So I’m in the final stages of my PhD and while that basically means I am sat writing my thesis all day every day it suddenly occurred to me that I still don’t really know what I want to do when I finish. While I’ve got some ideas the only thing I really know is that I don’t want to stay in academia.
Luckily for me, this time of year there are usually lots of careers fair type things going on all over the place as the graduate scheme calls for final year students are now in full swing. Last week there was one such careers fair in Manchester so I decided that I would give myself a day off writing and instead check out what’s on offer.
Turns out with a Biology based PhD there is quite a lot open to me. Which is great as I’m sure I will find something that is right for me but on the other hand that means there’s so much choice and I’m rubbish at making decisions.
So to put off the reading of all the many information leaflets and booklets I picked up I thought I’d sum up the fair and my experience of it. Well first of I attended the exact same careers fair during my final year of my undergraduate degree only this time I felt I got a whole lot more out of it. Partly, probably because this time I went alone and not with my friends. I mean does no-one else feel a bit self conscious about going up and talking to prospective employers while your friends hang around behind you? Yes, so this time I had no outside pressure and I was free to go and talk to as many people as possible. I also believe that my (i’m going to call it) networking skills have improved as well so that I feel much more at ease taking the plunge and talking to someone I have never met about a career I may be interested in. It’s a pretty scary thing to do especially when I will openly admit to being a shy introvert so I’m dam proud of myself for getting through the whole morning while only feeling slightly uncomfortable.
There were lots of very interesting careers, some didn’t even have anything to do with science but everyone I talked to was thoroughly enthusiastic about the careers they had chosen and made the various opportunities sound exactly like something I would want to do. So well done to all you guys. However, once I got home that little voice in the back of my head had already started doubting if some of the careers were really for me. Would it end up being another Nottingham? Do I really want to move away from Manchester even though I have only just moved back?
The fair itself was worth attending but like so many things I have come back with so many more questions. I guess I just have to actually read through the info I have and have a look online. Oh and don’t forget actually sort my C.V. out. Yes I really should make that a priority!
There’s another Careers fair in Birmingham in a couple of weeks that I’m going to go to so I will tell you all about that and share with you my journey to find this dream career that everyone goes on about. Right now though, I just want to find a job that I really enjoy doing, you that doesn’t really feel like work.
Here’s to the next step…