I'm in desperate need of advice. I graduated from the University of Liverpool this summer with a high 2:1 in Biological Sciences. I'm a very indecisive person, I started off also studying 50% History, but ended up swapping to straight bio because I decided I was going to pursue a career in research. This was my plan for a while, but after doing my dissertation and having a bad experience with that, the thought of a PhD made me feel sick
So for the past year or so, I decided I was going to work towards a career in healthcare. I briefly researched this before I started university, but then dropped the idea whilst I was there because of my (uninformed) plan to go into research. I have never really been sure which area I was to focus on, but I did some research into becoming an NHS clinical scientist and (up until a couple of days ago) genuinely thought this was something that would suit me. I could keep my interest in science going, whilst also getting a job where I can help people, talk to them, engage with a wide range of personalities and professionals. However, I've literally just started a job in my local hospital in the critical care unit as a HCA to gain experience and to find out if a career in healthcare is for me, and I now feel it isn't I don't like the atmosphere, it's quite depressing, I'm not coping with being on my feet for 12 hours, and some of the jobs are very repetitive and mundane. Obviously the jobs would be very different as a scientist, but I think I've been completely put off, as silly as it may sound. The only part of the job I truly enjoy at the moment is the caring side of it; chatting to patients, reassuring them, and I also quite like checking the critical care equipment and technology is working and in order. Other than that, I've felt incredibly down about the whole job and it doesn't seem to suit me like I thought it would. I honestly feel I want to quit right now, but 1. I probably haven't done it for long enough to make a proper decision, and 2. I really need money and don't see what other jobs I could do as there are barely any jobs going where I live, and circumstances at the moment mean moving away and renting are a definite no.
I just feel like giving up I have no clear ideas because (as I said) I'm the most indecisive person I know. There are a few career options I think seem appealing, like being a high school biology teacher. I've always been interested in school and exams and the curriculum (hence I joined this website and later became part of the Study Help Support Team), I love the idea of being able to educate children and teenagers on something I'm passionate about, and making a difference to their lives in some ways. I'm just worried about how I'd cope, I'm quite sensitive, and I'm not sure how I would deal with children that misbehave or make comments. I'm also worried about the thought of having to get up in front of a class as I'm not the most confident of people when it comes to presentations etc. I like to think that, with experience, it would become easier and my confidence would grow, but who knows.
Long story short/TL;DR, How can I determine what career areas are for me? I know I'm only 21 so I can't expect to know exactly what I want to do, but it'd be nice not to have my mind all over the place. I only work 3 days a week because they're 12.5 hour shifts, so should I use some of those days off to volunteer in different environments (e.g. a high school)? Or do I just need to get my act together and it'll all eventually fall into place?
I've got a lot on my plate at the moment and this uncertainty is making things worse
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Thinking of career options can be difficult and daunting at any stage of your career so don't worry about it and how old you are! I'm sorry that your project was such a bad experience. Was it down to the project, the work environment or the supervision? The reason I ask is that a lot can be said from what it was down to and whether the field is for you or not. Unless you've decided that you want to draw a line under research for sure. I think you already know that the only way to work out what interests you and what you enjoy is to get some experience of it. You don't want to spend more time, money and effort on more degrees if you don't need them.