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Information, Goals, Decisions l TCIM Career plan

In this post, I go through the three points of “The Career Plan” checklist - they somewhat relate so it didn’t make sense to split them up. A bit of a longer read but there are natural pauses and you can always come back!

Lets begin

Do I have all the information I need to make a decision ?

I had to make my most life defining career choice in a panoramic !

Not ideal but I survived.

Pretty early into my masters, I was already planning my exit strategy, not that I didn’t like it. I just knew it wasn’t the right fit. You know that gut feeling telling you this is where you are supposed to be… I didn't have it.I started missing undergrad life a bit too much for reasons more than the lack of the amazing friendship circle I had built. My lack of contentment meant I started leaning a lot more into my blog for the space of science I craved so much. In many ways tcim has been my clutch when everything seemed like it was going against me. TCIM doesn’t pay so I needed a real world next alternative.

So here is how I went about it …

  1. What do I already know

  2. Who can help

  3. Time frame

Running a careers blog would make you think it’s relatively easy to solve my career dilemmas but not really, it left me feeling highly confused in how I had made what could be the wrong decision for my future.

I knew the end point of my masters and the job that was intended for me but I also had to accept I hadn’t done enough research into the “end” role and that is how I got myself in this position.

*insert many breakdowns*

As hard as that was, I accepted it and brain dumped all the skills I had developed. Started from my first year of university, blog and knowledge gained during my Msc. While I didn’t hate the content of my Msc the path just wasn’t for me. So what was then?

Following on from: How bad do I want it blog post, I knew two things

  • I wasn’t done with basic science

  • I wanted to help people in some way

Before completely abandoning my intended career steps I used twitter to reach out to people for advice because I clearly had a gap I wanted to fill. I was lucky enough to have a zoom call with an amazing woman that cleared up a lot of my worries. Really having someone validate my concerns in a time of panic when my course couldn’t provide,was just the support I needed. Reaching out on twitter is indeed very easy and I outline this in a blog post: Networking using social media.

After said conversation and a few options laid out. I set it that I needed a time frame to complete this. The time frame had to answer a few questions.

  1. How long could I afford to be jobless

  2. Was I willing to retrain to fill in the gaps and how long would that take

  3. What will get me to my desired goal in the least possible time

Although these questions really seem somewhat vague, it really helped me decide. Frankly the answer to all was: I wanted out of education fast. I wanted to do something I enjoyed and felt comfortable with. This didn’t leave me with many options but at least it helped pinpoint what was actually important to me.

This leads me into the next question

How flexible am I towards my end goal ?

The simple answer: I was quite flexible as long as it involved science . With the help of the questions mentioned above, I narrowed my goal to something that excited me and scared me at the same time. The thought of really living with none of the barriers I created in my head for myself!

Reminder of my end goals

  • I wasn’t done with basic science

  • I wanted to help people in some way

If my Msc year had gone how I had intended, I probably wouldn't have been as flexible. Going through complete confusion or rather a better understanding of academia allowed me to narrow down that I wanted to still pursue academia but it wouldn't happen in the picture perfect way I had imagined because academia is the ghetto: see blog post !

Okay now the end and what really matters

What happens when things don’t go to plan?

Before my medicine rejection( now 4 years ago). I had never thought of a back up plan. Because why? I am amazing and how could anyone not want me.

Well sad reality, shit happens.

To date “nothing” has really gone to what I “planned”

So I started incorporating a mental back up plan and thinking of things I could enjoy. Being 100% honest my back up plan if I didn’t get a job within three months was to just go sit in Sierra Leone for as long as I could, maybe start a Youtube Channel and focus on graphic design skills. These all tie into my bigger goal of helping people and growing tcim.

Weirdly dreaming up this alternate reality that solely depended on me helped relieve some anxiety. I had something to look forward to if things didn’t go to plan. This is me talking from a very comfortable place of zero responsibility.

In other situations where time isn’t on your side and an escape is just not an option. I really believe in giving yourself a limit on the days you can be FULLY sad. Sadness comes in waves and will sometimes never go away but we can try our best to limit the days these emotions overwhelm us. Plan a pause in the application cycle or repeat the points from the beginning of the blog post - dust yourself off, restrategise !

Coincidentally, most of my science journey has not been intentional and so far I am okay with that, so things not necessarily going to plan somehow works itself out.


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