Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Career Stress!

As students, particularly students of a profession, a lot of what we do is a "means to an end". We don't go to university for 5 or more years because we have a deep love for our subject, because we enjoy learning, because we enjoy the challenges posed by essays and exams (although any or all of these may be true). We go to university to become doctors.

As I've mentioned previously, I did a BSc in order to get into medical school. I hated my A levels, but I did them because they were necessary to get into university. I was pretty miserable doing my GCSEs, but I had to do them to do anything I wanted to do in the longrun. You get the picture. In essence, I've spent the best part of a decade doing things that I don't particularly enjoy, but because they are (or were) necessary for me to be able to do what I hope I will enjoy one day. That isn't to say I've hated everything I've done. GCSE drama was fantastic, I loved my Maths A level (seriously) and there were courses I took during my BSc which were fascinating. There have even been bits of medical school that I've enjoyed, although those have been few and far between (I don't hate medicine, I just really miss proper science sometimes).

Today I met with a couple of very friendly paediatricians (yes, we arranged it via Twitter, and yes, they may well read this at some point - hello if you're reading *waves*) to have a chat about career related things. Despite this being a pretty positive discussion, at least in the sense that they think I at least stand a chance of getting into paediatrics in future, I still find myself feeling hugely stressed. I can't pinpoint exactly why, but I wonder whether it's the fact that it's all been brought home just how much longer I'm going to be doing things as "a means to an end". The rest of this year is a given, of course. And then there's my two foundation years, which may or may not be enjoyable (they may also cause me to be killed falling asleep on the drive home from work or to jump off a multistory if recent news stories are anything to go on, but I'm choosing to ignore those particular "risks" for now). Let's be honest, I'm not actually going to have a "proper" job until I'm about 40. That's fine. But what if I get there and I hate it. I've already spent 10 years working towards being a paediatrician. I have at least another 10 to go. That's a very long time for something I might not actually a) like or b) be any good at.

I'm very aware that I'm rambling utter nonsense here. I shall leave you with a last thought: Why is it that even when we can objectively say that we're ok, even good, at something, we can't quite bring ourselves to feel/believe it?

1 comment:

  1. I know that this is a rather old post but I couldn't allow myself not to quote Bertrand Russel's observation that "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts."

    I enjoy your blog very much and wish you all the best in your path!


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