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To not want a career? (Serious)

(441 Posts)
MustWakeUp Sun 23-Jun-13 11:32:46

Hi all,

I know it's not a very pc thing to say these days and my parents who are oxbridge educated high achievers are baffled by my 'low ambitions' (anything that isn't law/med/finance = low ambitions and future of mediocrity to them). I understand that this isn't the opinion of most women, but this is just how I feel.

I've never had this burning ambition to be a career woman - I finished my A levels last summer and got 4 A*'s in maths, further maths, physics & art so it's not that I'm not academic. I loved school and I love learning but I just don't want a career. When we had careers advisors come into our school from about yr 9-yr 13 they would tell me about all the different things I could work as for e.g. accountant, actuary, physicist, economist and so on, but the problem was they all just sounded dead boring. I have shadowed plenty of my parents friends in all sorts of science-y and numerate jobs and I honestly don't know how they do it. It is just not suited to me at all.

My parents are only concerned with £££ and prestige. I'm a good painter & I write poetry and I've sold a few of my paintings and had some of my poems published and now my parents (mum especially) are pushing me to do more & more & more, they are turning something I enjoy and find relaxing into a money generating passionless thing.

What I would love to do with my life more than anything is travel the world doing odd jobs the way I'm doing now and then settle down at 25ish & have my own family & be a SAHM but still continue with my painting and poetry. <bliss>

Since finishing my A-levels I've been doing that (sort of) - I temp for a 2-3 months and sell a few paintings, then I travel for as long as my money will last, when I run out of cash I come back for another 2-3 months and temp and paint again...I have seen the most beautiful sights and met the most fascinating and oddest people during this last year and I love my life the way it is now....I am free to go where I please and do what I want, I have no one to answer to at all! I wake up everyday feeling so happy and chill. But the trouble is my parents see me as squandering my 'potential' and have now recruited my aunts, uncles, ex-form tutors even my preacher!!!! to talk some 'sense' into me and to tell me that I need to apply for university and stop living 'like a dirty hippie' hmm and I'm beginning to have doubts myself.....(not about uni, would love to be in higher education someday - but university will always be there!)

so tell me MN, is it BU for some people to just not be interested in the rat race and the corporate world and careers in general? I mean surely, some people just want different things?

motherinferior Tue 25-Jun-13 21:18:53

(and certainly not someone who's put a split infinitive in their thread title...)

scraggydoodledo Tue 25-Jun-13 21:31:09

I thought that you were probably joking amazing mum. Good for you managing the sewing with lots of little people around!

Imsosorryalan Tue 25-Jun-13 21:42:28

Haven't read the whole thread, so apologies if its been repeated already < or even if the op has long gone>

I'm going to say, carry on as you are, earning a bit and travelling a bit. You're young with plenty of time to get a degree/ career.

Travelling is much easier when your single. I wish I'd done that.

Yes, you can travel after your degree / take a sabbatical from work but life gets in the way and I'd recommend doing it sooner than later.

aldiwhore Tue 25-Jun-13 21:50:50

My rules are:

Do what you want but be self sufficient, no running back to mummy when the cash runs out, make sure it doesn't.

Do what you want.

A skill or trade is a must, a skill that can, if you need it to, generate cash to live (you have that OP even if you don't want to paint every day).

Do what you want, but if you're being funded by others, they are going to feel they have some right to control, and you should be always in the process of paying them off!!


Once a few things are tied up with my life get sorted, I fully intend to live cheaply in a place I love, doing just enough to pay the bills (temping if I have to, making mosaics if I don't) and walking on the beach a lot. I don't want a big house, fast car, fab clothes (well maybe a couple of nice things)... I want a fulfilling life. For me that doesn't lie in a formal career.

You will have to do shit stuff at some point, and lack of career ambition doesn't mean you're afraid of hard graft. I have masses of ambition, they just don't involve a career. Good luck. x

ShellyBoobs Tue 25-Jun-13 23:05:39

I hope you've got shit-hot ovaries, OP.

Your entire life plan is going to come crashing down on its boney arse if you can't get knocked up.


Eastpoint Wed 26-Jun-13 04:41:12

I know a lot of people in your situation who have gone straight to university & dropped out of their first or second year, my DH & I were just talking about it the other night. Often they are the very high achieving children of ultra successful parents who have done well without really considering why, what & possibly who they are working for.

I know one boy who has started university this year after taking 3 years out, he has worked throughout this period and been financially self-sufficient. This year he has gone to a very prestigious university, studying a highly sought after course and done incredibly well, his mother feels this is because he really understands the benefits to him of gaining a degree.

It sounds as if you have just been following the path available without taking anytime to consider who you are - I bet you have done DofE Gold and did Grade 8 in at least one instrument too.

Think about what you actually enjoy doing, set yourself a challenge, can you find a studio & make it self-supporting? Be honest about the cost of canvases, paint etc and set up exhibitions. Write poetry & enter competitions so it is published.

Being able to say I got 4 A*s is great but do you really want to have peaked at 17/18? At the moment people are probably still saying 'Wow that's really good'. In 5 years time when your school friends are starting interesting careers how will you feel?

I think having a much older partner makes Uni seem a bit pedestrian & as you are used to hanging out with people who are working studying might seem as if it is for kids. However you are going from being your parents cared-for child to this man's cared-for lover - what happens when he meets someone more stimulating & mature at work & leaves you as he wants to have an adult equal relationship rather than be the only adult in the relationship?

BegoniaBampot Wed 26-Jun-13 07:59:30

I think we send kids to a uni too young. In Scotland you used to be able to go at 16. Have lived in countries where people went to uni at around 21after national service. They just seem so much more mature and ready for it.

ssd Wed 26-Jun-13 08:33:14

the op is used to having money provided for her, first from her parents then from her boyfriend and its given her a cosy cushy view of life

lucky her

kickassangel Wed 26-Jun-13 08:55:37

Whatever people's opinions on this kind of lifestyle, there are some facts which should be taken into account.

In spite if what the media lead us to believe, it is a small minority who manage to get married, have kids, live a happy life with enough money.

Significantly less than50% of people do this.

So a contingency plan would be a good thing. Get a degree, or just a job, but something whic means you can take care of yourself.

Imagine being 35, with kids to care for, and suddenly your dh becomes unemployed, ill, dead, unfaithful,boring or whatever it is that actually happens within most lives. How would your bits of poetry and painting feed the kids, or pay the mortgage?

Ther is NO guaranteed safe investment that will leave you secure for life. People have seen their pensions stolen, health care cut, and housing disappear. Don't think that having a lovely boyfriend makes you immune from disaster.

I know this sounds harsh, but it is real life.

Perhaps instead of traveling, you should spend some time volunteering with homeless people. Their stories are scary. Not because they are so extreme and traumatic, they are often mundane and predictable. They are scary because it could be you or me.

No body owes you anything, and when you need something, they will tell you that.

kim147 Wed 26-Jun-13 09:04:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

curryeater Wed 26-Jun-13 09:14:34

I think the floaty dreamy unstructured non-career plan is fine, if you don't want children. I think that this is counterintuitive in a narrative which has somehow placed motherhood and employment as opposing life paths. But actually they need to go hand in hand, or you are fucked. I would say this to every 19 year old in the world if I could

MadeOfStarDust Wed 26-Jun-13 09:54:14

I'm doing what you want to do - but started at 35... from age 20 I got 15 years of high-powered career behind me - pension sorted, investments sorted, mortgage paid off, lovely hubby 2 great kids... now I can float about between part time work and arty crafty stuff , travelling more now the kids are older - hubby is happy for me to potter about - essentially as a SAHM - because the foundations are strong.... I am financially independent because of those 15 years....

If you depend on anyone else financially you may think you are living your own nice little life - but you are not - you are living the life they allow you to.... and can pull the rug out any time...

Redlocks30 Wed 26-Jun-13 10:09:04

If someone else is completely fundingyour little dream, aren't you essentially just freeloading?

What would you do it they left you for someone younger
or with a bit of ambition/nicer tits? Find another passing mug?

chocoluvva Wed 26-Jun-13 10:52:44

"free-loading" seems a bit harsh.

DH 'free-loads' off me - he has his laundry done by me, his meals cooked, the house cleaned, his kids are usually given lifts by me etc etc

I 'free-load' off him - he provides almost all my income.

We're more or less happy.

Viviennemary Wed 26-Jun-13 12:07:24

I think women should aim to have the means to be financially independent. If at a later state a joint decision is made for one partner to stay at home and the other one earn then fine. But to set out from the start saying you are financially dependent on your parents and then hope to find a man to finance you then that is free-loading. IMO.

QueenofallIsee Wed 26-Jun-13 12:23:31

Live as you wish but you do seem to be assuming that you will always have enough money to fulfill your ambitions i.e. live without worrying about money which sadly only is idyllic when you have it!

Very few families have enough money on one income to live a lifestyle that doesn't involve basic brand coffee, renting forever in a dodgy postcode and no holidays. Your parents must be supplementing these ambitions of travel and so on and to float into a relationship where your partner will take this on as well is assuming a great deal. Do not give up on your dreams but you will have to realise that responsibilty will have to come are waking up happy and chilled due to your mum and dad and thus they have a right to withdraw their support. what if they do?

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