I can call myself lucky.
I am the sort of person who enjoys abstract theory rather than practical skills. which basically means that I would probably enjoy studying ANYTHING in university (as long as it’s not mathematics, engineering or business related ~shudder~), and precisely why my choice of senior subjects was so diverse: because I derive satisfaction from the theoretical study of anything, really, as I have such a varied range of interests, which is probably why it was so difficult for me to choose a career in the first place! Art, psychology, the humanities (particularly anthropology), science (particularly biology), the English language; I could go through the whole degree happily, unbeknowist of the fact that after this academic phase of learning ‘irrelevant’ theory, I would have to do the practical side, the application, which I may hate.

So why am I lucky? Had I not chosen to study design, where the practical work was surely not appealing to me, I would have naively wasted four years of my life, thinking how great life is while I’m happily engaging in my “head in the clouds” state of academic studying, only get pushed into the workforce to discover how much I hated the actual job (note here that the studies of something can differ vastly from the actual job it leads to). This could have easily happened to any subject I would have potentially chosen. The problem lies within the fact that I would not really enjoy any of the jobs those subjects lead to, I may actually end up hating the career! Although this post seems to imply that I am immensely picky, it’s not so. It’s more about whether I am suited to a job, and because I’m quite aware about what suits me and what doesn’t, it helped me to foresee any potential shortcomings I may have encountered in a profession.

(If you want to just get the gist of how I chose Nutrition and Dietetics, you can skip the coloured text about how I analysed every career I thought feasible)

Read it this way:

First paragraph is: Why I’d enjoy studying this subject…

Second paragraph is: Why I wouldn’t enjoy the job…

Urban planning

Geography is pretty fascinating.

Too much politics.

Arts

Hello art history, anthropology, english studies, sociology…I like the humanities in all its worldliness! I was seriously thinking of choosing it since it’s for indecisive people like me, and especially because of how easy and interesting it is, but I decided it would be of no benefit to me since I’ve pretty much mastered the whole ‘research/essay-writing technique’ Arts lecturers keep boasting about, in high school.

A Mcdonald’s burgery patty flipper (ever heard of the joke? “What did the B.A. graduate say to the law graduate? ‘Would you like fries with that?'” hahhaa.. either that end of the spectrum, or a university researcher, which I probably would love, but the chances are pretty slim, and researchers seem a bit ‘out of it’, disconnected from the world (something I’m already too much of!). Even if not, it would be something like an art curator, with lots of politics and business, a teacher, or an editor or translator. Actually I wouldn’t mind being an editor or a translator. However, my Chinese is a far shot from professional, and I also don’t think I could stand just reading and writing all day long (plus, I’m not that pedantic to be an editor, I don’t think)…

Any of the Medical/Health sciences

Biology is really interesting for me.

A doctor/speech pathologist/pharmacist/dentist/occupational therapist/physiotherapist/optometrist/whatever else (too: stressful/too boring/too routine/too much detail/too caring/too physical-exercise-based/too much physics and monotonous. One of my main options was speech pathology, chosen because of my love of language, but the actual job is actually more about teaching others about how to make sounds rather than about the artistry of language.

Science

Unleash the inner bio freak within!

Scientist: (I can’t imagine myself in a lab coat tinkering with beakers, prodding mice and writing down numbers all day)

Environmental science

Geography and biology combined in one! Hell yes!

Environmental scientist/manager: I’m just not a tree-hugger.

Psychology

Theories? Essays? Analysing the inner workings of a person’s psyche? Bring it on.

A psychologist/careers counsellor/whatever (talking day in day out to crazy, stressed, or whatever people will eventually drive me insane. Plus i’m already overly analytical of people, don’t want to add fuel to a fire. And although the thought of being a careers counsellor is appealing because I can empathise with them wholeheartedly, I have to admit they don’t help that much (unless it’s saying “listen to your heart”, which everyone knows but hardly anyone enacts on. Which I suppose, most people DO need to hear that advice (maybe I just didn’t find it useful because I already listen to my heart). Besides, most people who study psychology end up needing to do a masters degree in a completely unrelated subject anyway).

Veterinary science

Oh, how I love learning about zoology! I find animals really fascinating, you can see me watching ants all day if I were allowed.

I just don’t love animals enough. They’re cute, but I am not an animal fanatic. Besides, there’s a lot of hands-on work like operations and other fiddly stuff.

Education

Get to study two things at once! (the actual subject/s (I would probably choose something like English/Arts/Biology), and the theory of teaching)

I’m just not in love with little kids, and teenagers? Keep me a yard away from those pests! As for adult teaching, that’s ok, but not for the rest of my life.. I’m also not much of a public speaker.

Journalism

(aahh.. writing is one of my fortes, if I must say)

You need to be bold. VERY bold. And quick-thinking. And have thick skin. None of which I had been endowed with.

Law

Perfect for an analytical person like me.

Leaving the worst till last. Of all the jobs listed here, I believe I would hate this the most. What was I thinking? Was I ever one to love the rigidity of rules and laws?! Was I ever very fond of debating (aka. twisting the facts and lying)? Nonononono!


Separated from the section of “I will like subjects because they’re all theoretical but will hate practical subjects“, some people, knowing my talent in art and love of cooking, asked why I don’t become an artist or a chef. I laugh out loud, especially at the second one.

Fine Art

Yes, I am a keen lover of art, always have been and always will be. It is an inborn gift that I can have such aptitude for it without much practice.

Yet I don’t particularly LIKE drawing or painting. I can say it’s even quite frustrating at times, as if my perfectionist self will never be satisfied with my own artworks, like a chore. It’s also very hands-on, just too much doing rather than ideological thinking. I can’t imagine myself being some bong-smoking hippie artist (yeah yeah, I know it’s such a stereotype, but all artists are slightly insane. Not that I’m not insane, but I don’t think I want to be more than I already am). Perhaps I am more fond of the notion of art rather than the reality of it.

Graphic Design

It’s true, I like to draw, and make things look pretty, and all that jazz.

I don’t have creativity on demand: it just sparks in me whenever, randomly. And you have to pander your designs to the clients’ wants. Plus, I’m not into technology and computer art…

Culinary Arts

Ok, I do like to cook.

But seriously, a lot of people LIKE TO COOK. Does that mean they should all sign up for the next chef apprenticeship course or partake in the Iron Chef? I would actually quite loathe being a chef, because it’s so routine, so manual, so uncreative. I guess I like cooking more because I get to eat it afterwards, than the actual act of cooking!

So I’m lucky. Lucky I chose something where it was so blatantly obvious I would dislike the job, rather than blindly fall in love with university, then get pushed into the reality of workforce.

So why did I choose Nutrition and Dietetics? The sort of job I want is one that is varied, free of rigid hierarchy or routine, one where I can think and analyse, and one where I can help others thrive in a meaningful way. I know a lot of people who want careers where they can just leave all of it behind after 5pm. I’m not like that, I have to feel strongly and passionate about my career. Which is why I think I will leave a profession without too much hesitation if I start losing interest in it, rather than staying in it as most people would-even if it means unfavourable financial consequences. I think by now you’d know that my sole criteria for a job is interest, in the topic and in the work. Call me starry-eyed and fanciful, but wealth or status had no place in my quest for an ideal career.

I have been told that dietitians are either fat or anorexic. Haha, I mean, this sort of cliche is funnily quite true, dietitians either have a love of food, or are health freaks. I must say I am much more of the former, but thankfully not really fat. People ask, “Do you really like food THAT much?”. Well, sort of, yes. I love to eat. I always have. But I think it’s more than just that. I want a job where I can deal with the big picture. With Speech Pathology, I don’t think I would enjoy it much because I think it’s way too specialised and also the sort of work involved seems so monotonous (administering tests, teaching others how to make sounds…) But nutrition is a much more holistic field, where you can really make a difference in a broad way…

I am interested in nutrition, I like how the topic covers the areas of public health/community/clinical roles, leaving a lot of flexibility with social studies, psychology and science… and also get the chance to do some preventative work rather than after the disease has already occurred!

I spent a long long time deliberating over what my career should be fated to be. A lot of tears, a lot of confusion, a lot of despondency. But in the end, I think it’s important to realise that a job is just a job after all: all jobs becomes routine after a while, so don’t have overly high expectations, and know it’s not the end of the world if you feel burnt out and want a change. Human nature is dynamic and ever-changing, and we should always be true to ourselves (I hope this won’t mean changing careers every third year or something…hopefully I’m not that fickle…).

And that, my friends, is my 2000-word summary of my analysis of careers. (which you probably didn’t read)

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