ADVICE/OPINION on my career choice. Watch

jturnip
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#1
Hello all,

So I’m looking for some outside perspective on my current career choice. I’m going to try to be as honest as possible and give all the facts so that I don’t just get the answers I want to hear.
I graduated in July 2011 with a 2:1 in physics and absolutely no intention of pursuing a career in that field – it was clear from my second year at university that it really wasn’t right for me. At this stage I had no idea what to do and was lucky enough to get a job through a friend as a pensions administrator at a good company. The work was ok, and was my first proper experience of being in an office, so I got along well for the duration of my 9 month contract.
Now, this is where things get a little more messy. In my last year of university I lost my Nan to cancer, and was with her when she died. We were very close and I really struggled during my final year and was diagnosed with depression. After this experience, and generally being someone who ‘wants to make a difference’ I got fixated on the idea of training to be a nurse. So after my pensions job finished I found work at a carehome and got a place on a graduate entry nursing course. I worked at the care home for 4 months prior to starting my course, and completed about a month of my course, before getting extreme doubts about my choice. I left the carehome on many an occasion emotionally exhausted and cried a lot – and it dawned on me, a little too late – that as much as I want to help people, it was far too emotionally challenging for me - I lacked the special quality a nurse needs to have. I am far too sensitive a person and find it difficult not to get emotionally involved.
So again I found myself in a conundrum. I was unemployed for 6 months and claiming JSA which left me feeling very low. I managed to get a few short term assignments through a temping agency to keep me going, mainly mind numbing data entry.
I was frustrated with myself for not being able to choose something and commit myself to it. I got so fed up in the end that I decided I needed to just go for a job I wouldn’t mind doing. I lost the idealistic sense that I could find my calling or a job that I would love (which I think is a good thing, as I am far too much of a dreamer). It is also worth noting that I think the people around me were starting to get a little frustrated with me. I had asked a lot of them to be so supportive of me whilst I drifted about, but in truth I was annoying myself, so I can’t imagine how they felt. I lived with just my Mum, and she has always wanted the best for me and never pushed me into anything, but it has been financially difficult for her, and although she never begrudged me for it, I was guilty for being a 25 year old still relying on their Mum financially.
So let’s get to the main point – I chose accountancy – ta daa! I decided as a fairly numerate, analytical person that it was a sensible choice for me. And since then I have gained a training contract at a small/medium sized firm. The firm is lovely, the people are all very approachable and in that respect I am so grateful. The salary is good, and it’s nice to know what having some spare money feels like – I am also able to pay my mum, which feels great and I am sure she is really pleased about.

It’s been only 3 months now, I’ve passed two e assessments and am meant to be doing my third on Monday (so shouldn’t really be writing this)… But I can’t get this nagging feeling to go, that this is not right for me. I feel I am play – acting in a way, and it won’t be long before they realise I’m not into it. I don’t have any business sense/interest, and although the work is ok, it seems a bit pointless to put so much effort with all the studying in to something I don’t really want to do. I find it hard also that working at a firm is centred so much on making money and effective time costs, which I realise sounds very naïve. If is was just a job, rather than a career choice, I might feel at peace with this. But I feel I am going down a path that is taking me further away from who I am and where I want to be.
When I get to having some of my whimsical ideas, I think about how I’d like to work as an editorial/publications assistant, or work for a charity. These are my two alternatives, both ridiculously difficult to get into. Plus at the age of 26, I realise my CV is a bit all over the place and is not looking too attractive, especially if I leave this job. I feel scared to leave and scared to stay. A final thing to note about me, is that I am not motivated by a high paying job, and in truth I admit I am not that ambitious. I’m not sure if that is just me, or whether it comes from my upbringing in a very large working class family, with only my Mum and I going any further than school. I want to do a decent job I find interesting, and get married and raise a family. Simples.
I don’t know exactly what I’m looking for in response to this – I guess an unbiased opinion – because the response when I told my mum and best friend that I wasn’t sure about accountancy was not great. I can see that they think I am running away. Again. And I am doing my thing where I am fixated on unrealistic ideas. What do you think? Should I just be grateful, and get on with it?
Any replies are much appreciated, and I’d love for you to share your experiences if you’ve ever felt this way.
0
reply
ellac20
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#2
Report 5 years ago
#2
My advice is to do what you love and want to do, so if you feel that accounting is not right for you then don't do it. But make sure that you secure the editorial/publications assistant job first before leaving.

However, I would say that it would be useful for you to get the professional qualification, also it would look good on your CV that you managed to stay at a job rather than be all over the place. Have you thought of helping charities out in your spare time rather than full time.

You have to really consider what you're going to do especially at your age, this is the time where things need to be stable for you especially income. I know you said that you're not motivated by money, but if you're considering raising a family in the future then high paying job is an essential thing especially as the economy/environment is changing.

Really think thoroughly about your plans and make a decision that you will stick to and is best for you. Good luck!
0
reply
marple
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#3
Report 5 years ago
#3
At the end of the day you have to do what is best for you, but you also have to be realistic. In a lot of ways, the job that you've got ticks a lot of your boxes. You like your colleagues, you have the chance to support your mum and you can add a period of stability to your cv. Once you're qualified you can earn a decent salary and strike the sort of work/life balance that goes well with raising a family (I'm the mother of 3 and accountancy is a very flexible career to work round a family). You would be far more attractive to a charity if you have a useful skill. The experience you will get as you progress through your training at a small/medium size firm will be very useful if you want to work in charity admin, fundraising or something more proactive like working with microbusinesses in developing countries where you would have a real impact. If you gain as much experience as you can during the next 3 years, both at work and as ellac20 suggests, by volunteering in areas you are interested in you will be in a good position to do something more "worthy" if you want.

Hope all goes well for you whatever you decide.
0
reply
jturnip
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#4
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#4
Thank you ellac20 and marple. Your advice is rational and sensible, and I like the idea of working in a charity after qualifying. It's nice to also get some female perspective on things.

In terms of post qualification, do you think I will be able to work within administration in charity? What I mean is, is it likely I will be able to apply for non-finance jobs and get them? It feels a bit like training to be a teacher and then not actually being one afterwards.

I realise all jobs have dull aspects and bits people don't like - but I think fundamentally you need to have some sort of interest to overcome the negatives. You're right, the job does tick a fair few boxes, as in the environment and pay, but my actual interest in accounting is missing. Hopefully in time, I will find a part that I have a strong interest in, or grin and bear it until I am qualified, but this is similar to what happened for me with my degree.

It really all boils down to what my brain tells me is the right thing to do, and what I feel is the right thing to do. I need to decide which gets the deciding vote.
0
reply
marple
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#5
Report 5 years ago
#5
I think it very much depends what type of charity you work for. Looking at www.charityjobs.co.uk the roles merge in smaller charities, but larger ones have more clearly defined roles.
A lot of the skills used by an accountant - report writing, budgeting, project appraisal, evaluation etc. are all very relevant to the administration of a charity.

I'm sure you know this, but the nature of the work changes as you gain more experience and , if you want, it to can become much more people focused. I'm not going to suggest that accountancy is a charitable profession, but advising clients, helping people achieve their ambition to start a business, or just helping them avoid financial disaster can be very rewarding and is a lot more interesting than plugging numbers into computer software! A lot of people do "grin and bear it" until they qualify but they also use that time to research what they want to do and gain expereince in it so they are in a strong position to go after the role they want. Of the people I trained with, several run their own businesses, one opened a nursery (children not plants!) one works in theatre admin and one teaches maths and business at a secondary school.

What ever you decide, I would strongly recommend that you stick with your job until you find something else - you can look / apply for other roles without losing what you have now.

All the best
0
reply
monk_keys
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#6
Report 5 years ago
#6
(Original post by jturnip)
Thank you ellac20 and marple. Your advice is rational and sensible, and I like the idea of working in a charity after qualifying. It's nice to also get some female perspective on things.

In terms of post qualification, do you think I will be able to work within administration in charity? What I mean is, is it likely I will be able to apply for non-finance jobs and get them? It feels a bit like training to be a teacher and then not actually being one afterwards.

I realise all jobs have dull aspects and bits people don't like - but I think fundamentally you need to have some sort of interest to overcome the negatives. You're right, the job does tick a fair few boxes, as in the environment and pay, but my actual interest in accounting is missing. Hopefully in time, I will find a part that I have a strong interest in, or grin and bear it until I am qualified, but this is similar to what happened for me with my degree.

It really all boils down to what my brain tells me is the right thing to do, and what I feel is the right thing to do. I need to decide which gets the deciding vote.
Why would you work in admin when you could qualify and actually do something something useful for a charity and get better money doing it?
0
reply
ACA-Cheer
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#7
Report 5 years ago
#7
Are you tied into a contract? I wouldn't imagine so at a mid tier but some companies will ask you to repay study costs if you choose to leave.

Something to consider is that if you're not loving it now, a year down the line when you're doing the harder exams and having no free time outside of work/study you are going to be really worn down. It might be better to quit while you are ahead in this respect.

Your lack of long term work is not going to do your CV any favours when job hunting, but at the end of the day you're in your mid-20's and no-one can expect you to have everything sorted out. One thing to note is not to draw attention to this in interviews, whilst losing your gran was hard and has clearly thrown you, recruiters wont want to hear that, so focus on the positive aspects of the work you've done so far.

I agree with the posters above, keep at accounting until you have a firm offer for another job.

Best of luck with everything, it will all come good eventually
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

How did your AQA GCSE Physics Paper 1 go?

Loved the paper - Feeling positive (487)
31.16%
The paper was reasonable (603)
38.58%
Not feeling great about that exam... (256)
16.38%
It was TERRIBLE (217)
13.88%

Watched Threads

View All