Do what you love, love what you do
In making big life decisions, it can feel like we are constantly balancing the expectations of others.
Often these are based on stereotypes of one kind or another – perceptions of what particular jobs involve, and who would typically do them. Families, friends and communities can have very strong views on what we should be, and what’s ‘normal’ or ‘acceptable’.
It’s important to seek advice from people you trust and who care for you, but it’s also vital to remember that the decision (and hopefully the career!) is ultimately yours. What makes you happy is often the best clue to where you will be fulfilled and successful.
Ask yourself some simple questions
- What makes you happy? What do you think your skills are? My World of Work can help you plan based on your strengths.
- Are there skills you’d like to learn? Maybe you’d rather do an apprenticeship or training. Check out Apprenticeship.scot which has lots of information about different ways to get on-the-job experience.
- Think differently – consider a broad range of careers and don’t limit yourself. If a job appeals to you think about what part of it you are most into. There might be jobs you've not thought of that could offer the same satisfaction.
- If you’ve decided to go against the advice of family or friends, that conversation might be difficult. Showing them that you’ve thought your options through and have a plan is a good way to help them understand and accept your decision.
- Don’t worry – you can always change your mind and your plans if things don’t work out. You can learn new skills all the time – being adaptable is a skill in itself.
Two young Scots who followed their instincts when it came to their career are Raisah Ahmed and Campbell Price.
A childhood love of reading led Raisah to become a screenwriter, and she's written, directed and produced her own films.
Campbell was switched on to ancient Egypt after childhood trips to the Egyptian exhibits at Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow. He's now curator of one of the UK's largest collections of Egyptian artefacts at the Manchester Museum.