- 5 years ago
I’m starting to worry that I’m heading down the wrong career path for myself. I’m currently doing psychological research and have applied to a few PhD programs. I was originally under the impression that these degrees could lead to a more applied career (working in intervention programs or education as opposed to research-oriented). I’m starting to see that this isn’t as easily done as I had thought and now I am doubting all my choices. And, frankly, I don’t like the idea of working 60+ hours a week doing research and taking classes. I almost don’t want to be in the psychology field anymore (but maybe I just haven’t found my niche?)
The thing is, research is interesting and can be very rewarding with positive feedback, but not rewarding to me in and of itself. I don’t feel passionate about it and don’t think I ever was. Yet, at my interviews, the professors talk about how “Oh, I love my job! I feel so lucky I get to investigate this for a living!” This has been a big red flag for myself. Granted, my current work involves me doing a lot of the more unfavorable tasks. It’s hard to know if, if I got to actually pick my experiments and analyze my own data, that maybe I’d feel less like I’m sick of my job.
I think I felt pressure (from me, not directly from my family) to join the ranks of professors/psychiatrists/oncologists/etc in my family, and that I needed to end up in an “intelligent” career in order to feel good about myself or feel approval. I think that’s what led me to research, and that I’m just now realizing that maybe that won’t lead me to satisfaction.
I think it is possible that I need more creativity in my job to find passion in my work. For example, my dream job would be a novellist… but let’s face it, the chances of me earning much if anything are slim to none. I have, though, always had some sort of project, and think I might go a little bonkers if I didn’t have the time to turn to a creative outlet. I think if I did go through with the PhD that I would resent it from keeping me too busy to write for pleasure.
The other issue: even thought I’ve been working on creative projects my entire life, from writing, to art (paintings, mosaics, etc), to filming/editing, I have very little formal training on paper in the form of schooling and classes. I’ve got a telecom class, a photog class, and 2 writing classes on my transcript, plus a few high school classes that I know don’t really count.
I don’t know if it is possible for me to jump to, say, a video editing job or whatever without a bunch of classes for it. I guess I wouldn’t be completely against going back for another college degree, though… but I want to think I wouldn’t have to. I don’t know… I’m just unsure what to do now that a more creative job sounds oh-so-tempting. Am I crazy?
Has anyone ever gone a completely different direction in your career before? Did it work out? What did it involve?
(ETA: Holy missing paragraphs! It won’t let me fix it, even in HTML!)