Career, inspiration and pressures
A career is an occupation carried out for a significant amount of time and the opportunities to progress, for income, stability, purpose and being occupied. It also provides us with shelter, food, clothes and many more.
For some, a career also means being able to help others, a rewarding feeling, making a difference or solving a problem.
It’s about gaining skills and experiences to progress in life and do better than before. It can be a 9–5 job, volunteering, owning a business, working with a charity, government job and many others.
Some people can be inspired by their family members, school trips, career talk, attending parents’ workplace, real-life experiences, work experience and many more. However, sometimes there are pressures when deciding on a career, especially if you come from a family with a job going on for many generations and ensuring a high and well-paid job.
Therefore, inspiration can sometimes be muddled up and complicated, making things difficult when deciding on a job or career.
My career and the challenges I faced.
Growing up, many people thought that I would become a teacher. When my cousins and I were younger, we often played teacher and student games. As the oldest, I would be the teacher, and they were my students. But, this never turned into a passion or interest for me growing up.
I never had to think about a career in primary and secondary school until my final year of 6th form. At that point, we had to decide what to do either get a job, go to uni or gap year.
I knew I wanted to go to uni, so I looked at various courses and applied, got the offer. But, things didn’t go to plan due to various reasons. Also, I kept changing my mind on what course I wanted to do, so I took a gap year.
When my gap year ended, I still had no clue what to do. I ended up doing a course that I didn’t want to do, but I knew it would still help me in many ways. So I did my foundation degree in Early Years, Playwork and Education for two years. Then, another two years, I did my BA Hons in Education. After graduating, I was still undecided about what to do. However, I had gained so many experiences and skills from doing various jobs.
Despite this, I still didn’t have a clue. I thought of doing my masters, but I doubted pursuing further education due to cost, duration, and other reasons.
When your first choices have been taken away a few times, you are bound to be confused, frustrated and undecided.
I have been given so much advice from right, left, centre, up and down, you name it all. That has caused me to be even more confused, which can be tiring. You just want to be left alone and decide what to do due to many pressures in deciding on a steady job.
I know people will try to help by giving different opinions. But, sometimes, you just need the space and time to decide what to do. But, more importantly, you don’t have to figure it all out by certain age and time.
Nowadays, mental health is so important, so you need to take your time to figure things out and really cut out the noise that may be putting pressure on you. But, at the same time, also take in advice in a healthy way.
This way, you are looking after yourself holistically, not just your mental health but physically and emotionally too.
Looking back, what’s my advice?
I wish I had stood up for myself when I was in year 11 and 6th form. I haven’t told many people about this, but in year 11, at one point, I actually wanted to be a midwife.
I was inspired by a visitor from the midwifery team, who came to talk about the role and various options to get into midwifery. This wasn’t out of the blue. I had been thinking about it for a long time.
I had so much passion, love and interest in midwifery. It was about being able to help women and babies, making a difference in their life, making them feel safe and enjoying a beautiful journey. I mentioned this to someone but was very quickly dismissed about my idea of being a midwife.
I was so disheartened, down, sad, disappointed and confused. This was around my final year of GCSEs, so I just poured my heart and mind into revision and my exams instead of dwelling on it. After that, I never thought about it again or brought it up in any conversation.
My year in 6th form was not easy at all. In fact, that’s when my life changed. It affected my concentration on my exams and my wellbeing too. The point of saying this looking back, I wish I had stood up for myself in what I wanted to do and not listened to others. Then maybe all the heartache, confusion and impact on my mental health could have been avoided.
However, in saying this, I realised that everything I have been through has given me lots of experiences that I can use to help others, making me a stronger person.
So, I would say: do what you want, don’t listen to the noise that doesn’t support you, do it in your own time and space because your mental health and wellbeing is very important.
My advice is if you are unsure what to do with your career, get lots of different experiences by doing small little jobs. It will help you understand what would make you happy in the future.
This blog contribution was made by Ayesha Quraishy
Youth Leader for Peterborough District and Deaf Children’s Society (PDDCS), Volunteer Blog Writer for Like Minded Females (LMF) and Podcast Presenter for Cambridgeshire Deaf Association (CDA).
“My ultimate goal is to give the Deaf Community a voice on a higher platform. My biggest achievement is, as a Deaf Woman, being able to overcome adversity that Deaf people face on a daily basis and proving to others it is possible to achieve things that you want.” — (Ayesha)
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