As humans, we can be our own worst enemy. We have the tendency to talk ourselves out of not just career moves but opportunities that could benefit us in general life. Why? Because “Oh, I’ll never get it anyway”. When I applied for my current role, I almost didn’t apply for the job because it said ‘Marketing Executive’ and I thought they wouldn’t take a graduate on who doesn’t have years of experience in a marketing job, but I took the plunge and here I am writing this article – oh how the world works in mysterious ways!
For a lot of people that didn’t choose to go onto further education, they limit themselves because they think they’re valued less than those with a degree. If you do have this mindset you may be surprised to hear that 20% of those that pay for university courses are actually worse off because they’re not ‘value for money’. Careers advisers at sixth form colleges drill it into our heads that University is the priority, as oppose to going into apprenticeships or work – but is education always the best option?
Starting University can be exciting but also challenging, back in 1945 a small 2% of the population went to University, now a whopping 43% of prosperous teens in the UK decide to go to University. With the number of people going to University increasing year on year, so is the drop-out rates – which have increased year on year for the past three years. Higher Education Statistics Agency found an astonishing 26,000 students dropped out of university by the end of their first year in 2015. Just from witnessing it myself, first year students drop like flies – the main reason being the recommended ‘60% studying 40% social’ is more like ‘1% studying 99% partying’.
If you’re wanting to do medicine or human geography, attaining your undergraduate and masters are mandatory, but for many industries having drive, a good work ethic and a strong passion for something is enough to make you equip for a bright future.
Go with your heart not your head
Whether it’s choosing to go to University or considering a new job opportunity, playing it safe is boring and quite frankly shows that you lack drive. I’m not encouraging dropping out of University or quitting your job, but if it isn’t for you then why waste time on something that doesn’t inspire you? Having this mentality when taking leaps in your career will help you not make regrettable decisions that will haunt you in later life. Just like going into Zara, seeing a top you like, not buying it and then regretting it when you leave (well this won’t affect your career). Do what will benefit you in the long run by having a plan for example, before leaving your current job be actively applying for jobs before handing your notice in.
There’s never a perfect time
I said this to one of my colleagues in the office yesterday as she told me she wanted to quit smoking but ‘wasn’t in the right head space for it yet’ – but the reality there is no perfect time. If you don’t take opportunities as they come this prolongs the transition stage between jobs, the ‘I need to do that at some point’ mentality is simply avoiding doing something because you are scared of what the outcome will be – which is completely normal!
Pay attention to your emotional state
If you’re stressed out or in a bad mindset, you won’t be in the right headspace to make a decision that could alter your career path. Referring to my most recent article ‘How to become resilient in the workplace’. We can all be resilient, you just need to take a step back and think back to a time where you didn’t think you could achieve something but then did- you probably take a lot of pride in this which is a self-reminder that you can achieve great things. Be patient with yourself and wait until you’ve got a clear head to make life changing decisions.
Written by Sophia Ghahramani