Why do all career paths feel like Cardiac Hill?

This summer is all about jobs for me. “Are you going on holiday?” my friends ask. *Chuckle* Not likely! First, I had to set myself up for the 3 months I am away from university. To be quite honest, I was in desperate need for the money – I cannot live off my ‘home-made’ chilli con carne every day for another year. But this wasn’t my true intention; what I really wanted a job for was to get out of the house. I catch cabin fever very quickly when I’m at home because, unfortunately, my home has never felt like ‘home’. I used to live in a beautiful town called Tunbridge Wells; my friends would remind me that while I lived there I couldn’t wait to get away from it but anything is better than the suburban, white picket fences that are closing in on me now. So, to Tunbridge Wells I had to go, to reclaim my new found adult-independence and freedom (but also to earn some money to buy a Nerf gun so I can shoot my new house mates in September.)

I was lucky to find a job quickly; last year I was still searching in August. My parents seemed to put a lots of pressure on me to get a job both this year and last; they don’t seem to understand that you can’t just walk into a place and get hired. The career climate is not beneficial for us students at the minute if you’re only looking for temporary work, moreover, the competition is fierce. I would tell you not to be disheartened if you are looking for work over the summer – right now is not our time. But, what I’ve found to be the most effective method is printing off copies of your CV (I handed out about 25 this year) and hand them to employers in person. This way you get to make an immediate good impression that can’t be received in the same way through paper or a computer screen. Also, try to make yourself as available and flexible as possible; employers are looking for employees to fit their needs, and they may be reluctant to fit to yours.

My working hours currently are scattered all over the month and so I’m luckily left with a few days free here and there. During these times I’m trying to work on my future career path, looking up internships, trying to build a résumé, and catching odd opportunities where and when I see them. Deciding what you want to do with your life is hard. Full stop. Am I certain on what I want to do? Hell no! When I was in reception I wanted to be a witch, just like Hermione Granger, and everyone laughed at me. The memory still stings a little bit because I was always told I could be whatever I wanted to be and growing up you realise that, really, this isn’t true. The more decisions you make the more you narrow down your options without realising; I wanted to be a doctor in year seven but that’s no longer possible because I’ve been focused on humanity subjects since GCSE.

It’s scary and I’m currently on the brink of an existential crisis. But if there is one thing a philosopher is good at it is just accepting, even revelling, in the chaos. A friend of mine once repeated some advice her mother gave her: if you do something you love then you will never have to work a day in your life. This seems ideal! I don’t want to work at all really – in an ideal world I’d stay at university for the rest of my life, keep doing degrees, pile up a student loan I’ll never pay back, and die a poor but well-educated woman. Unfortunately, the system doesn’t work like that so I have to think about what else I’m passionate about. I love writing, reading, drawing, photography, and most other creative pursuits. So here was my answer: I have to work in a field where I’m constantly creating something.

Therefore, in my days off work, I am trying to constantly create things. Writing, drawing, reading and editing – as much as I can. The more ‘work’ I do the more experience I gain and the more I have to show off when someone decides they might want to employ me. This is my advice to those of you who don’t know what to do with your life: find what your love and keep doing it over and over, more and more. If you get sick of it, then you probably shouldn’t make a career of it, but if it just makes you thirsty to do more then you’re on to a winner.

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