Crochet projects are slowing to a trickle until I can get my employment problem sorted…
For the better part of my later teenage years and my university career, my life has felt like an eternal struggle between wanting to explore my own dreams and desires and wanting to keep my mother happy.
The latter scenario ruled when the time came to choose my university degree. Not want to displease her, I just nodded and said yes when it was “suggested” that I do an IT degree - a ‘decision’ based on my mother’s perception of me and the industry’s professionals. I thought to follow her family and pursue a career in education, but mother overruled me again, arguing that “I wasn’t able to keep a bunch of kids in check” (roughly translated from Vietnamese). I also contemplated a television career, as a sort of permanent cure to what I saw at the time were serious confidence issues.
I went into my degree not knowing anything apart from what I’d been taught in my senior high school IT class (years 11 & 12 in Australia = American Junior and Senior years). The only thing I knew during those first few months was that I’d try and finish the degree ASAP and find a job.
When the time came to choose my major, sub-major and electives, my choices were based on a combination of what I liked and what I couldn’t stand. I decided against the Info Systems major because there was a rumour going around the student grapevine that a particularly loathsome lecturer I had during my very first semester would be heavily involved with that major. I ended up going with Computing and Data Analytics major since the programming subjects would satisfy my interest for “making things”. As for my sub-major, I decided to do Spanish. Even though Chinese was offered as a choice, I knew I wasn’t going to do the language since it was what my mother wanted me to pick up.
Fast forward to my final year - 2012 - I had finished an IT cadetship with a large finance company in Sydney the previous year, stayed on to do some contract processing for them and went back to uni to finish off my final subject. Not wanting to reapply for Centrelink payments, I took advantage of an IT careers fair and applied for a web development agency that was exhibiting that day. I was at a point where I had an inkling that a career in that involved IT wasn’t going to give me feelings of fulfillment but was too scared of the ear-blistering/tongue-lashing/long-winded-lecture I’d cop from my mother if I told her that I wasn’t planning on staying with it.
I ended up quitting that web development job after 8 months after finally admitting that programming wasn’t what I wanted to do. As expected, mother was disappointed that I had decided to just throw away a decently-paying job, albeit one that had me coming home in a particularly foul mood more times than I should.
I really want to do something creative and preferably something that had me working with my hands, but I was too scared of disappointing my mother any more than I already had. I settled on web design, feeling that it was a reasonable compromise between what I want (a creative career) and what my mother decided for me (something to do with IT).
Now that I’m faced with the dilemma of trying to break into an industry I don’t have a shred of experience in, I have to ask myself if I really want to persevere with a career path that might not bring me a sense of fulfillment in the long run. I was going to take a design course to get me up to speed on the design part of web design, but I ended up aborting the application process as I started to have doubts as to whether I would really benefit from the course, given that the web design component is only a small part of that course.
Then there’s the problem of getting an income while I build experience. I really don’t want to go down the web development path again, even though it’s the only job I have industry experience for. As much as mother (and probably aunt and uncle as well) won’t like it, I’ll look for something outside of IT. Who knows? The job might just turn into a career I can live with (if not like).