Changing career paths, and why it is totally okay to do so!
Ever since I stepped into school, I have been asked what I wanted to be when I ‘grow up’. I am pretty sure when I was first asked this question at the age of five, my answer was a ballerina. Little did I know this would be an impossible career for me to pursue, due to my two left feet and complete lack of coordination. This response soon changed to some more achievable occupations such as ‘a teacher’ or ‘a vet’ and even ‘a biologist’ for quite some time. Finally, after years of varying answers, my mind was set on a career. I wanted to be an animal psychologist.
At the age of 16 I started my BTEC in animal management, and I adored it. The college had a small zoo on site, allowing me to put most of my theory work into action. I loved the hands-on experience and it really helped me to retain the information I had learned. I spent nearly two years on the course before it was cut short by covid. I was still unsure whether I wanted to go to university but I submitted my application anyway, deferring my offers for a year.
The gap year
My gap year heavily revolved around working hard in my hospitality job. We were in the mist of covid, and I was still unsure what my next move would be. Most of my friends had moved away to study, and I began to watch their new lives through social media. A part of me was regretting not moving away too, so I decided I was going to accept my spot on the ‘animal behaviour and psychology’ course. This was the perfect course for my dream career, and I was excited to begin. However, eight months into the course I had a complete change of heart.
Unlike my college course, university was entirely theoretical. The more I attended my lectures, the more I realized this might not actually be the career path for me. I attempted to stick it out, but I eventually decided I had to put my happiness first. So, I packed my belongings and moved home. I was back at square one, and just as clueless as when I was first asked when I was little; ballerina was still a hard no.
I spent hours scrolling through endless job adverts, before seeing an ad for a ‘Social Media Apprenticeship’. I was intrigued, I didn’t know that social media could be a job. After seeing this I decided an apprenticeship could be the way to go, and I applied. I submitted my application, and soon after I got an email... I had an interview! I put on a brave face, and sold myself and my (lack of) digital marketing skills the best I could. Not even an hour after my interview I received a call, I had got the job!
I love working within digital marketing, but is this my forever career? Who knows! Delving into social media and SEO was never part of the initial plan, but I am really glad that I stumbled upon it and would not change a single thing. Working for First Internet and studying with The Juice Academy has had many benefits for both my career and personal growth. The team at First Internet are always on hand to answer my (many) questions and give me advice. I have learned a ton of new skills such as pitching, using a range of different tools and software, and having confidence in myself as well as my ideas.
You are told from a young age that you need to know what you want to be, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The average person changes careers between 5-7 times in their life, and spends over 50 years of their lifetime working. That is an incredibly large chunk of time to spend unhappy at work, so my biggest piece of advice would be to do something that you love!
Your career doesn’t have to be linear; you can change paths at any time.
Ollie Goodwin, Cohort 35, Junior Content Producer Apprentice at First Internet