What job is right for me?

I’m 24 years old and I’m not sure what to do with my future. I left college with a Btec diploma in sport studies, but that’s not my passion anymore. I would love to become a professional actor. Unfortunately, it’s so competitive that I’m worried about giving it a go. If acting isn’t on the table, then I guess English or film directing would be something else I’d like to pursue. I enjoy reading and writing, so a degree in English definitely sounds appealing. I’m just really struggling to figure out what kind of career to follow and it's really frustrating. I would really appreciate any advice you could give on the topic.

How to choose a career

From your question it’s clear that you’re feeling frustrated. You’re not sure what to do with your future and would like some guidance on what to do next. It’s great to see that you know which subjects you like and dislike. That’s a step in the right direction. But it’s totally fine if you don’t know what comes after that. That’s where resources come in handy.

It’s also important to mention that no career choice you make is permanent. Over your life you’re going to adapt and grow, and so will your career. So don’t worry too much about the long-term. Focus on what you want to do right now.

Setting out into the world of work can be a daunting prospect. What can you do if you don’t want to work in the field you have studied in? These sorts of concerns are extremely common, so don’t panic if you can’t answer them. The Mix is here to help you out. For further information, you might also like to read our article ‘what job should I do?’ here.

Where to start when deciding what job is right for you

If you’re struggling to decide what job is right for you there are lots of careers resources online that can help get you started. You could take an online personality test to figure out what might suit you, or look for online communities who can help you get job matched. In pretty much every field of work there are organisations that exist to help people grow their careers. Plus you can always get in touch with The Mix for help and support. For more advice, check out our full range of work and study resources here!

The National Careers service can help you research careers

The National Careers Service website has an article, which details what it is like to be an actor including the varied kind of work you can do: from stage, TV, radio, and film, as well the skills you’ll need to develop to be successful. 

These include a good memory for learning lines and concentration. It also describes the sort of hours you might be working, what it’s like, what type of income you can expect and the training and job opportunities available. We’d highly recommend checking this out.

Check out organisations linked to careers you’re interested in

If you’re serious about acting, it may be worth looking into auditioning for drama school so you can develop your acting skills. For information and advice on how to get started with this, you could go to the Federation of Drama Schools website. They have lots of articles about what to expect, how to find the right course and the ins and outs of the application process.

There are also links to youth and amateur theatre groups on their website. This can be really helpful going forward. You may even find that taking part in youth theatre now gives you an edge over others that might be applying for acting jobs in the future. Remember, no matter what job you choose, it’s all about building up your CV through experience. 

Checking out other jobs that might interest you

You also mentioned directing and English as alternative options the same principles still apply. So, if you decide to go down another route, it would be good to look around to see what relevant courses are available for you. It sounds like you are considering going back to college or university, so it’s important you take the time to decide the best course for you. This can include a number of things, like looking up the job profile to see if it matches your personality type.

Ultimately, only you can decide which career path is right for you. But we know that it can be hard to choose, especially when you’re not set on one field. So it might be a good idea to speak to someone who can help you talk through your options. For example: 

  •  National Careers Service is an organisation who offer advice and information on learning and careers – you can contact them on 0800 100 900 (open 8am – 8pm Monday – Friday and 10am – 5pm Saturday)
  • You could also head over to our Discussion Boards to introduce yourself and ask our friendly community what job is right for you.

Answered by bss on 20-May-2013

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