The Student Room Group

To All The Graduates: How Do I Decide On A Career?

Hi, I'm a second year studying English Lit & Lang at Oxford and I'm starting to get a lot of anxiety when I think about the future. I truly have no idea what I want to do after university. I've attended several socials, dinners and career fairs, spoken to career advisors etc, and I'm still unsure. I would like some suggestions. I would like a job that I would actually enjoy and is mentally stimulating, but I also want to make a lot of money, as I'm the first person to go to university in my immigrant family and they're relying on me to graduate and help with money (and I also want to help my parents).

People have suggested becoming a solicitor thru the PGDL, publishing, consulting or journalism & media. I'm thinking about law but the thought of working 9-9 5 days a week makes me depressed. I've been working since I was 13 and I cant imagine spending the entirety of my day at work, it would feel like I'm working my life away.

To give some background information about me, I'm a creative person more than a business one. I love writing, acting, fashion and film. I have made some short films and I have a decent social media following with 1m+ likes on my fashion content, but I find the idea of a social media career to be unreliable, and I'm not even sure if I can grow enough to make a living from it. So my compromise to myself is that I will get a "proper" job when I finish uni, and keep pursuing my actual interests alongside working, and hopefully one day I will be making enough from that content to quit the other job and dedicate myself full-time to what I actually enjoy. And in case that doesn't work out, I will still have a job where I can support myself and my family and be able to buy a house one day.

If anyone has any advice for what I should do career-wise, it would be really appreciated. Also if anyone felt the same way I do, please let me know what you ended up doing. I'm naturally a creative person, always have been, but I don't think I can go into a creative field like screenwriting or acting or film like I really want to, because too many ppl are relying on me. Any advice is really appreciated.

I know I'm asking for a lot, and this seems idyllic and fanciful even to me, but I don't want to give up my hobbies and interests. Is there a way I can do what I enjoy whilst still making enough to support myself and my family?

sorry for the long post :smile:
Have you looked into marketing as a career?

Alternatively creative industries require people with solid organisation and admin skills to make things happen. There’s a LOT of jobs in the production side of things around logistics, people and money management that pay reasonably well without being freelance/precarious or horrific hours.
Some of my closest friends at Oxford studied English. One became a television director making shows such as The South Bank Show and now teaches TV at UAL, one became an academic and is still at Oxford, where she has a Chair in English, one became a published poet, another became a solicitor working in house at a major media organisation, another became a barrister, and another became a teacher.

Why not try for a creative role in TV or film, or consider the Foreign Office or another branch of the Civil Service?

It is not your responsibility to support your family, although wishing to help them is natural and good.
(edited 2 months ago)
It might take you a few years doing the wrong job to find out which is the right job. Don't worry, you have time.
Original post by coolaidisfake
Hi, I'm a second year studying English Lit & Lang at Oxford and I'm starting to get a lot of anxiety when I think about the future. I truly have no idea what I want to do after university. I've attended several socials, dinners and career fairs, spoken to career advisors etc, and I'm still unsure. I would like some suggestions. I would like a job that I would actually enjoy and is mentally stimulating, but I also want to make a lot of money, as I'm the first person to go to university in my immigrant family and they're relying on me to graduate and help with money (and I also want to help my parents).
People have suggested becoming a solicitor thru the PGDL, publishing, consulting or journalism & media. I'm thinking about law but the thought of working 9-9 5 days a week makes me depressed. I've been working since I was 13 and I cant imagine spending the entirety of my day at work, it would feel like I'm working my life away.
To give some background information about me, I'm a creative person more than a business one. I love writing, acting, fashion and film. I have made some short films and I have a decent social media following with 1m+ likes on my fashion content, but I find the idea of a social media career to be unreliable, and I'm not even sure if I can grow enough to make a living from it. So my compromise to myself is that I will get a "proper" job when I finish uni, and keep pursuing my actual interests alongside working, and hopefully one day I will be making enough from that content to quit the other job and dedicate myself full-time to what I actually enjoy. And in case that doesn't work out, I will still have a job where I can support myself and my family and be able to buy a house one day.
If anyone has any advice for what I should do career-wise, it would be really appreciated. Also if anyone felt the same way I do, please let me know what you ended up doing. I'm naturally a creative person, always have been, but I don't think I can go into a creative field like screenwriting or acting or film like I really want to, because too many ppl are relying on me. Any advice is really appreciated.
I know I'm asking for a lot, and this seems idyllic and fanciful even to me, but I don't want to give up my hobbies and interests. Is there a way I can do what I enjoy whilst still making enough to support myself and my family?
sorry for the long post :smile:

It's completely understandable to feel the weight of uncertainty about your future, especially when balancing personal passions with financial responsibilities. You're not alone in this struggle, and it's commendable that you're seeking guidance.

Firstly, it's important to acknowledge that finding a career path that aligns with both your interests and financial goals is possible. While the traditional route may seem daunting, there are alternatives that could provide the balance you seek.

Considering your creative talents and interests in writing, acting, fashion, and film, exploring roles within industries like marketing, advertising, content creation, or even digital media production could be fulfilling. These fields often offer opportunities for creativity while providing stability and potential for growth.

Additionally, don't underestimate the value of your social media presence. Always engaging yourself with people around you and also the new people you meet could open doors to partnerships, sponsorships, and freelance opportunities in areas like influencer marketing or brand collaborations.

It's also okay to consider pursuing further education or training if it aligns with your interests and career goals. Whether it's specialized courses, workshops, or any certifications, investing in your skills can enhance your prospects in competitive industries.

Ultimately, finding the right path may involve some trial and error, and it's okay to explore different avenues until you discover what feels right for you. Remember to prioritize your mental well-being and stay true to your passions, as they can guide you towards a fulfilling and sustainable career. Keep believing in yourself and your abilities you've already shown resilience and determination, qualities that will serve you well in whatever path you choose.

Apologies, I know it's a lot of writing...

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