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Who Followed Their Career Passions?


Business and Professional Relationships Networking and maintaining a positive environment in the work place is important! Surviving the 9-to-5 within.

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Old 27th July 2014, 11:34 AM   #31
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Not sure if this was addressed to me, but I'll answer anyway.

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Originally Posted by Leigh 87 View Post
I have seen a days work of a podiatrist and a medical imaging specialist.

The jobs both look like something I could do long term.
Was this your friend's job, and did you follow her for at least one entire workday (preferably more)?

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May I ask, what made you want to do your first degree? And could you easily get a job or, did you just not like the job?
Due to the shortage of that profession in that country, I was guaranteed a job upon graduation (this was a big part of my reason for choosing it). I loathed the job, was more miserable than I'd ever been in my life, suffered from severe insomnia, depression and anxiety - but I went through with it long enough to get registration.

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Did you have any placements as a student? Both degrees I'm interested in have 1000 plus hours work placement.
I did, in my 3rd year, but by then it was too late to turn back as my credits would not have been transferable.

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I don't think I will suddenly walk into either hypothetical job from either degree and suddenly realise that " I hate the job".
I hope so.
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Old 27th July 2014, 11:39 AM   #32
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Yes. Mum has told me to start getting out of the house more and start showering


You know, Leigh, if your mom has to point this out at your age, it probably is a good time to take a break. :eew:
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Old 27th July 2014, 11:47 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Leigh 87 View Post
I have seen a days work of a podiatrist and a medical imaging specialist.

The jobs both look like something I could do long term.

May I ask, what made you want to do your first degree? And could you easily get a job or, did you just not like the job?

Did you have any placements as a student? Both degrees I'm interested in have 1000 plus hours work placement.

I don't think I will suddenly walk into either hypothetical job from either degree and suddenly realise that " I hate the job".

Not sure if this was addressed to me either, but...

Like I said, the chemistry degree was by default, and it turned out to be something I was very, very good at. I worked as an intern during my junior and senior years, and stayed on with that company for a bit after graduation. I quickly moved and to yet another large company. After a short stint there, I ended up working for the largest brewer in the world (no names). This enabled me to quickly build my nest egg, after which I went back to school (while still working 40-50 hours a week) to do something I was more passionate about.

As it so happened, both of these fields had high demand, and I never had any trouble moving from one company to the next. Of course there were days I hated my job, I'm not sure anyone escapes that. But my focus was on benefits and long term security. I paid off my first house at 27 and single. The market was great back then, I probably won't see those days again in my lifetime. So glad I did it when I could.
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Old 27th July 2014, 12:23 PM   #34
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While in my first year of university, I took a course in my current field. I loved it, and couldn't believe people dedicated their careers to doing research on a topic that had always been my passion anyway. (Most of my high school papers were somehow related to the topic).

I didn't consider the job market until I entered the PhD. (By then, I was providing my own income through scholarships, research assistantships and loans). I didn't even pick my thesis topic based on job opportunities - but, it turns out, I picked a very marketable topic. I landed a position 3 months after graduating. Had I not landed a position as professor, I could have recycled into policy or community work. Basically, I knew what I wanted to do, knew I was frigging hard working, and figured that all came to worst, at least I would have gotten to do work I was passionate about throughout my 20s. There is one thing though: I have held a job and gotten rave reviews from every single one of my employers ever since I worked picking strawberries at the age of 16.

Landing my dream job? It's not about the passion. It's about dedication. You've heard the saying: Genius is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. I think what got me where I am is that I stuck through the "bad" research contracts. For example, I remember I saw the positives in spending a summer transcribing data. While some colleagues would whine about how tedious it was, I would get caught up in the participant's stories and eventually ended up participating in the analysis of the data.

If I can translate this to your current situation Leigh: you need more than inspiration to succeed in your chosen field. You need to learn stick-to-itedness. Motivation follows action, not the other way around.
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Last edited by Kamille; 27th July 2014 at 12:28 PM..
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Old 27th July 2014, 12:43 PM   #35
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I wanted to be a soccer player in my youth and when that didn't materialise, nothing took its place. I was a straight A student, studied Physics at university, graduated, and now 5 years later (at 25)...I'm a postman!

I just can't get passionate about the thought of any regular career, being a teacher/lawyer/doctor/accountant etc..
Being indoors all the time would kill me.

At the moment I'm getting paid just to walk around in the great outdoors delivering mail, I can listen to my romance language recordings whilst doing so for some intellectual stimulation and to boost my fluency in them.

There is zero stress and no work to take home or worry about. I can work all the hours I like, and if I were to do say a fifty hour week, that would come to 27k a year, but I could earn more if I wanted. Newly qualified teachers start on around 20k, with huge stress, working 12+hour days and taking work home with them.

Sometimes I feel like I'm missing out and should be getting into a career as all my peers are doing - posting their success and grand titles all over facebook.
But should I really when I have such a nice job and no real work related passion?
My brother was a postman for a long time!
He also worked in Sudan for 6 months as an English teacher before he became a postman.

He had a degree in history and wanted to do something with it - a degree in 'something' was needed to work in Sudan.

He adored the teaching but when he left he broke into the Principal's office and weapon cupboard. My bro worked at girl's school which also had femae teachers and my brother could not abide that the pupils and also female teachers would get whipped if they behaved incorrectly.

He then spent six months with barely any money nor possesions travelling back from Sudan.
He spent Christmas day alone in Paris having the ocffee he could just about afford and eating the bread rolls they laid out which he thought were free.
He was good at running!
He called us at 6pm on Boxing day from Victoria Station...he was home!

He became a postman, met a girl, fell in love, had a baby and then studied to be a teacher.
It was tough but he did it.
He know lives in Australia, the country of his birth..and teaches.

Me?
I never took a degree.
My Mum had ust passed away and I wanted to be there for my father.
I left college and found a job.

I hated maths.
My first job was in accounts.
I have tried other things but I love working with numbers and something you can 'finish'
I like deadlines.
I end up in roles that were never there before though...my roles have always been something that 'transpires' over time.
Maybe I do actually have creativity as well as Excel and spreadsheet geekiness!

Also though I adore psychology and learning (I'm like #5 in that kids film I adore 'input' - those are my hobbies now.
I love writing too.
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Old 27th July 2014, 12:48 PM   #36
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I just wanted to get a degree (master's) and to get as far as possible.
See it as maximizing your potential to its fullest.

Who wants to live with the regrets of what one could have achieved ?
I also didn't want my lack of degree to be a hurdle of finding a well-paid job with responsibilities, respect of colleagues and growing chances.

My advice would be to get the degree you're most suited for and study hard.
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Old 27th July 2014, 1:48 PM   #37
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I didnt stick to social work because I feel very strongly against pursuing a degree with absolutely no science. I only switched to social work because I assumed I was too mature and removed from high school math and physics to hack a science degree.

After a month or knew that I couldnt stand humanities based degrees. I regretted dropping the health science degree and I wished I had stuck it out and faced the challenge of re learning maths as an adult.

I know first hand how awful it is to deviate from something you truly enjoy when the going gets tough and then trying something that may be easy but you have no academic interest of fire for.

It would have been an awful mistake if I had pursued social work. I am adamant and not even a fraction worried that I will have any problems committing to a medical style of degree like podiatry or radio imaging.

Back when I was studying a degree I loved, u was very mentally fragile and didn't have friends, nor did I know how to interact socially. I had been isolated due to a mental illness.

Now I have progressed in life and have friends, a decent boyfriend and my life is finally normal. The only thing normal I yearn for is starting and finishing a degree and landing a professional job.

My affairs are mostly in order now and I have no doubt that I am ready to find a degree that lies in my area of interest and stick to it.

I have seen my podiatrist friend at work. I know what she gets up to. It's not all fun and games, I realise that she doesn't always deal with interesting cases of foot alignment gone haywire whereby she gets to use her expertise in biomechanics to correct a genuinely challenging problem. She spends her days cutting toenails and treating feet. For me, that is a fine career. I like the pace and of her work and the fact that, after the intensive degree, it isnt always full on...not very challenging work most of the time and that suits me fine. It's a good income, not fast paced and just generally a relaxed and pleasant environment. TO ME. I can see why others may want more of a daily challenge in their work.


I have always enjoyed going to my friends work. It's a nice atmosphere. People aren't running around with their heads cut off. There is no real stress or challenge about her daily job. My favourite element of the job is dealing with diabetics. She gets to counsel them in their health and lifestyle choices and help them understand how to manage their condition. Podiatrists learn a lot about diabetics since the illness can result in foot disorders.



All in all, I like the repetitive nature, the fact that after the intensive and very challenging degree you can start a more laid back job and the one on one patient care especially diabetic patients. I would also feel really good about myself in simply being knowledgeable enough to diagnose and treat disorders.

Medical imaging is also a career I have looked into where I definitely enjoy the sound of their daily work life. It is also repetitive which I like but everyone works in a team compared to podiatry, where you can just carry out the diagnosing and treatments autonomously.




All in all, medical imaging would be more academically challenging for me.

I don't know if I like or if I am good at physics so it is probably a bit far fetched of me to start a degree that contains physics for the first year and uses physic based concepts thereafter. What if I turn out to have physics?

I always enjoyed math and prefered it to writing essays. Sadly, I haven't done math for many years nor have I ever learnt physics at all during high school.





My dream career is to help people in the area of medical science. Be it podiatry or using medical imaging to help diagnose disease.




Both career are very attractive to me and infinitely better than a non science career pathway in different areas that are not science based.





I think I am doing the right thing in going back to college, not wasting more time, and going for a degree in my area of interest even though it will be challenging.. Applied science style degrees can be very demanding in the pace at which they move and concepts such as physics for a person like myself, who will need to learn from scratch.



At this stage, even low pay and repetitive or boring work are so much more exciting to me than a career in another field or area entirely.

It just so happens that I like the pace and nature of what I have seen so far of both jobs, and they both pay well enough post grad and beyond there is goof potential to earn more.







I am very strong on my decision. I am just SLIGHTLY more interested in the remarkable types of topics such as nuclear medicine and I would love to get all technical and learn to process images and inject people with radioactive materials in order to get images.


Seriously though, the job outlook for nuclear medicine is SO dire that it is wiser for me to go with podiatry. At least it's in an area that I am interested in albeit not my first choice but a very close second.
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Old 27th July 2014, 1:55 PM   #38
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While in my first year of university, I took a course in my current field. I loved it, and couldn't believe people dedicated their careers to doing research on a topic that had always been my passion anyway. (Most of my high school papers were somehow related to the topic).

I didn't consider the job market until I entered the PhD. (By then, I was providing my own income through scholarships, research assistantships and loans). I didn't even pick my thesis topic based on job opportunities - but, it turns out, I picked a very marketable topic. I landed a position 3 months after graduating. Had I not landed a position as professor, I could have recycled into policy or community work. Basically, I knew what I wanted to do, knew I was frigging hard working, and figured that all came to worst, at least I would have gotten to do work I was passionate about throughout my 20s. There is one thing though: I have held a job and gotten rave reviews from every single one of my employers ever since I worked picking strawberries at the age of 16.

Landing my dream job? It's not about the passion. It's about dedication. You've heard the saying: Genius is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. I think what got me where I am is that I stuck through the "bad" research contracts. For example, I remember I saw the positives in spending a summer transcribing data. While some colleagues would whine about how tedious it was, I would get caught up in the participant's stories and eventually ended up participating in the analysis of the data.

If I can translate this to your current situation Leigh: you need more than inspiration to succeed in your chosen field. You need to learn stick-to-itedness. Motivation follows action, not the other way around.



It would have been a grave mistake to have stuck with social work.

It would have been great if I stuck out the food science degree. With low job prospects, I could have transferred into another science degree or done a masters to get me slightly different work with more prospects.

I didn't stick to social work because it was very wrong for me. I am very sure that my interest loss in science and medical based subjects. I don't think I will have a problem sticking to it this time around because I am ready to tackle math and physics if I rears its ugly head.

There is a reason I didn't stick the the first, initial science degree I loved. It wasn't because the degree wasn't right for me. I was just not in the state to tackle real problems. I was struggling with my life.




I start college next year so I have time to mentally prepare and get a tutor I like.
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Old 27th July 2014, 2:04 PM   #39
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How many of you did a bachelors degree you were 100%, the most enthused with out of all the degrees on offer, EVEN THOUGH there were not prospects or very LOW prospects of work?

Alternatively, how many of you did a degree you were less interested in (but still excited about), because it had good employment prospects, even though it wasn't your first choice of career?

Go after your academic passions with low prospects employment wise?

Or do your second choice of "degree you are mot interested in" and get a good shot at stable employment at a decent wage?

Please discuss.
First generation college grad. I had no clue what job I wanted to get or how to get there. I only know my mother's advice, "an education is the one thing no one can take away from you" and her one regret, "I wish I had gone to college"

Once I completed my first two degrees, I obtained a job which I worked at for about 5 years. In the midst of this job, I completed a master's degree. During this time I found a passion for teaching and research; similarly my job opened up a new realm of interest to me. I was at a crossroads b/c I had a career laid out before me, which I could have continued to do...or I could quit and go to school full-time. I decided to pursue my new career interest...(I am also a man of faith and multiple signs helped clarify my decision).

I researched schools and undertook a MS/PhD. My passion for the field definitely helped me, as well as doing my homework to find the right advisor before committing.

Now I am a tenure-track prof. and I have the opportunity to help students find their passions. My question Leah (I have not followed all your other threads), can you engage in shadowing with the degree program you are interested in? Shadowing is where you follow around a professional that is currently employed in the occupation you are interested in. I find it is helpful to have a few courses under your belt before doing this so that you can have some basic knowledge of what they do.

I had one student the other day that started out wanting to go into gastroenterology. After shadowing, she quickly abandoned that idea and is applying to Pharmacy school.

From what I am reading, you are a bit torn. Shadowing can help a lot with clarifying your decision. Best of luck.
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Old 27th July 2014, 2:13 PM   #40
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I was uncertain of what I wanted to do when leaving school and going to university so I chose a "general" subject. However once I started working, my natural skills & personality took me down a route which I enjoy. The qualifications I have since had to study for this career were not always enjoyable but I saw them as a necessary evil and worth it long-term. I could work in a wide range of businesses but the sector I have chosen is one I am very passionate about. I know that my work contributes towards making the lives of many, many people far better than it would be otherwise.

Leigh - the courses you are looking at would take you down a much narrower career path. I highly recommend that you do some more shadowing (and maybe not with a friend who may be giving you a slightly biased outlook ) before you decide on your course. You need to think not so much about the next 3 years but about the next 10/20/30 years - that is what this is all about.
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Old 27th July 2014, 2:13 PM   #41
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Leigh, I'm glad you feel ready. I'm happy to learn your mental health is doing better. Doing a degree will likely you do you a world of good. I suspect that, in your case, it could be very grounding. I often get the impression that you get lost in cyclical train of thoughts - and that you eventually convince yourself that what you feel about something is the reality about something. This might explain why many of us want to make sure you think about what your future job will imply in the day to day. That way, doing the tasks well will be real - and what you feel about them will be less important.

You don't have to defend your past. In fact, in my field, we have a saying: when it comes to work, guilt about yesterday is irrelevant today. Every new day you get to do your best all over again.

My message was meant to say: once you start your degree, focus on what you like about it. There will be aspects you might find less interesting. Try, even with those, to find something positive about it. Take responsibility for what you do well - AND what you struggle with. When faced with a challenge, ask for help. Avoid convincing yourself out of it because of how you feel and focus on being proud of your work.
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Old 27th July 2014, 6:30 PM   #42
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Leigh, I'm glad you feel ready. I'm happy to learn your mental health is doing better. Doing a degree will likely you do you a world of good. I suspect that, in your case, it could be very grounding. I often get the impression that you get lost in cyclical train of thoughts - and that you eventually convince yourself that what you feel about something is the reality about something. This might explain why many of us want to make sure you think about what your future job will imply in the day to day. That way, doing the tasks well will be real - and what you feel about them will be less important.

You don't have to defend your past. In fact, in my field, we have a saying: when it comes to work, guilt about yesterday is irrelevant today. Every new day you get to do your best all over again.

My message was meant to say: once you start your degree, focus on what you like about it. There will be aspects you might find less interesting. Try, even with those, to find something positive about it. Take responsibility for what you do well - AND what you struggle with. When faced with a challenge, ask for help. Avoid convincing yourself out of it because of how you feel and focus on being proud of your work.


Very helpful advice as usual. Thanks for all your helpful comments.

I actually do know where my natural area of interest lies..... I am not trying to convince myself of anything. medical applied science degrees are the ones that I have always been most interested in. This is not just something I am trying to tell myself.


Social work was something I just tried to convince myself I liked. As was social science. I did them because I was too scared of a science degree earlier on for the reasons I've outlined repeatedly. In the case of those degrees, I felt terrible about dropping the original science degree and I was trying to convince myself that " well I have to avoid math and useless subjects that don't even pertain to my dream career yet the course forces me to do". I was angry.
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Old 27th July 2014, 6:35 PM   #43
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How many of you did a bachelors degree you were 100%, the most enthused with out of all the degrees on offer, EVEN THOUGH there were not prospects or very LOW prospects of work?
Not just a bachelor's but I even got a Master's degree in Fine Art knowing that employment prospects were nil.

And a week after getting my Master's (with massive student debt), I went and enrolled in cooking school - just because of the passion. Now with the latter, I know there is work to be had, but not for someone in their late 30s (at that point) who can't afford to work at minimum wage in a slop-house, or diner.

I have only ever pursued my passions, regardless of potential income. My income has come from my peripheral employment as an Executive Assistant - and there is no college degree for that other than the need for good math, linguistics, etc.
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Old 27th July 2014, 6:40 PM   #44
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I was uncertain of what I wanted to do when leaving school and going to university so I chose a "general" subject. However once I started working, my natural skills & personality took me down a route which I enjoy. The qualifications I have since had to study for this career were not always enjoyable but I saw them as a necessary evil and worth it long-term. I could work in a wide range of businesses but the sector I have chosen is one I am very passionate about. I know that my work contributes towards making the lives of many, many people far better than it would be otherwise.

Leigh - the courses you are looking at would take you down a much narrower career path. I highly recommend that you do some more shadowing (and maybe not with a friend who may be giving you a slightly biased outlook ) before you decide on your course. You need to think not so much about the next 3 years but about the next 10/20/30 years - that is what this is all about.


I have looked into.both careers..i have watched day to day going on, on utube.

I don't know how I could go from happy with the idea to suddeny hating the career.

I don't care if the career ends up getting repetitive and boring.. I would find sometimes good about it..i am.a positive person and I would just be glad to be done with school and earning a proper full time pay check, of which I have never had...i have never gotten the Aussie minimum wage or equivalent in my life for my full time jobs.


I need to apply after the 6 the of August or else I won't get a first round offer and I would have to pay big for a second round offer.




I am 28 and I refuse to fast about. It's very important to me that I begin studies next semester and it's not worth having to pay twice as much to apply at the later date. No thanks..


I am fairly sure that I won't hate the jobs. That is all I require. A job I don't hate and that pays the bills would make me very happy.



And i dont know how I would suddenly realise that I " hate " podiatry when I have looked at my friend work several times. What could possible pop up that suddenly makes me.absolutely hate the job? I may not end up enjoying it as much as I thought I would but I can't see myself HATING it.






I already mentioned that I prefer the more repetitive jobs that are not extra demanding and challenging on a daily basis.
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Old 27th July 2014, 6:42 PM   #45
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Not just a bachelor's but I even got a Master's degree in Fine Art knowing that employment prospects were nil.

And a week after getting my Master's (with massive student debt), I went and enrolled in cooking school - just because of the passion. Now with the latter, I know there is work to be had, but not for someone in their late 30s (at that point) who can't afford to work at minimum wage in a slop-house, or diner.

I have only ever pursued my passions, regardless of potential income. My income has come from my peripheral employment as an Executive Assistant - and there is no college degree for that other than the need for good math, linguistics, etc.
Interesting.


Well I don't want to pursue a degree I know has no job prospects. I want a full time pay check. In an area I am interested in. I'm really not even fussy about what the job is.
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