I’m considering studying law but worry that I’m not outgoing.
Internships and volunteering will help you figure it out, says our elder. And take it from me: you can improve your confidence!
Hi, I am currently in the sixth form (I am 17 years old) next year I will start applying for universities (college if this is an American site) and I do not know what pathway to take. Currently, I am studying history, English literature and religious education and philosophy. I am interested in law but I feel like I was a bit pressured by my father to be interested in becoming a judge but I know that is so much effort. I am not really an outgoing person at first therefore not very confident but I feel like I am still interested in human justice. I would like to become a prosecutor or a teacher but I want a well-paid job.
Thank you for your letter.
Many young people don’t know what they want to pursue so you are fortunate to know that you’d like to investigate the areas you mentioned. One thing I would recommend is to try the career that you think you will be happiest in first. Within reason, I’ve found that being happy in your work is much more important than how much money you make. I’ve known many people over the years that were prosperous and miserable. Make sure that you at least reasonably enjoy your work. We all spend much of our life there. Also, I would suggest making a list of these potential careers you might want to explore. Think through the pros and cons of each and list them on a spreadsheet. In my experience, writing this kind of analysis down helped to give me clarity on which way to move forward.
As for university consideration, here in the USA, the first two years are primarily made up of basic required courses that aren’t necessarily related to your ‘major’. If this is similar in the UK, I’d recommend looking into either a community or junior college (two-year college) first due to its affordability, or a specific university that specializes in your first choice for a major.
As you progress at the university, if possible, sign up for an internship. This is not only good experience to help assure you that you’ve chosen a field that you’ll enjoy, but many times provides an opportunity for employment in the future.
I would encourage you to volunteer for a leadership role in a school organization. It’s not only a great experience, but you can add it to your resume which has the potential, among your other qualifications, to open doors that can lead to a better position.
As for shyness and confidence, I faced similar issues. To help remedy this, I realized that an important area for confidence is communication. Throughout school, I hated speech classes. In college, I struggled through it and when I finished, I thought ‘great, I’m done with that’. Then I found myself in the workplace, and it didn’t take long to realize that to make some kind of a decent life for myself, I needed to take on a leadership role and improve my verbal communication skills to groups. As much as I disliked speech class in college, I realized I wasn’t going to get much better on my own, so I joined a Toastmasters club and learned new skills. Through hard work and practicing in a non-threatening environment, I got much better over time and my confidence grew simultaneously. You may want to consider something like this longer term.
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