure, I’m studying psychology, but it’s a subject that can be applied to multiple areas.
That doesn’t exactly help me narrow it down a whole lot…

There are some people, you know those people, who seem to have had their lives planned out since playschool.
And then there’s me….

Rory life plans gif

The gaping big hole of the ‘unknown’ after university is something that I’ve come to terms with. Mostly. Occasionally I feel terror creeping in when I see people bragging on Facebook about all their amazing internships and how they’ve got their dream jobs secured before they’ve even finished, but mostly I feel curiosity and a nervous hopefulness about what’s going to come next. You see, because I don’t know what I want to do, I don’t have the pressure or fear that comes with trying to achieve it, at the moment life is all possibility. And that’s okay with me.

Unfortunately, this answer doesn’t satisfy most people.

In every direction I turn, I find myself being faced with the same question from family, lecturers, friends, acquaintances, even random people I’ve only just met.
It’s the question dreaded by students everywhere.

“So *insert name here*, what are your plans for after university?”

*Aims dagger stares. Crushes person with mind.*

Okay, okay, so it’s a pretty standard question, and one that’s bound to come up in conversation, especially during small talk. But it’s also one that when asked repeatedly strikes fear into my heart because I don’t have a plan, and that’s scary. Worse still, when I tell someone this I can practically hear crickets and FEEL THE JUDGEMENT.

And god forbid if you dare say anything like ‘I just really want to be happy with what I do next’ or ‘I just want to take it easy for a while’ or even ‘I might just get a non-degree related job for a bit’ because what’s the point of going to university and putting yourself in tonnes of debt if you don’t instantly get a high paid job and conquer the universe?

judging you

I’ve had to deal with this question from the first year of my degree, but now it’s gotten to the point where I’m asked this on a daily basis. Not only does that make it repetitive and extremely annoying, it also makes me feel like I am somehow a failure of a human because I DON’T HAVE A LIFE PLAN FOR POST UNIVERSITY TO RETIREMENT AND THEN THE AFTERLIFE.

So, in order to combat this problem, I started making up all sorts of silly answers  – sometimes saying them out loud, sometimes keeping them to myself depending on how brave I was feeling on said day when the question came up. I started playing this little game to prevent me from causing bodily harm (it’s possible I have a violent streak, at least in my head). So, I thought I would put them on a blog post, thinking some other people out there might relate, be struggling with the same problems OR just find it kinda funny! So here we go, here are my post-university plans!

post university plans

1. blue
I’m starting a cat farm.

2. green
I’m training to become a dragon rider.

3. blue
A wise wizard is teaching me a rare form of meditation where if you work at it
hard enough you can enter a book and visit your favourite story, but it takes
a lifetime to master.

4. green
I’m going to join the circus.

5. blue
I hear prison food is pretty good.

6. green
I shall infiltrate a pack of zedonks in the hope that they accept me as
their own.

7. blue
I’m currently planning a trip to Middle-earth, I’ve head Smeagol’s a bit of a partyer
on the quiet, plus he knows where all the cave raves are and I’ve heard he can
down 30 jagerbombs in a row.

8. green
I’m going to retire, REALLY early. Like, now.

9. blue
I’m planning to remain unemployed for the rest of my life so that I stink
of untapped potential and disappointment.

10. green
Brb, can’t answer your question right now, I have to go save the world from the
impending apocalypse.

So, the thing to take away from this post? At the end of the day, most third year students and graduates don’t know what they want to do at the end of their university degree, and frankly, that’s kind of scary. The unknown is scary, but it can also be exciting and liberating if you look at it the right way. Yes, thinking about the practicalities of life aka, money, is important, but the point is, you don’t have to have it figured out immediately.
So next time you have a conversation with a final year student, do them the favour and avoid the ‘what are you going to do after university’ question. 😉

~ * ~

So, if you’ve made it through this rambly post, did you have an after university plan? Did you end up with the career you were expecting? Do you freak out when you don’t have a goal or do you feel excited when exploring the unknown? Let me know in the comments!

49 thoughts on ““What are your plans for after university”

  1. Dear Becky:

    First, please take several deep breaths and ignore everyone’s questions regarding your future. Ignore the grand posts on facebook from people talking about their promising careers and futures. Ignore their judgement. Nobody’s life is perfect and most of those people will find out that their ideal job, internship, or career wasn’t what they thought it would be and they will ultimately be miserable, but they will never let you know that because people HATE to be wrong and show weakness. Unless you’re like Sherlock Holmes you’ll have a hard time detecting their unhappiness and lies.

    Taking the time to relax and discover what you truly want to do is wise. People these days rush through life without thinking and that always leads to mistakes. Trust me. This is coming from a person who works with University students on a daily (weekends included) basis. They are always rushing and always making mistakes.

    I graduated from my university a couple years ago with a plan to write a novel reflecting on my past experiences as a student and as an employee at the same university. I wrote one manuscript and now I’m working on a second one.

    I never intended to be a writer. It happened during my last years at my university because I realized I enjoyed studying people and writing about them. Once I realized that, I found a job at my university and a place to live and here I am writing a second manuscript and hoping to get an agent to sell my work when I go to a conference this July. I don’t know if my book will ever get published. I don’t know if I’ll ever be a published author, but I’m willing to try this because I have faith in my skills. You are also a writer and an avid reader (the most important skills I believe a person should have). You have an eye for detail (another important skill many people lack). Perhaps you should consider writing something or become a literary agent? Regardless, have faith in your skills as a writer and a reader. Trust yourself.

    Long story short, don’t let other people make you feel bad with questions like, “What are you doing with your life now?” or “What are your plans after you graduate?” Even adults don’t know what they want to do with their lives. They pretend very well, but really nobody knows what they want. (That’s part of the reason why the world is full of so many troubles and sorrows. People think they know, but they don’t). You can plan all you want, but life will never follow your plan.

    Take time to relax, write, read, observe and keep your heart open for possibilities. And you’ll know, (TRUST ME), you will know what you want to do. It will come to you if you pay attention. Don’t rush like everyone else or you’ll end up like everyone else.

    Also, people keep asking me what I’m doing with my life too. It is annoying, but I answer, “I’m writing a book,” and then I move along and keep on writing. Focus on your life. Don’t think about the others.

    Please keep reading and posting. I look forward to more posts from you,

    Dreamers Spirit.

    • Hi Dreamer Spirit!

      First off, thank you for the kind words and the lovely comment!

      You bring up a lot of really great points. I must admit it is difficult when people have so many expectations of what you should be doing after you finish university and most of the time I do try and ignore them! After a while it does start to wear you down though but you’re right, why should we worry about what other people think? What’s most important is being happy with yourself.

      I agree wholeheartedly with your point about people rushing into things, that’s exactly what I want to avoid! I would hate to pick something simply for the sake of it, only to spend a lot of time effort – and possibly money for more education to realise that it wasn’t what I wanted. I think stopping for a while to get some perspective and consider my options is a good thing, and I will just have to ignore other people’s judgment faces!

      I like the sound of your novel idea, it sounds really interesting and I bet a lot of people would be interested in reading that. 🙂 And it’s so interesting that after graduating you were able to work at the same university, it must be fun watching all the students go through the same highs and lows of university life that you went through.

      That’s so great that you discovered you loved writing and became passionate about it. I hope the conference goes well and best of luck with your writing! I think it’s great that you’re pursuing your dream even knowing how much of an uphill battle publishing can be. Awwh, thank you so much. You’re too kind! But I will take your advice: I will trust myself, and try to remember that. 🙂

      The older I get, the more I realise that’s true and you put it so well, anyone would think you were a writer or something. Pfft. 🙂

      That is great advice, I really hope I will know when I find the right thing!

      I will definitely keep reading and posting, thanks Dreamers Spirit!

  2. That’s actually a very good list and I’d recommend any suggestion that has the word ‘Smeagol’ somewhere in amongst everything else.

    I didn’t go to university, but that doesn’t change the fact that my plan for post-college life began and ended with ‘go fulltime at the furniture shop I was working part time for’.

    Plans are bollocks and all those people on Facebook talking about their internships are either lying or are just woefully naive. Or possibly they’ve got wealthy or well-connected parents who are parachuting them into a position that would otherwise be closed to them.

    I’ve been in IT now for something like 20 years but none of it was really planned. I always had this vague idea that I wanted to do something that involved computers, if only because it was just about the only thing I was any good at! But beyond that I had no idea what I would actually be doing, so I was at the mercy of the employment agency when I first started looking for one.

    After that, it got a bit easier, but each time I wanted to move on I was back to square one with not having any kind of plan or real idea of where I was going to go.

    I think you’ll find most people are the same, so ignore those bullish posts on Facebook.

    • Haha, Smeagol is the best.

      I think it’s always nice to have a plan, and that’s why people become so set on them. With the realities of money and finding a way to support how you want to live I think it somehow makes people feel better if they have something to work towards. Personally, as someone who has always had a next ‘step’ planned out in education it does seem nice to have a bit more freedom to decide for a change!
      Hahaa! I like your assessment.

      Hey, computers are where it’s at! We’re so reliant on them now that it’s a pretty good field to go into (from what I gather). Ahh, employment agencies, good times.

      Thank you for the advice, Cargill! I will take that on board. Facebook is naff anyway.

  3. I might just have to start using some of those answers myself! I used to be one of those people who had it all planned out: I was going to become a veterinarian and open my own practice. Well, now that I’m in my 4th year of university, I’ve realized that my GPA is good but I don’t have enough experience to have a “competitive” application in Canada… and international options are way too expensive. It’s kind of scary trying to find a back-up plan, but without that big realization, I wouldn’t have learned that I really like environmental toxicology and doing laboratory research – both of which could be viable career options.

    The advice that I’ve been given (that might work for you, too) is not to worry about the unknown – focus on what you’re interested in and what you like, and the rest will come. 🙂

    • Hahaa, glad you liked them, Erin!
      Wow, that must have been so hard, actually knowing what you wanted to do and then having the accept the realities of achieving it. But I’m so glad because of that you realised you had a love for laboratory research. When things happen like that it can almost seem like fate, or as if something happened for a reason. 🙂 Well done for getting through it, I think that’s incredibly brave! I wish you the best of luck with your future studies.

      Thank you for the advice, those are wise words indeed. I will make sure to remember them. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by to share your experiences!

  4. When I finished Uni, I didn’t really have a clue what I was going to do with four years of computing knowledge stuck in my head (Plus two years of HND and another two of A-Level…).

    Then a premises officer friend said the school he worked at needed their computers fixed, would I take a look?

    That was 1998, and I’m still basically doing the same thing – just a lot more pay and more stability to is these days. It’s a job I sometimes hate, but no job is perfect. Then there are times when something simple makes someone’s day, when I can give some of my education back to making kid’s education a bit easier.

    Here’s hoping you fall into something you love, rather than rush into something you regret.

    • ….and just like that, you fell into something that worked! I think that is so often how these kinds of things work out. An opportunity comes along that usually determines your life path – or at least your job path. I hope that I’ll find something like that, but the job market it pretty tough these days so who knows.

      I think everyone hates their job at some point! But I really hope I can end up doing something I at least slightly love or enjoy doing on a regular basis. Fingers crossed!

      Thank you, Tony. 🙂 That’s what I’m crossing my fingers for!

  5. I LOVE your answers! 🙂

    Taking the time to find something that you REALLY want to do is an extremely smart decision! Making a decision because you feel like you should ultimately won’t make you happy. I hope you find something that you truly love! 🙂

    • Thank you, Katherine!

      I’m glad you feel that way too, that’s my main reason for not jumping into anything straight away, but it’s funny how other people are so dead set against that idea or don’t find it a satisfying answer!

      I hope so too. 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  6. I currently have a degree in Writing. There weren’t many people who asked me what I was going to do after university because, quite frankly, they all knew I’d struggle finding degree related work. I never had a concrete plan for after university until my last semester and that plan was … more university. I’ll be going back next year (I took this year off) to study psychology. So much more studying to go!

    • Wow, really? I suppose there is that stigma attached to studying a subject like writing or English where people don’t expect you to come out of it with useful skills that can be applied. I think people forget how integral being able to write well is! We use it every day and I think it should be important to the work environment.
      Eeep, good luck with furthering your education! Personally I’ve had enough of essays to last me a lifetime and am feeling burnt out. You must be really driven to go back so soon! I hope you love psychology, it’s an awesome subject. 🙂

      • Yep, that’s exactly the argument I use! Good language opens so many doors! For example, good grammar gets me so many extra marks in my psych essays. Wait, I should explain, I’ve already done a year of psych. I actually got pulled up a few times for the WAY I write. You know how journals are damn near impossible to read? Yeah, I got in trouble for my essays being EASY to read. Go figure.
        Can’t wait to go back! But yeah, essays are the devil haha

      • Oh yeah, definitely because part of your marks are based on style!

        HA! NO WAY. That’s ridiculous. Although I totally understand what you mean, some journals are so complicated they’re like reading Latin so the key is to make it simple enough so that people understand what you’re talking about but also complicated enough to sound good and intelligent and prove you know what you’re talking about. Not that they want much from us or anything. 😛 If you need any psych tips at any point, feel free to shoot them in my direction. Good luck!

  7. What do you mean “after” university? I’ll just stay a student for the rest of my life. WHAT DO YOU MEAN THAT’S NOT AN OPTION.

    Nah seriously though, I feel ya. I study Interdisciplinary American Studies right now, so whenever I tell someone what I do they just stare at me blankly and ask “Um… okay. What can you do with that?” That’s usually the point in the conversation when I say I’ll go back to working at McDonald’s or become a taxi driver, because De Niro was so inspiring in the movie (okay, I just made the part about De Niro up, but you were talking about a violent streak, so my mind went there).

    I do find it all a little scary, but mainly just because I KNOW I’d never be happy in a 9 to 5 (not hating on the idea, it’s just not for me at all), and I don’t really know a lot of feasible alternatives. It IS nice to have options though. I want to do my Master’s in Media Studies if I get in anyway, so that changes things up a little again too. So no, no current plans whatsoever, but we’ll see!

    • Ahahaaa, you seriously cracked me up!!! Maybe we could just be those people who do degrees, then masters, then PHDs and then become lectures and so never leave student land, LOL.

      Ahhh, don’t you just love that? *Stares daggers.* Why are people so judgemental? Why is it even any of their business what you study and what you’re going to do with it? UMPHH. Ooooh, oooh! I LOVE your responses and heck yeah, I’m totally gunna have to try that De Niro one. I bet their faces were priceless!

      Ohh yes, it is definitely scary. Not knowing where you’re life is going, the fear of ending up in a job you’re unhappy with. That is quite difficult to navigate… have you ever considered looking at jobs that would allow you to travel around a lot? That way it might be 9-5 but they might be in interesting places!

      I hope you find what you’re looking for, Vlora, and that the media course goes well. We can face the scary unknown together! 🙂

  8. I feel your pain, I heard this question literally every minute of my third year. Honestly, I didn’t know what I wanted to do before I even went to uni! Life post uni is hard, but it is made easier by not pressurising yourself into trying to jump into a career, you’re young, you have time. And like F Scott Fitzgerald says, “for what it is worth, its never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.” basically, you have your whole life to figure our what you want to do and its a shame that people forget that life is the longest thing they will ever do. Whatever you decide, I just hope it gives you pleasure!

    • Aggh, not you too! It’s infuriating isn’t it? It’s gotten to the point where I just want to slap people and yell COME UP WITH SOMETHING MORE ORIGINAL.

      Ohh wow, I adore that quote, Fitzgerald is a genius. Thank you for sharing it. 🙂 I’m definitely going to remember that one. It even makes me feel slightly teary – in a good way!

      Thank you so much, Leah. 🙂

    I think it’s awesome that you are not very sure what you want to do. Love your life, take chances because sometimes having your mind set on one certain thing can limit you from enjoying everything else in your life! There is literally SO MUCH you can do, so I say, do not limit yourself! Find what you’re passionate about, the things you are particularly interested in and take steps towards those things! I’m currently in my last year of high school and although I know what I’m going to do in University, which is writing, it’s very broad so I have the opportunity to go float around and explore my options! And I like it that way!

      Awh, really? Thank you. 🙂 Yes, that’s so true. Sometimes you can spend your life being so determined to follow one path that you completely miss another opportunity you hadn’t considered that could be just as great! I want to be open to possibilities, and who knows where that will lead. There are probably jobs out there I’ve never even realised exist! Great advice and you’ve put it so well. 🙂

      Best of luck with finishing high school and starting university, it must be a really exciting time for you right now! I’m sure you will do great on a writing course with your love of books.

  10. Glad that you are approaching this topic with humor and positivity! I agree that our society sometimes operates in a way that assumes that we all should have our lives planned out since day one, and I disagree with that idea, because spontaneity and living in the moment are both valuable assets that make the ride much more enjoyable. Psychology can be applied in so many areas, and it would be a shame for you to just arbitrarily choose one profession or career over another because you felt like you had to; it inspires me that you are giving yourself the necessary time to explore and think things through before making any decisions. Hope that the intersections between psychology and writing have proven fruitful to you and as a fellow Psych major, I look forward to reading more of your perspective and your wit. (:

    • It definitely does. Our society is built on the idea that we should plan everything and that there’s a set path which we should take – education, more education, university, stable job etc., normally followed by buying a house, starting a family and so on! And if you’re someone who doesn’t conform to that idea somehow it’s a big deal to a lot of people and they feel that you should be somehow unhappy or inadequate because you haven’t taken that set route – when sometimes it simply isn’t what a person wants!
      That’s the thing that I’m struggling with because psychology can be applied to so many areas (that are also all interesting areas) it seems impossible to choose one path! And then there’s my love of books to consider as well and whether I should try and do something geared towards that. So many possibilities!

      Awh, thank you, Thomas. 🙂

  11. To be honest I had a “dream” after university plan, but because life happens things don’t always go way you want it to. I haven’t hit the one year (after graduation) mark yet, but not being in school terrifies me. I always thought about it in the back of my mind senior year, but the day after I graduated it really sunk in. I was like “what do I do now?”
    Honestly, I try to take it one day at a time. I know my dream job of working in publishing won’t come to me in a day, and that I’m going to really have to work for it. So I’ll prepare till that opportunity arises, and I’ll be ready for it.
    I feel you though, I get irritated that some people what are you going to do now/or do you have a job (in your career) they instantly seem disappointed or become disinterested. The job field, for anyone now, is a competitive field and no one hands out jobs anymore. But don’t be discouraged and “don’t stop believin’ ” (in the words of journey).
    Good luck with whatever you want to do in the future. And don’t sweat it when people give you a hard time because you’re unsure of what to do. 🙂

    • Awh no, I’m so sorry to hear that things haven’t gone quite as you hoped. But seeing as you haven’t hit the one year after graduating mark yet you’ve still got the rest of your life to figure out how to get that dream job! (Congrats on graduating by the way that’s amazing). Publishing is an awesome area to go into – it’s something I’m interested in as well. That’s one of the things I need to decide – whether to use my psychology degree the way I originally intended or to follow my other passion for books when I have no related experience or degree to back me up! It’s a toughie.
      Yes, that’s exactly what I struggle with! People have preconceived ideas and when you don’t meet them they give you ‘the look’ like you’re somehow failing as a human being, ha!

      Thank you so much! Best of luck to you in getting that job as well. 🙂

  12. Oooh Becky I hear you! I’m 24 and in my final year of my Masters of Publishing and while I KNOW what I want to do when I finish, it’s also a pretty impossible field to get into. So at the end of the year, my future will largely be continue to work in my part-time pharmacy job while doing lots of unpaid interning at publishing houses until hopefully, finally, one of them takes me on for a measly minimum paid wage. Which sucks, considering many of my friends have started their careers but as my mum likes to remind me ‘if you wanted to be a real estate agent, you’d already be there. you just managed to pick something that would be a bit more difficult.’ sigh. Sorry about the rant. I’m sure whatever you do with yourself will be fine, and not doing much for a year or two doesn’t actually make you a failure – not many people know what they want to do straight away, and I think even less get there straight from uni.

    Also, just try to ignore the people who say ‘what are you doing after uni?’ Its kind of the equivalent of ‘when are you and you bf going to get married?’ question I get all the time. Enraging, yes. But also pretty harmless (plus, you can always set your dragons on them in need be).

    • *High five for sharing the pain!*
      Ahh yes, it’s so difficult when you have official skills for a specific job but then you go back to doing the same kind of work you always have – especially as other people expect you to move onto bigger and better things! Publishing is a great area to go into (because the books, duh!). I would love to take a Masters in it simply out of curiosity, I’m always interested in how the marketing and publishing of books works. 🙂 I hope you manage to get the lucky break you deserve. 🙂 No worries, rant away!

      HAHA. That is so true. There’s always that one annoying question you’re asked in life, and just as soon as you complete one another crops up.

      Good idea, I’m totally setting my dragons on them. 🙂

  13. I LOVE this post. I graduated about a year ago and all people ever ask me is what I’ve done the past year, since I haven’t fallen into a determined “career path” yet. And it’s hard to convey all of the meaningful things I’ve done- traveled a bit, worked part time, grown my blog, taken grad school entrance exams, and really just taking time for ME to decompress after 4 years of undergrad. I’m still not quite sure what I want to do (and it’s still a bit scary) but I’ve had a lot of really great fulfilling and meaningful times this past year and that’s been important! I’m glad you’re approaching this with such a good attitude despite your frustrations, and make sure you do take some time this year to relax- you deserve it!

    • Thanks, Cristina! Sorry to hear that you relate all too well to this scenario as well. Exactly! Even if you feel that you’ve achieved really important things if it’s not job-related it’s like it doesn’t have merit to other people. It reminds me of the quote “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” It sounds like you’ve had a great time over the past year since you’ve finished, I hope I will be able to make my free time just as satisfying and worthwhile. 🙂

      Thank you!

  14. Personally I think no. 3 is very, very cool. 😉

    Here’s the thing, no matter what you do, people will always have one annoying question to ask – “What are your plans?” or “When will you get a raise/promotion?” or “When will you get married?” or “Why aren’t you married yet?” or “When will you have kids?” or… well, the list goes on. I’ve learned to tune everyone out. Most of the time I smile and say, “We’ll see what happens.”

    I didn’t have a plan after university, and for some time that made me feel really depressed. I like having something to do. I like being part of something. So when school let out I felt aimless. For a few months I just flopped around and did nothing. Then I started job hunting. Sure, my field is a bit more precise (translation), but the market was tough, especially for new graduates. It took me a good few months to land a job. I didn’t like that job. And that’s when I made the decision that I will never do something I don’t like, not even for a large sum of money. After I left that job more opportunities presented themselves before me. I was doing stuff I liked. Sure they were not one of my dream jobs (traditionally published author and/or chocolate test taster), but they got me by.

    What I’m trying to say is… just wing it. Do what you think is right. Sure you might stumble and get into jobs you’ll hate, but it’s all part of the process! 🙂

    • Hahaa, me too! If only, eh?

      That is so true, you’re right! And even if you can finally answer one question then you’re faced with another one to annoy you, grr. Tuning people out is definitely a skill I need to learn. Hey, I should add it to my things I’m doing after uni list. 😉

      It’s good to know that I’m not the only one who jumped into post-uni life without a plan. To be honest, I’m one of those people who likes to have a plan too so I think if I was floating around life with nothing to do for too long I would feel exactly the same way. Agh yes, the market is tough for all jobs these days it seems, even if you want to work in a supermarket. *Sigh.* Wow, that’s so brave of you, I hope I have the courage to do that if I ever end up in a job I dislike. Well done you! I hope you manage to get one of your dream jobs one day. 🙂

      Just wing it. Got it. Thanks Zen, I think trusting in yourself is always a good move!

  15. Ooh, ooh, I want to be a dragon rider too :). But seriously, what’s the rush? Coming from a person who never had a plan and jumped into a uni program that I ended up quitting, I totally understand what you’re going through. I hated the people who knew exactly what they wanted to do. It was like they were born knowing exactly how their lives would play out. I didn’t have a clue. It is only now (and I’m turning 50 this year) that I have realized I should have listened to my heart and done something with books, like work for a publishing company or in a library. My job has been ok and allowed me to stay close to my kids when they needed me which is all I really cared about then, but I really wish I had a job that I loved. I really think you need to tell everyone else to shut the hell up, take your time, and find something that you really enjoy if you can, a job that you’ll wake up every morning excited to go to. Unfortunately, we don’t all find something like that, but if you can take the time to be patient and really look around, I say do it!! Find your dream :).

    • Hahaa, I thought you might. 😉
      I like your thinking, Cindy! It is hard not to be even just a little bit jealous of those people who have always known what they wanted to do with their careers, ohh how I wish I could be like that! But at the same time it can be a curse as well, because what if you realise you can’t pursue that career path for some reason? Whether it’s because you don’t have the experience or the grades or the ability. Then what would you do? You’d be crushed!
      I think you would have been brilliant at anything book related, but I’m sure you’re just as good at what you do now, even if it’s not a full-on passion. 🙂

      Hahaaaaa! I LOVE IT. Now, why didn’t I think of that? I would love to find a career that I would find enjoyable, but I also know most people don’t find that, so I guess I’ll keep my fingers crossed! Thank you, Cindy. 🙂

      • That’s a very good point. Maybe when a person decides at a very young age what they want to be, it causes them to eliminate options which they may end up needing. We may think we’ll be good at something, but you never know. Take Bryan, for instance. He thought he wanted to work with computers, but when he took his first programming course, which he was required to take even though he wanted to work with hardware not software, he couldn’t grasp it and actually failed the course. So, he thought about the courses he did excel at, which were all to do with electrical concepts, and he switched to an electrical technician course, and he just graduated with honours! He is even receiving an award. Now he can look for an apprenticeship and become an electrician! So, you may have to try a few jobs before you find the one that clicks for you, but I have no doubt you will do amazing things with your life :).

        One final thought about people who know what they want to be. Have you ever wondered how people pick the really bizarre careers. I mean, how the hell does someone know they want to be a cytotechnologist for instance? I just pulled that one off of the internet, but I had never heard of it before. I bet you’re looking it up right now aren’t you? LOL But there’s some kid out there in high school who goes to her guidance counsellor and asks what courses she should take in order to be a cytotechnologist. All I can say is WTF? 🙂

      • Exactly! And someone may romanticise a particular career path, spend their whole life trying to achieve it only to realise it’s not what they thought it would be or find that they don’t enjoy it for various reasons. That’s a really interesting story about Bryan and it sounds like it was really important for him to take the time to try out working with computers to realise it wasn’t for him. Sometimes changing your mind and choosing a different path can be scary so I always think it’s really brave when someone does that! I’m so glad he got on better with the electrician course. 🙂

        N’aww thanks, Cindy, your confidence makes me feel more confident!

        Yes I have! There are so many bizarre careers out there we don’t even realise exist and it’s like, how did someone end up doing that? How did they decide they wanted to do that?
        Look it up? Work in that career path? I can’t even flippin’ spell it LOL.

  16. I’ve been done with school for a year now and I still don’t have a plan. I’m just working a basic job while trying to find a job I would love to do. Don’t worry about anyone else, just do what makes you happy. The worst thing you can do is fall to the pressure and end up forcing yourself into something you don’t want.

    • That’s exactly what I plan to do as well. Work a normal, bog standard job while I try to work out a plausible career path that I can aim for and might find enjoyable! Awwh, thank you. 🙂 You know what? I think happiness is severely underrated in our society. BRING THE HAPPINESS BACK I SAY.

      I hope you find the job you’re looking for as well. 🙂 We can do it!

  17. I totally understand. I went through the same after graduating, not just the questions but also the admonition, “I hope you know what you’re going to do with that degree.” I didn’t. Sometimes I’d say I plan to run off and build a shack in the woods and live as a hermit with all my books (hiding from student loans). I’ve always sort of envied my schoolmates who know exactly what they want to do and go after it. But I followed my interests and eventually figured out what exactly I want to do and now I’m working in that field (sort of, I want to work at a book publisher but I write and edit at a newspaper so it’s close enough for now). So my advice is, if you can, follow your interests until you figure it out. Don’t pressure yourself, despite all the nagging from others.

    • Yes exactly! They put it in that way sometimes don’t they? You better know what you’re doing OR ELSE. Sigh. Oh my gosh, I love that! A shack in the woods for reading sounds pretty good to me! Definitely going to add that to my response list. 🙂
      It is difficult not to envy those who know what they want to do. Congrats for finally finding something in the area you’re passionate about, that’s amazing – even if you’re not quite where you want to be yet. I hope I will be able to do the same. 🙂

      Thank you!

  18. All this is true…. Don’t pressurize yourself too much. I think I am one of the few who knew what they wanted to do after Uni. I graduated last month n know I want to work and not study further. I knew the field I wanted to work in and only had to work out the dinner details. I start working in June. All this was possible though, only because I knew where my interests lay and why I wanted that specific job. Follow ur interests and hobbies. Since you like reading so much, you could pursue something related to journalism or book editing or something. …keep your mind open and you’ll figure it out 🙂

    • Wow, that’s awesome, good for you! It’s great if you do know what you can do because it prevents you from having to do too much soul searching and you (hopefully) don’t have to go through a lot of different jobs to find out what you like. June, wow, so soon. Good luck!
      Following interests and hobbies is great advice, thank you. 🙂 Going into something book related has definitely occurred to me, but then I am also interested in psychology and they’re both in such different directions!

      Thank you, I will. 🙂

  19. I graduated with a degree in Communications.
    I spent the following ten years working in restaurants in a variety of capacities.
    Now I work on computers where I get to sit, and sweat a lot less than when in a kitchen.

    Now, most of my communication consists of grunts and foul language.
    An education well deployed!

    • Communications, now there’s a degree I wasn’t even aware existed! I guess it’s quite a good one though because you could argue that every job requires communication – a little like psychology I guess!

      HAHA. Well deployed indeed. 🙂

  20. I’m on board with Point No 3.
    I was never a person who knew what I wanted to do with my life, and I still don’t! Keep breathing when they ask you, Becky, and try your best to curb the impulse to rake your nails down their face.

  21. I sincerely love the fact that you’ve written this post. FYI, I’m already doing all of the things that you mentioned in your post-uni plans, but keep it on the down low. And yes, Smeagol is a Jagerbomb fiend. And he’s partial to a bit of the old tequila too.

    My university degree was in a very general topic which clearly wasn’t going to lead anywhere, but I still did it anyway because it was something I enjoyed. Plus I didn’t have my shit together and I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, and I STILL DON’T. It’s caused me untold hours of anxiety and stress and arguments and self-hatred but I’ve just had to accept that I’m just not one of those people who immediately knows that they want to be an actor or a lawyer or a teacher. I’m a jack of all trades, master of none. Ah well.

    Even though I’ve gone back to college to study counselling, I’m still not 100% that it’s something I’m going to be doing long term. I’m indecisive, unsure of myself and it’s genuinely a scary prospect that I need to find an occupation that I will enjoy for the rest of my working life. I don’t want to settle, but I don’t know what I want either. It’s taken me years to realise that lots of people feel this way too!

    The worst thing is comparing myself to other people who appear to have their lives sorted. Good for them but that just ain’t me. Facebook is fabulous at making you feel good about yourself isn’t it?! Just remember that people who appear sorted often aren’t.

    Fuck it. Let’s start a colony that has LOTR, Harry Potter and GoT as its basis.

    • Yay, I’m so glad! I kept double guessing whether I actually wanted to post this, even up to the minute before it was going live. It feel weird posting about personal stuff sometimes and I’m never sure whether it will be interesting to others, but I figured a lot of people might relate to this one! Ahh, two steps ahead of me I see, this is why you’re awesome. 😉 Smeagol didn’t tell me about the tequila, must remember to mention it next time I see him.

      English is one of those tricky subjects that can be tough to pitch in an interview (or so people keep telling me) and it is difficult because there’s not set career path that follows! People don’t say that about psychology because it can be ‘applied to so many areas’. But in a way I feel I’m faced with the same problem BECAUSE it can be applied to so many areas but not a specific job path, it’s like, where do I start?!?!

      Ahh yes the self-hatred, I expect I’ll go through that stage and some point too, you wait and see. *Whispers* I don’t have my shit together either. Does anyone?

      I think the fact that you’ve gone back to education to try counselling is really inspiring! I know it may not seem like it to you, but I think it’s a huge positive step. Even if you decide it’s too harrowing for the long term or doesn’t suit you, just think of it as another thing to check off the ‘I don’t want to do’ list, which means you’re much closer to finding what you want to do!

      Ahh, I feel ya, I’m totally guilty of doing that and it makes you feel AWFUL. But not doing it is easier said than done. And yes, Facebook is brilliant for that you’re so right.

      Heck yeah! I’m your gal.

  22. Everyone who has said don’t worry about it is right. I didn’t end up in a degree related job, even after hanging around for a fourth year and doing a masters. For a decade or so, I’d always said I was going to be a teacher….got to the PGCE interview at the end of masters year and had an epiphany: I loved my subject, but didn’t really like kids that much. As I sat and looked at the people in the group around me I realised I wasn’t in the right place, so I left mid-session.

    I’ve ended up going into the industry that I had a part time role in to fund my masters (property management) and it uses all sorts of skills I picked up in my academic studies: research, document writing, analysis, psychology!!! (I manage large teams so dealing with people, understanding behaviour and motivations can be v helpful) I wouldn’t be good at one without the other… Experience and applied academic skills work hand in hand.

    I have a lot of respect for people who stick to their subject and work to get into industries…my sister temped for over a year at a job centre, post degree, whilst she looked for the right design role to match her degree. I also respect those with plans, without them and most things in between. I believe that as long as you’re doing something, anything, then you’re doing the right thing. Doing nothing is the only poor choice.

    I think middle-earth party planning sounds a good career, I’ll bet those Rohirin rider blokes can sink some ale and blast the karaoke. And if that fails, use your time turner to go back and try something else 😉

    • That’s really interesting that your job didn’t end up being degree related and that your part time job turned into a full-time one! It’s great that you found something you could apply your skills to that many people probably hadn’t thought of! I’m not dead set on getting a job related to psychology either, I just want to end up (if possible) doing something I enjoy. But I know a lot of people don’t end up with that luxary!

      I think so many people who aren’t sure what they want to do consider teaching at some point, but it’s a job you need to have a real passion for because it’s a lot of hard work, even if you do get long holidays. It certainly wouldn’t be right for me! I think it’s great that you were smart enough to realize you weren’t in the right place and to move on to something else.

      I completely agree with you! It doesn’t matter what you do or how you do it, as long as you’re doing something. That’s a great way of putting it. 🙂

      Hahaa, middle-earth part planning, brilliant! I would so rock at that. Seriously lol’ing at my laptop right now!

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