Careers. The future. Scary words that have made me cringe and feel panicky for a long time. How the hell is a teenage girl who doesn’t know what she’s buying for her lunch supposed to know what she’s going to do with the rest of her life? She’s not.
With all the pressing questions a school/college/uni student gets about where they’re going next, it is so easy to get stressed out and overwhelmed by the prospect of having to immediately plan out their entire life. What students – and to be honest anybody – need to know is that “I don’t have a clue” is a perfectly acceptable answer. It’s how I’ve responded to career questions ever since I can remember being asked. You don’t know what you want to do with your life until one thing grabs you and you just have to pursue it. For some people, its playing an instrument, for others its teaching. Your friend might have known since she was at primary school whilst your other friend might not decide until she starts her third job and loves it. There is no deadline for deciding on your career. I would just like to add here that for medical students, I understand that to you my argument is flawed. However, if you’re struggling and worrying about where your life is going to go, focus on your talents and passions. For me its writing. It wasn’t until about a month ago that I suddenly thought “I have to write for the rest of my life”. I’ve certainly had a change of heart when it comes to careers many times, dabbling with the ideas of acting and being a psychologist, only realising now it was because I felt obliged to give a definite answer to any career questions thrown at me.
We had to decide on a profession area for our work experience placement, so I picked Media, still pretty clueless on the career front. I decided it was time for a meeting with the college careers advisor. Choosing English as my favourite subject led to looking at English degrees, then journalism as a potential career followed by English and Journalism joint honours degree. From this, starting a blog was suggested by my careers advisor to enhance my writing CV and experience. I’d never shared my writing before – except in my English class when we had to read out our work – and starting out on the blogging scene, I never expected such a wonderful response. Sharing my articles and short stories on Facebook and Twitter, I expected maybe two people to read each one. My most popular piece had more than fifty views on its first day of being published. People at college tell me how they’ve enjoyed my last entry. I’ve had a few inboxes from friends asking me what I think to their new blog and I’ve seen more blogs popping up. It really is amazing. Suddenly here I am, Khadija the clueless with a goal, a life ambition, all sparked from a little hobby of mine. I urge you to do the same. If you have a talent or a passion, get it out there. Maybe you’ll realise what you want to do for the rest of your life. You might even inspire somebody.