Career choices: I’m uncertain about my career and degree can you help?

I have one semester left before I graduate and I feel very anxious about the future. I am uncertain as to the kind of career I want to pursue. I also don’t think my personality suits the type of career my degree offers. It’s also hard for me to find a job because I don’t feel enthusiastic at all and I don’t want to pretend that I am. Without a goal it’s very hard for me to keep going. I partly enjoy what I am studying now, but it’s not fulfilling.

Towards the end of a degree, we are faced with the realities of starting work in our field.  It is common to reflect upon who we are and consider how this fits with a career in our field of study.  It sounds like you have been working through this process.  It is reasonable that this knowledge has brought anxiety for the future and difficulty moving forward with a clear goal.

Perhaps it is helpful to consider this challenge differently?  Many theories of career development state that people will enjoy and perform well at a career if there is a match between their personality and their career choice.  It seems as though you have already thought a great deal about your interests and personality.  You have also explored some career options.  This is a good place to start as you consider your way forward.  It may also be helpful to consider that most people now experience several careers over the course of their lives, and it is common to try different work roles as we work towards a career that we feel fulfilled by.

There are different ways to explore career pathways.  The University of Melbourne offers appointments with career advisors and course planners.  Students can attend a short drop in session at Stop One, or make a longer appointment using the Student Advising System.  You might also consider whether there are mentor figures or professionals within your faculty who can offer some insight into the industry. Alternatively, many people choose to try Career Counselling.  Career Counsellors provide support for people to understand their own personality, interests and values and to learn about careers that match with these.  Whilst there is usually a cost involved, you might view it as a helpful investment that ultimately saves time and money when compared with a “hit and miss” approach.

If you are feeling distress from your experience, an appointment at Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS) may help you manage your thoughts and feelings during this time.

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