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What do I do with my life?

After graduating with a first class bachelors in mechanical engineering, which was probably the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life, spending almost a year applying to graduate jobs and failing every interview, I have realised i don't even want to be an engineer anymore, where do I go from here?

The last interview I had told me to be more enthusiastic after I asked for feedback and it just made me realise the reason I can't be enthusiastic is because I would be faking it. At times it was fun, I enjoyed parts of it mostly the CAD stuff and practicals, but in reality I have forced myself through this degree out of the hopes of becoming rich one day, but then I realised money will not buy happiness. I had contemplated dropping out many times and even tried transferring to a pure mathematics course and was rejected so I just forced myself through it.

I am sick of engineering and I never want to look at a calculus question or read a research paper again in my entire life. I don't want to come home and be ripping my hair out from all the stress and smoking 40 cigs a day, I just want a simple life but not be broke or forced to do some intense manual labour. I regret my degree and wish I had learnt a trade like bricklaying, welding, plumbing, electrician, mechanic but I feel like now it is too late because realistically who will hire me as an apprentice plumber at 27 years old when i already have an unrelated degree. How do I get a job in another field that isn't engineering and not unskilled intense labour for min wage either? Shall i go back to college or do an accountancy course online? I dont know what to do but i just feel trapped.
the fact you've already done an engineering degree won't put ppl off hiring you in other jobs or training - it is v impressive. perhaps you need to do further training to specialise? what kind of graduate jobs have you been looking at? could you consider working in another country where your skills are more in demand?
Could always consider becoming an analyst outside of engineering.

If you enjoy practical stuff & CAD, instead of engineering have you considered design roles or product design?
(edited 2 months ago)
Original post by danielaj777
After graduating with a first class bachelors in mechanical engineering, which was probably the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life, spending almost a year applying to graduate jobs and failing every interview, I have realised i don't even want to be an engineer anymore, where do I go from here?

The last interview I had told me to be more enthusiastic after I asked for feedback and it just made me realise the reason I can't be enthusiastic is because I would be faking it. At times it was fun, I enjoyed parts of it mostly the CAD stuff and practicals, but in reality I have forced myself through this degree out of the hopes of becoming rich one day, but then I realised money will not buy happiness. I had contemplated dropping out many times and even tried transferring to a pure mathematics course and was rejected so I just forced myself through it.

I am sick of engineering and I never want to look at a calculus question or read a research paper again in my entire life. I don't want to come home and be ripping my hair out from all the stress and smoking 40 cigs a day, I just want a simple life but not be broke or forced to do some intense manual labour. I regret my degree and wish I had learnt a trade like bricklaying, welding, plumbing, electrician, mechanic but I feel like now it is too late because realistically who will hire me as an apprentice plumber at 27 years old when i already have an unrelated degree. How do I get a job in another field that isn't engineering and not unskilled intense labour for min wage either? Shall i go back to college or do an accountancy course online? I dont know what to do but i just feel trapped.


I think you might have the wrong idea about what an engineering career typically entails. You're unlikely to use calculus or have to look up research papers whilst working in industry, so if that's what's putting you off, I wouldn't worry about it. However if you like CAD, there are lots of opportunities to use it in industry - see a recent thread from here where the OP was actually surprised by the amount of CAD and the lack of - difficult, degree level type - maths.

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=7418344

You could even go one step further and work as a CAD designer (the more modern term for a draughtsman).

However, if you do genuinely wish you did a trade, surely it's not too late to learn one? Or if it's accountancy that takes your fancy, why not apply to entry level jobs - many will take any degree - or degree apprenticeships?
Reply 4
maths techer, economics teacher, accountancy teacher for six form colleges gets good pay, and does not require manual labour. Your degree is really good, and has a lot of transferrable skills.

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