What are your career plans? Do you think you’ll be doing anything with your degree? If you’ve already started your career, is your job relevant to your degree? If it is, do you want to continue down that path?
These were the heavy questions I forced myself to answer when I was nearing the end of my college career.The transition was terrifying to say the least. My parents didn’t agree. My friends didn’t understand, but they blindly supported me.It was up to me to see the decision through and believe in myself.
But why did I make such a drastic change? Or even think of it?
I took a long term approach to the decision and, although I admit I had my doubts, I never regretted the decision.
I want to share my reasoning with you, in case you’re hoping to make a switch in your career as well.
This is an in-depth look into my decision, one that I haven’t thoroughly discussed with anyone because it was extremely personal. It was difficult to explain to others, not because they didn’t understand–I realised it wasn’t a matter of reasoning–but because they weren’t always open to seeing my perspective.
So now I’m going to share my career decision-making process, for the first time, with you. I realised that I can only do so much with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. Most biochemists end up in an entry-level quality analysis/quality control job. These jobs often involve a lot of manual, repetitive work. Some end up going into pharmaceutical industries and running large-scale reactions.
If you’re looking to change your career, I encourage you to think deeply about why you want to make the change. It’s not just about being happy or passionate about what you do–those things will come. It’s better to think of your future in terms of opportunity. Which career path will create more opportunities for you to do what you ultimately want to do in life?
Because what you ultimately do is going to be a large determining factor of how happy and how passionate you are. This means looking at the potential long term results of your decision and how those results align with your personal values.
I am in no way, suggesting switch to a different path. And I’m not discouraging you from pursuing a Ph. D or further degrees either. But if you’re thinking about switching careers, take a step back and reflect on why you’re considering the switch. If it’s because you’re stressed or angry or frustrated, then take a step away from those emotions and focus on your personal values. What do you want in your life? Which career will provide you the opportunity to live out those values? Which career will take you down a path that allows you to do something you care about?
Remember, your degree doesn’t define you and if you’re interested and care about the work you do, the passion and success will surely follow.