Lately I have found myself making so many big changes that it has, at times, left me out of breath. I moved from the UK and back to Norway, ended a relationship and moved again, and it’s a lot of change in a short amount of time! Splitting up my relationship affected a lot of things, and the thought of actually leaving the one thing I had that was stable, scared me.
I also had to deal with making a choice people did not expect: In stead of pursuing a Masters degree, I started on a sort of vocational education, a two year long non-degree giving time at a college in Oslo, which gives me nearly 2 hours travel time each way. This is a risky move it seems, at least according to the reactions of friends and family! However, what I have found is that this way of practical learning is a lot more useful to me than what I could ever say University was, at least on the educational side of things.
It’s a risk, because for all I know the digital marketing areas I am focusing my energy and attention on might not exist when I am done with my education. It feels the same to me with starting up a tiny company that I am hoping one day might be my only income source – I know the market is a small one, but I love my area of expertise too much to give it up now!
I could have gone and gotten myself another “proper” degree in something less than useful and hoped someone would hire me just with my part-time experience, but with all the people taking higher education in Norway (and everywhere else) these days, it would not do me much good, at least not as I can see. I could have gone on applying for jobs and hoping to end up in something remotely relevant, but with a teeny tiny network left after three years of studying abroad, that would probably not go on too well.
I think I have a plan for when I am done, and I think I know what I am doing, but the truth is that nobody knows, and by the end of this part of my education I might have found another area that fascinates me even more! I doubt it, but I have this policy of avoiding to close doors before I am ready to. Fear never seems to help: Usually fear is only helpful in an emergency, and while my career might occasionally be a source of fear, I tend to avoid letting it rule my life. I think every graduate and everybody standing in front of a large change in their situation will be afraid at some point, but with relations to career development, planning stuff out, even if planning for a huge and seemingly unobtainable goal, doing it will help stop you from being afraid more times than not.
What I have learned through all these choices and changes is that I can never trust other people to make choices for me, and that my gut is usually right!
Marie Mathisen is the Digital Acrobat for Career Circus Ltd, she has a BA in English Literature from the University of Essex, and just started on a two year course on Digital Marketing & Communications in Norway, she is blogging about what to do with her life post-education.