Friday, 17 May 2013

What to do with your English degree?

Hello to you all!
First of all, we need to see the bright side of things. When I finished college I was kind of freaked out… asking myself what on Earth will I do now? As you already know, I didn't want to become a teacher, and I really wanted to quit my job at the store. Since I know many other English graduates are in the same shoes, I think it could help if I presented them/you some options.  


Image taken from Autism Community
The first and most obvious solution is to become a teacher. Even though I am not a big fan of this profession, most of the people who have an English degree will choose this as a career. I could write a really long pros and cons list about it, but this time I won't. The most important thing to remember is that, as many of the wise people say, “this is a noble profession”, you just need to realise the dangers, you will face and be sure that you can handle them. I am not against teaching I just think, that only the appropriate people should become teachers/professors. Maybe it is old fashioned, but I still believe that having a good teacher can change how the children think about learning. When kids say I hate Maths, it usually means that they don't like the teacher, not the subject itself. So, if you're thinking about becoming a teacher, answer these questions first: Would I be able to make them love English? Would I be someone who can be a good influence on children? And of course try to make things matter (I know it's a cliché, but that doesn't make it less true). 

2. Home tutor

Image taken from Ziolite
This is close, but still something else. If you become a home tutor, you can still teach, but you have the possibility to concentrate on a small group of children, or even on only one of them at a time. This job is usually a part time one, but in case you can manage to have as many students as you need for a steady income, then you're on the right track. An important factor to be considered when choosing tutoring, is the place. In my opinion it is easier if the children/students come to your place. It is more convenient for you, and you don't loose time to go back and forth to the student's house. Obviously, at the very beginning you can't afford to be picky, so you need to accept every situation. However, when word will spread (you need to do a very good job for that) about you being a very good tutor, you can have expectations as well. Every job is hard at the beginning but you need to see the bigger plan. Again, I only suggest this job for those who are okay with the conditions they will be working in. 

3. Writer

Image taken from Paul-Kohler 2.0
Now this is a “job” that is not at all for everyone. The thing that you really need for it cannot be learned. Talent! It cannot be taught or learned… of course, there are different writing methods that you can learn, different techniques and ways of building up a story, creating characters, but in my opinion, if you don't have at least a little bit of talent for it, you cannot truly succeed. Sometimes school is not enough, or it doesn't suit talented people (writers aren't excluded). Take the examples of Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Agatha Christie, Jane Austen, and many more. Some of them didn't afford to go to college, or even high school, others simply didn't like it, however, all of them became famous, without a college degree. But let's go back to our business:) If you're lucky enough to be talented, and you can write amazing stories, you should definitely try to become a writer. However, you need to be prepared for rejection. In many cases you need to be persistent, because publishers don't always recognise greatness at first. There is another long list of writers who were rejected many times before actually becoming famous. Thus, you have to be sure of yourself and eventually writing can also become a job with a steady income. Personally, I think that it must be great to be an appreciated author, and to see that many people read your books. I'm not saying it doesn't have a downside, but if you have it, your 'gift' shouldn't go to waste. 

That's all for now, but later I will be back with some more tips. I hope my thoughts were useful for some of you :)

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