Got Bachelors. Hate My Career. Now What?
Tell me if this sounds familiar. You graduated high school, spent the summer enjoying the last dregs of freedom, and then attended a university or college in the fall. That is the quintessential experience of a vast numbers of American youth. According to the NY Times, for the last sixteen years more than 60% of high school grads were enrolled in college for the fall semester.
The problem with going directly from high school to college is that individuals are given a relatively short time to choose a profession that will lead to personal fulfillment and financial success. Ideally, if they don’t want to extend their college career a few more semesters, individuals will have settled on a career by the end of their second year.
Let’s face it. Unless you spent your summers interning, volunteering, or working within your chosen field, you might have made your decision based on a mesh of hard facts and wishful thinking rather than reality.
If you discovered that you hate the profession you chose, you have my condolences. In an ideal world, a very pricey bachelor’s degree would have placed you directly where you want to be.
Don’t panic yet. All is not lost. You don’t need to spend the next few decades dragging yourself out of bed to a job you hate. The good news is that you have options.
Option 1: Find a New Job in Your Field
Do you hate your job or the profession? If you’ve only had one job within the field, you might want to search for another one before giving up on the profession entirely. There is a slim chance that a bad first job experience has turned a solid profession into a nightmare.
You spent a lot of money on credentials to practice in your field, you owe it to yourself to determine if another group of policies, managers, and co-workers would make a job within the profession more enjoyable.
Option 2: Identify Factors You Hate, Side Step into New Job
You definitely hate the job role you’re fulfilling? You don’t necessarily need to rule out the entire industry. Healthcare, in particular, has a large variety of different roles that educated individuals can jump into (with or without gaining further credentials).
Try to identify what aspects of the job you hate. Look around you. Are there any roles within the organization or the industry that either reduces or eliminates the aspects of the job you hate? If there are, you should try to chat with individuals who do those jobs.
Try to figure out:
- The full extent of their job duties.
- How they moved into the position.
- If further education will be required.
Option 3: Leave the Field for Another Job
The good news is that for a lot of entry level jobs (especially corporate jobs) what you are educated in doesn’t matter. Graduating with a general studies, engineering, philosophy, or English degree will grant you around the same chance of being hired.
At the end of the day, any college degree will grant basic writing, math, speaking, and critical thinking skills that will be required at a general entry level position within fields that don’t require a specific degree.
Just be sure to tailor your resume to highlight how your educational and career experiences will allow you to succeed within the new field.
Option 4: Go Back to School
Utilize college to open doors…again. Chances are you won’t need to gain another bachelor’s degree. You can progress directly to post bachelorette program that will open doors to fields that do require specialized educational degrees to enter.
Even if you don’t have a bachelor degree in a field that you wish to pursue a master’s degree in, you might be able to find a college program that will admit you. Many masters programs have alternate admission requirements for individuals who are switching career tracks.
University of Nevada, Reno’s Master of Social Work program, for example, has admission requirements for individuals who didn’t earn a bachelor of social work. Rather than achieving a certain grade in every social work course, applicants are given a list of general courses they are expected to have taken as an undergrad. If they didn’t take all of the courses within that list, they will be expected to take a few undergrad level courses to qualify for the program.
Realizing that you hate the job you attended college to do is disappointing, but it’s not the end of the world. If you’re sick of work, don’t feel bound to a particular field or job because a younger you thought it was a swell idea. You have options. It’s just a matter of determining which option will serve you best.