One of my older posts has me pondering the path that my future will take.
I have to confess. When it comes to where I’d like to be in x number of years, I am just as clueless about it as I was back in 2013. The only difference is now I’m on the other side of graduation. I am a graduate. A statement that holds more expectations than can ever be reached, it still scares me now. It has been just over 6 months since I donned the black gown and square cap and I can’t help but feel I have somehow failed.
It took the length of my degree to realise that, as much as I loved studying the subject, astrophysics was not what my heart yearned in terms of a career. Many of my course mates were applying for graduate schemes and the like while I was escorting visitors around campus as a Student Ambassador. I absolutely adored that job! It encompassed such a variety of roles and it allowed me to do what I believe I do best – interact with people. I worked with the University marketing team assisting with on-campus events and off-campus school visits. I was able to share my passions for my degree subject and my university with children as young as 8 years old!
Since then, I’ve leaned towards the idea of a career in Events and Marketing. I have also done my fair share of Physics and Astronomy based events which included outreach events in schools or at the university observatory. Ideally, I would love to have a career in STEM outreach events and marketing. The question is, how on Earth do I initialise that path?
The more pressing point at the moment is that I have moved ~250 miles south of my hometown in Yorkshire to West Sussex to move in with my boyfriend of over a year, Sam. I knew I had no immediate plan for a career after graduation so after working as an Ambassador at various events over the summer, I returned to my family at home and my job at Subway. My Grandma passed away 17th August 2016. I’m glad to say I was able to be there during the weeks preceding her death. She was the one who first sparked my interest in astronomy when she made my brother and I watch reruns of the various series spin offs of Star Trek. She was the one I felt most close to in my family, after my brother. We were a trio and her death has had quite an impact on my life. Selfishly, her passing has made moving so far from home easier as I knew I wouldn’t be leaving her behind. However, now I regret leaving my brother. All of that is another blog post entirely!
I knew early on that the only way my relationship with Sam could progress would be if we were geographically close and that ultimately meant that one of us would have to move over halfway across the country. After many tears and in-depth discussions about the pro and cons, logic and reasons, of giving us committing to such a move, we decided I would be the one to move. It made sense for it to be me for reasons I won’t go into detail about now. I’ve only been “living” here for 5 days and, for the moment, it feels like any other time I’ve travelled down to visit him and his family. Tomorrow could change things. Tomorrow I start working. A job indirectly the result of his employment; casual conversation between Sam and the Store Manager meant he was aware of my work experience and that I’d be seeking employment. Due to staff shortages and prior knowledge of my skills and experience, I was offered a job without interview. I’ll be there on a temporary basis for moment. I have been interviewed for a different job, one which I’m honest about preferring, but until such a time that I have or have not been offered a job there, Sam’s employers are happy for me to work for them in this mutually beneficial arrangement.
For the time being, my main focus is my relationship with Sam. There is little point in searching for a dream career if it becomes the only reason I’m still in the south of England. I’m not pessimistic about how things between Sam and I will pan out, in fact I am quite optimistic; I am, however, attempting to be pragmatic by focusing my energy on one aspect of my life at a time.
Right now, Sam is my priority.