I have chosen to undertake a degree major that doesn’t necessarily lead to a lucrative career. My family is not supportive as they believe monetary reward is more important than personal fulfilment. I can see their point, but I don’t want to change my career path, what should I do?
We have all heard the saying ‘do something you love and never work a day in your life’, and that’s the goal for all of us, right? If you are incredibly passionate about your career, the idea that it’s actually a ‘job’ can seem pretty irrelevant. While it might not be the case for everyone in the world of work, it can be the motivation to drive university students to choose a degree that they really care about. Do you pick a life path because it pays well, or because it sparks your interest? Does money really bring you happiness? These are some of life’s biggest questions and we all face them throughout our lives.
When the time comes to start hunting for that perfect university and ideal course, it’s important to remember what initially drives you to make that decision. It could be a gut feeling, or you might be thinking about the career beyond it. Either way, take a moment to remember why you committed to the course in the first place, knowing that it may not bring you incredible financial benefits.
When choosing a degree you need to ask yourself what your priorities are. If you’re interested in a subject that will lead you to an obvious career with high earning capabilities then that’s great, but if your passions lie elsewhere, then you have to question whether you could give up those passions to study something that your heart really isn’t in. That’s not an easy decision to make. It sounds to me like you’ve followed your interests and there’s much to be said for that.
None of us has the ability to see into the future and who’s to say that by following your passions you won’t become successful? Why not take a moment to write a list of all the personal and academic skills you will gain over your course, and try to link them to a potential career path – there’s a lot more out there than you think and it’s wise to have a plan A, B and C to get ahead of the game as much as possible. This might go some way to reassuring your parents too as it will signal you’ve really thought about the issue.
Working on a degree and beginning your life as a self-sufficient young adult can be an awkward time for your loved ones around you – it’s an adjustment period for everyone. Boundaries are beginning to be established between you and your family; they don’t have full control over you anymore but still want the best for you!
Sometimes that can be hard to get used to. As with any advice or critique, it’s important to take constructive comments on board, seeing it as a chance to assess your situation and potentially improve it. But, if you feel like your current path is the right one for you and you’ve taken your loved ones’ concerns into account, it’s vital to discuss it and state your case as clearly as you can.
Make your family aware that if you need help and support you will seek their advice, but emphasise a need to follow your life’s path and for them to trust you.
Everyone has had that moment where they have reached a bump in the road in regards to their life plan.
It’s about being able to ride the change and be adaptable that matters. It’s important to follow the path you want to follow. Be prepared for setbacks and for challenges, and always remember, whatever field you’re in there’s no substitute for hard work.
Russell Hemmings is a life coach and cognitive behavioural hypnotherapist, and author of The Mind Diet and Active Positive Parenting. Contact Russell on 055 286 7275 or russellhemmings.co.uk