Woman stands on a platform in front of fast moving train.

March 23, 2020, by UoN School of English

Career Curiosity

We are always changing. Always discovering new paths and deciding whether to pursue them. We’re on a train journey of deciding whether to get off at that station and explore the landscape or stay on the train to see what lies ahead. Most importantly, we are all different. We are all getting off at different stations and our development is dependent on our own intuition and how ready we are to face certain choices.

Two paths in a wood that lead in different directions.


Each choice takes us on different avenues which will challenge us in different ways and shape the course of our lives. And that isn’t scary at all, right? One of the biggest choices we face in our lives is a career choice. What paths exist for our wonderful world of English? What stations can we hop off to take a further look? Quite a few more than you think!

Whatever your career aspirations may or may not be, the worst think you can do is panic. You have a lot more time to ponder over it than you think you do. Rather than leave things to linger in your head, it’s time to create an action plan. The problem is that you don’t want to make an action plan because it’s scary and the world of work is a terrifying place. Only because that is what you have created it to be inside of your mind. When you think of what you want to do with your skill set, what is the first thing that pops up? What is your heart pulling you towards? What do you see on those career leaflets which piques your curiosity? When that curiosity is piqued, you need to hop onto that feeling and explore that avenue through work experience. That is the station you need to get off and explore.

A woman standing talks to a woman sitting behind a desk with a computer. Careers and Employability Service is on the wall in the background.


If you are panicking about careers, don’t forget about the brilliant careers advice and support that the School of English had to offer, as well as looking out for careers fairs which pop up in the Portland building. They are a great way to discover what those paths are. After all, you need a map to know all the station stops. Then, go for it. Apply to the work placements you find interesting and, better still, open new paths you hadn’t thought of before. Maybe you could stop at a station you were determined not to explore, but once you stop there you might see that career in a whole different light. We’re always discovering. It makes us who we are, and it lets us define our aspirations and goals. Above all, be adventurous. Go explore a load of stations because all the work experience you do can go on your CV. When you think that a degree in English might not fit the bill, you’ll be surprised that you are exactly what people are looking for.

Alys Hall is a second year English student at the University of Nottingham. She has an interest in modern literature and poetry, particularly Welsh literature, and you can follow her on Instagram @alysh81.

Image credit: Jens Lelie, Madeline Ragsdale, UoN Image Bank
Posted in Tips/Advice/Guidance