It’s amazing how a single decision determines so much of our life. Particularly when these decisions have to do with our careers.
On one hand, there are people who don’t know what professional career to pick. On the other hand, there are people who are convinced to have found their dream job but at one point they discover totally new preferences they never knew about them.
My personal story is a perfect example of the importance of these decisions.
I had so many “what if?” questions in my head.
Ever since I was a little kid I dreamed of becoming a musician. I loved music and people around me noticed that. So they encouraged me to work on my talent. I started playing notes and attending music courses. To this day, I still share the same passion for music and instruments but I’m making a totally different career: that of an electrical engineer.
So you might be asking how it can be? Trust me I ask this question myself very often too. But life takes often unexpected turns and sometimes for the good.
In the teenage years, most people face difficulties taking these important decisions, like choosing a career. I felt like I didn’t have that problem. I must admit it, I could often not understand why would that be a matter after all. But I got to learn it the hard way.
After finishing high school I was excited to continue my music education at the university. In the beginning, it was all good. But over time my excitement somehow vanished. I was no longer sure if the music was what I was actually expecting from my life. It was strange to me because I spend my whole life to that point never questioning it.
In my first year at university, I didn’t do that good. I was disappointed. I wasn’t happy with what I was doing so I decided to leave university and with it my dream of becoming a musician. It was a hard time, extremely hard. I felt like being lied to by myself all that time. Like I lived an illusion and I didn’t have an identity.
But, the hard times often precede life-changing events. I decided to get myself out of my comfort zone and try something totally new to potentially find an exciting career. I was hopeless but I felt like I needed to do it.
Then, I applied for a 3-month long free electrician training program at UVP Schaltschrankbau GMBH in Germany. In the beginning, the idea of working with electrical circuits, learning to fix a socket, or assist during a switch cabinet installation was nothing exciting. But over time, I learned some basics skills and I was able to apply them in practice. This idea of applicability gave a unique sense of self achieved. I start enjoying it and as time progressed I learn so much about it.
After that amazing training, I decided to enter a technical university. However, I had to complete a six-month-long personal training course in mathematics. Then my whole life changed forever and I’m really happy about the decision I took at that time.
My story is nothing special. I know there are many people who share the same or pretty similar experience in their life.
But why don’t all of us have this courage to consider a career pathway we have never considered before in the past?
I’ve been asking this question to myself as well. I cannot say for a fact because I’m not a psychologist but I think this hesitation is kind of an unconscious self-defensive mechanism trying to keep us away from situations in which we cannot predict something. In my case, for example, I had some expectations as to what would come after university or what would happen in my career as I musician. However, considering a career as an electrical engineer was scary for me because it felt like an unknown territory where I cannot predict anything. In addition, I had so many “what if?” questions in my head. So there was a higher potential of getting disappointed in myself if I would consider an unconventional career.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, I want to share with you just a few reasons I believe it’s worthy to consider an unconventional career pathway:
Discover new talents – We humans are complex beings. We’re not always aware of what we really like and not. In your thoughts, you might find something attractive but when you get involved you fall in love with it. Therefore, it’s always good to try something new.
Personal growth – Knowing your true self and your life goals is very important. However, this is not a terminal point, but rather a process. You shall not necessarily push yourself to fit in some scenario about who do you want to be. You must get out of your comfort zone and seek after hidden motivations you might have because in this way you will ask yourself questions and discover what you really want. From my experience, I can say that such moments determine your personality and your personal growth the most.
Job opportunities – Switching to another career can easily open to you endless job opportunities. And this is great because the more choices you have the better for you.
Meet new people – Meeting other people with completely different ideas is really exciting. You get to experience the world around you from another perspective and this is amazing. On one hand, this will meet your social needs, but will also impact your personality.
Exciting career – After all what not having a wonderful story to tell when you get older. It’s just amazing to think how you went from doing something to suddenly switching to something completely different and yet succeed on it.
Engineering Origin Story
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Engineer's stories vary in the start, journey and destination. People have a typical concept of an engineer and one quest with Engineering IRL is to share stories from engineer's themselves to help us form that picture.
This Engineering Origin story comes from Haxhi Pantina as a guest post.
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