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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Career girl

I was never one of those people who always knew exactly what they wanted to be when they grew up.  My list of chosen careers morphed throughout the years (ooh, that rhymes!  I should have been a poet!).

It went something like this:

- Age 11 - Psychiatrist.  Swiftly kiboshed when i realised you needed to be a medical doctor first.  This in itself wasn't so bad, until at the age of 13 I realised I well and truly couldn't do chemistry.

- Age 13 - Lawyer.  Wasn't really sure why.  At this age, I think I was only aware of three careers - doctor, lawyer, teacher.  It seemed the best of a bad bunch.

- Age 14 - Actor.  Got the chance to play Anne Frank in a 45 minute school play, and it rather went to my head.  For about two weeks.

- Age 15 - Teacher.  Mr and Mrs Nunn (also teachers), threatened to disown me if I took this route.  This made it infinitely more appealing.  It was also around this time when I watched Dead Poets' Society.

- Age 16 - Psychologist.  Back to psychiatrist, but without the pesky medical degree.

Anyway, my school, being the pushy exam-factory hothouse centre of academic excellence, made us all see careers advisors in our GCSE year, when we were about 16.  Some of my friends' parents paid for them to have pricey aptitude / career tests where a computer programme told them what their ideal career was.  I was really, really jealous of this (I loved anything computer-based, because I was am a massive geek), until the results came out.  One of my friends who was literally almost blind without her glasses was told that her top choice should be "Airline Pilot".  At which point I realised it was all guff.

Anyway, off to the careers advisor I toddled, for my 30 minute interview.

It started well.  He asked me my favourite subject (English).  He asked me what I was taking for A-levels (English, French and History).  He asked me what I wanted to be.  I said I didn't really know, and may have questioned whether that might have been his job to come up with suggestions.  He looked thoughtful.  He ummed.  He aaahed.

He looked at his feet.  Finally he spoke.  "Have you ever considered becoming... a careers advisor?"

This seemed a coincidence.  But I put it out of my mind.  Until a schoolfriend came out of his office an hour later.  This particular friend had wanted to be a doctor all of her life.  She was gifted at science and was well on the path to her medical degree.  It was likely to be a short interview she had with him.

"That was rubbish.  He told me I should be a careers advisor."

Worst careers advisor ever.  Only knew one job.  His own.  I could have done a better job than that.  I could have been a better careers advisor.  Oh.  Hang on a minute...

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