Taking the Plunge: When Your Dream Job Isn’t What You Graduated As

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28-03-2020

3 min read

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We all know what it’s like to be a graduate, fresh out of university – bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and ready to tackle whatever the working world throws our way.

We also know what it’s like to realize that the working world might not be as keen to embrace you as you are to embrace it.

The problem is, in your desperation to land yourself a job, you have started applying for positions completely unrelated to your field of study.

Queue the long bouts of waiting for a response from the array of companies you spammed with your resume, the gruelling rounds of interviews you go through when they do finally get in touch, and the repeated heartbreak that accompanies the emails they send your way when they find that you’re not quite suitable for the job (that is if they’re kind enough to break the news to you at all, instead of ghosting you entirely).

But worry not, friend.

You, like so many of us, will weather through the storm and persevere until finally, lo and behold, you receive your very first offer. You are ecstatic, and you very well should be.

The problem is, in your desperation to land yourself a job, you have started applying for positions completely unrelated to your field of study. Or maybe, you weren’t really invested in your area of study, to begin with.

Say you decide to try your hand at journalism, for example, when you are in fact, a mechanical engineering graduate who has somehow managed to survive five strenuous years of engineering school.

So now you are faced with a choice:

1. To dive into a brand new field with little to no experience.

2. To stick to your guns and keep to what you know best.

If you chose to keep at it, then more power to you! But let’s say you decide to take a risk and accept the offer. After all, for some, time is not a luxury they can afford. Literally.

Perhaps you’ve stretched out the very last of your savings from that part-time job at that cafe or used up your past allowances from your scholarship, or you are that unicorn who wants to stop burdening your family. Whatever it is, fret not. We have a brief list of reasons why we think you should take that plunge. To start things off:

1.We’re millenials A.K.A. the job-hopping generation

Employee loyalty does not mean the same thing to us as it did to the Baby Boomers/Gen X, as shown in a recent survey conducted by Deloitte. The results found that within a sample size of 10,455 millennials, 43% plan to leave their current jobs within two years and only 28% have plans to stay beyond five. To us millennials, it would seem that company ethics, and job satisfaction plays significant roles when it comes to our loyalty to a company, and are just as important as monetary benefits.

Thankfully, the working world is adapting to this change. What does that mean for you and that role you are mulling over? If you have put in the effort and time, but it just doesn’t work out, you don’t have to worry about appearing fickle.

Read: What To Look For In An Internship: Tips For The Fresh Graduates

Just accept it, tender your resignation gracefully, thank your superiors and colleagues for their contributions to your newfound experience and move on to your next adventure.

Which brings us to:

2. The power of networking and connections

Let’s pretend you are that M.E graduate again, having now decided to accept that journalism gig. It’s not exactly your cup of tea, but you decide it will do for now while you figure out a way to worm your way back into the world of engineering.

The thing is, you never know who you might come across at work, or who you might end up interviewing and subsequently impressing with your impeccable work ethics. By chance, it could be the head of HR for a reputable oil and gas company that you’ve been coveting since your days in uni.

If you play your cards right and make a good enough impression, there’s a good chance you will have gained a competitive edge over the other applicants the next time you submit an application.

And let’s not forget my personal favourite:

3. The best angle from which to approach a problem is the Try-angle

Throughout our lifetime, you can bet our interests, passions, and priorities might go through some degree of change, or even evolve into something completely different. What’s stopping that from being the case with the profession and what we look for in a career?

By delving into a working environment that is unrelated to your field of study, you might discover a hidden talent or a sudden interest in the subject matter. This may then lead to the formation of new life goals and the possibility of achieving a greater sense of fulfilment. After all, if you never try, you’ll never know.

You may be interested in: How Graduates Can Get Ahead


Hanis Aziz is a graduate in Mechanical Engineering. She is also an excellent baker who occasionally gives free cupcakes to Leaderonomics staff and therefore deserves to go to heaven. She may consider extending her generosity to the Singapore staff if they sing Negara Ku in public.

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