What do you want to be when you grow up….
When I was a child, it seemed like every old lady that dared to squeeze my cheek and tell me how big I had grown always asked the same seemingly pointless question, and they always got the same answer. “What do you want to be when you grow up….?”
For me, it was always a Fireman. As a chubby faced Fireman Sam fan (bit of a tongue twister!), this was preferred the career choice.
Why though? Did i like the thought of helping people in need, the relative secure nature of the job or perhaps i craved the excitement and adrenaline rush that you would get from running into a burning building?
Well, I would love to sit here and say I really was that ‘switched on’ at such a tender age. But the truth is, I chose it because it was cool. Not that I had much choice though, as with most children, we were all massively influenced by television – and Postman Pat was never cutting the mustard, driving around in a bright red van with a cat – not exactly going to get you the ladies Pat!
You all have probably had similar experiences, sitting in I.T. Classrooms studying the UCAS website trying to work out where your life was going to go.
For me it went something like this…
“Will I study something to do with ICT?! Actually… that will bore the life out of me, how about Business Studies? I really don’t like doing Cash-Flow Forecasts – how about a combination of Business Studies with ICT? “
Then EUREKA, the decision seemed so obvious.
“I will do Human Geography” (and yes it is a subject, and no – I didn’t colour in stuff!).
That was pretty much how I made the biggest decision of my life, and ended up studying Human Geography at Coventry University between the years of 2007-2011. Some would state that I probably put as much thought into deciding to become a fireman!
Like most of you at university, I found certain subjects more interesting than others (rural development), and often contemplated pursuing such areas post university. However, we are now deep in to 2012, and I find myself having worked continuously for a year – as a ‘Careers & Employability Assistant’ at the University, and even longer within careers support as a whole.
Neither the Fireman nor Rural Development big-wig once dreamed about. But don’t get me wrong – in no way do I feel unfulfilled in my work life or feel like I have made the wrong career choice (my manager will be glad to read this!). I have an interesting job, in a new and vibrant building and I work within a great team (again more brownie points!)
I suppose what I am trying to get at is, don’t pigeon hole yourself. Sometimes opportunities may come up in areas that you have not previously considered, or maybe your dream job is no longer a possibility due to circumstances within or outside of your control. Take any opportunity that you can afford to take no matter how small! Opportunities may be in the form of work experience, volunteering, being involved in a sports team or society – or even through starting your own enterprise!
The main reason why I am in the position I am today, is due to the placements I was able to go on whilst an undergraduate/graduate. These placements not only gave me valuable experience, but in a way they ended up carrying me down this particular career path, which suited me perfectly!
• For placement advice visit your faculty EPU (further information is available on the student portal)
• For general careers support or graduate employment advice visit the Central Careers Service (further information is available on the student portal)