(Richmond, VA, USA)
Hi, one year ago, I graduated with a degree in media arts and design with a minor in the music industry. For the past year, I’ve been working in construction because I was hired by a family friend upon graduation. I have come to realize I don’t want to do much with media arts but would rather do something more involved with people, like teaching. I need some help with suggestions on paths that I could follow to a stable career.
It’s not uncommon for graduates to discover at the end of their studies that they don’t want to work in the field that they are now qualified for. Unfortunately, I see quite a few in the same boat. This is often seen as a waste of time and money. However, there can also be little windows of opportunity that can sometimes present themselves during what otherwise seems a bit of a lost cause. For example, during your years studying at College or University, were you exposed to anything that pricked your interest – something that perhaps was not directly related to the course you were studying, but because you were in that situation, or were rubbing shoulders with a particular person, you managed to spot an area of interest that got you thinking “that’s something I might like to do” (always be on the lookout for areas of work that might interest you, no matter what environment you are in)
Many people start on a particular pathway that does not take them where they thought they would go. However, they do end up in a fulfilling career due to the fact that they were always looking for new possibilities at each intersection they came to.
And of course each time you discover something that you do not want to do, you are, in a way, a step closer to finding the thing you do want to do; one more option has been crossed off the possibilities list.
To properly discuss some of the job options that you might like to investigate further (particularly around working with people), is beyond the scope of this reply, however here are some things to think about:
1. What led you to make the choice to go and study media arts and design in the first place? What were your thought processes that culminated in this decision?
2. You mention about working with people and in particular teaching. If you could wave your magic wand and see yourself in some form of the teaching role, what would that look like? Who would you be teaching? What would you be teaching? Where would you be teaching it? Can you articulate what it is that draws you to teaching?
Forget for the moment about any qualifications that might be required to achieve this. The first step is to accurately uncover your hearts desires.
The second step is to find a way of achieving it. There are often multiple roads to the same destination (albeit, some of these may be back roads).
The other thing to consider, there is growing support these days and some good evidence to back it up, that it is very possible to have a successful career without getting a formal university degree.
Consider making an appointment with a recognized career counselor. This could be a great investment for you at this stage in your life.
The other thing I would suggest you do (and perhaps before you visit a career counselor) is to complete my inborn job skills exercise. This can provide some invaluable self knowledge for the cost of a takeaway lunch.
I hope this is of some help.
P.S. Here’s an interesting article about how many university degrees are somewhat wasted.