I left university with a decent degree in a scientific subject and got a job working in a related field in a hospital (I'm in Britain, so with the NHS) afterwards. I wasn't sure if this was the career I wanted so I decided to give myself a year to try it out. With the lease on my flat running out, I've realised the year is up, and now I'm starting to seriously question whether this is what I want to be doing, and whether it's worth finding another flat, or if it's better to quit this and try my hand at something else - maybe a PhD or a medicine conversion course.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My job isn't completely awful, but I don't think I'm a very good fit for it. The work can be repetitive which I find boring, and I'm naturally a bit absent minded, which is the opposite of what the tasks really need. As well as it being a bit dull, it's also quite stressful: things are often pressed for time, and I have to do quite a lot of written work etc to show I'm progressing as a trainee, which isn't particularly difficult, but it's time consuming and it feels like there's always something hanging over me. In addition to this, I feel like the job isn't what I thought I was signing up for - I was hoping for a lot of patient contact, which happens very rarely, and I also imagined the focus of it to be more theoretical than technical, which isn't the case.
The positive side of my job, is that as a part of my training, I'm getting to do a masters degree part time. I enjoy this a lot more than my clinical work, though as the hospital decides the modules, half of them are on things like 'clinical leadership skills' and 'critical reflections in the workplace' which I'd be happy never to do again.
Work aside, I feel like I've not really settled down either. I moved to a new city for this, and I feel quite cut off from my family and friends. At work, I'm on a graduate training scheme, and I don't really get along with the other people doing it (we're polite, but don't really socialise), and apart from them I don't see many other people regularly in the day. Outside of work, I've made one good friend, but apart from seeing him once or twice a week I don't have any other social contacts.
If I were to leave, I don't have anything lined up at the moment. I would be able to go and live my parents for a little bit whilst I sorted something out, though I'd prefer not to rely on them for too long. I think I'd like to do a PhD, mainly as the academic part of my course is the thing I enjoy the most by a long way. I'm a bit cautious of contemporary academia, so I'd probably do it with a view to go into industry. The other option I've been contemplating is med school, which would mean four more years of training and some more student debt (the bill would be big, but it would be government issued so it's not too worrying, and in the long run I'd make money from it).
The course I'm on runs for three years in total, at the end of which I'll have a masters and be qualified to work in my field. I don't think I'd want to work in the field as my experiences haven't been that positive, but I would like to get the qualification, especially as I think it would look good on my CV if I were applying for one of the options I mentioned, so I'm slightly torn. I do realise that in many ways I'm lucky to have a job at all at the moment, let alone one that has decent pay and allows me study something I'm interested in. I'm just not sure how worthwhile it is if it's making me unhappy.
Other details that may be relevant - I'm in my early 20s, I have about £15,000 in government issued student debt (completely normal for someone my age) but apart from that I'm debt free. I have some modest savings (I could live on them for 3-6 months), but nothing major.
So the question is, should I cut my losses now and quit, should I apply for some things and jump ship if I get a better offer, or should I stick with the course I'm on, grit my teeth for a few years and look forward to doing something different afterwards? Any advice or anecdotes would be welcome, I feel like I could use some external input to help to get this into perspective.
Thanks for reading all that, and thanks in advance for any answers.