Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.
We asked Shane Bergin from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:
Science research and lecturing needs people who are curious, creative, stubborn (they like problems that take ages to solve). You need to like communication – you’ll be teaching, writing, debating and discussing science all day, everyday. If you like to be challenged intellectually, are creative about ways to solve problems, like working with teams people from the four corners of the world, then science is for you. It’s more David Attenborough than Sheldon Cooper.
What are your interests?
Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.
Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?
It's understandable not to have clear subject choices at a young age. The best advice is to go for what you're good at and to chuck what you don't like. Only vague ambitions at this stage are appropriate. The rest will follow in due course.