Careers advice

When I was in my late teens and still at secondary school, there was a lot of talk about forward planning for a possible career. We had talks from people who gave us advice about this or that, there was a careers advisor on hand most days near the sixth form common room and we had various computer programme things that asked you questions and suggested possible careers that might match your likes or dislikes.

I didn’t know for definite what I wanted to do. I had played with different careers in my mind – popstardom beckoned at one point, the literary life at another, not to mention my brush with TV presenting fame.

I hadn’t settled on one for definite because my main thoughts, in my last year at school, were on the gap year I had planned. So I just kind of let these career talks go in one ear and out the other. I had my place at university sorted, I was off to study theatre and English literature when I got back from Africa, although I didn’t really know what I could do with it as a career. I just liked them!

One day though, I must have been wondering what career the computer might suggest if I took the questionnaire. I secretly love stuff like that as it often comes up with something hilariously off-kilter. In a free moment between classes, I decided to take the careers questionnaire.

It took a long time. Long, long, long. And it went on and on and on about things that were so similar to one another that I thought that surely I must have answered it already.

“You enjoy working in a group.”
Agree

“You enjoy working with other people.”
Agree strongly

“You get on well with other people.”
Agree

“You like to lead a group.”
Neither agree or disagree

“You like to be in charge.”
Agree slightly

“You are good at taking control.”
Agree slightly

“You like to fix things.”
Disagree slightly

“You like to take things apart and figure them out.”
Disagree

“You work best alone.”
Neither agree or disagree.

And so it went on. Click, click, click went the mouse, on varying degrees of agreeing or disagreeing with certain statements. Until finally, five billion questions later, I got a little egg timer on the screen while it came up with my results.

I waited in anticipation, thinking about all the things it might suggest for the career I was best matched to. Based on the questions I had been asked, I thought it might come up with things like ‘Team leader on expedition of huge world importance similar to that of Shackleton,” or “Queen’s best friend,” (is that a job title?) or “World famous travelling sensation.”

Think, think, think, went the egg timer and then, finally, up popped my results!

I’ve long since forgotten what my number 1 most suitable career came up as because right there, sitting in the number 2 spot, was the word ‘Embalmer.’

You’re thinking, no, surely not? Is that what I think it is? Well yes, it is what you think it is. The person who embalms dead bodies and gets them ready for burial.

At number 2! That high up! Did I fall asleep during part of the questionnaire and accidentally click ‘agree’ on the statement “You like working with the recently departed”?!

Laura Maisey, Future Embalmer.

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16 responses to this post.

  1. God your blog makes me laugh! Embalmer! Love it!

    Reply

  2. The grave humour made me laugh.

    Reply

  3. It is good to think about your career early in life but I think that the career choice does change, especially the embalmer!

    Reply

  4. Chuckle!! Well, Laura, I guess I won’t complain about my test results telling me to be a librarian. At least it’s not a dead-end job! Thank you for the fun and very suspenseful post.

    Blessings ~ Wendy

    Reply

  5. I actually gave some thought to mortuary science at one point in my career. Perhaps, I should have. Wish you could remember number 1 – I bet it was interesting as well.
    Scott

    Reply

  6. I am so impressed you are following through with all these suggestions. It is such an eye opener when you start checking labels and provenance. I am so lucky to live in California where we have most veggies grown locally year round (went to the Farmer’s Market in Santa Monica just last Saturday and loaded up and now there is a pot of soup on my stove). But looking for plastic related items is impossible: everything is made in bloody China!
    And as to the bath, I was always baffled by how much the Brits love their baths. All my British flatmates relished their evening baths while I have always been a shower gal. All that dirt floating around is gross – not that we are THAT dirty but still…

    Reply

    • It’s the Lady of Leisure thing. Trust me. Also, I live in a house with no central heating so when it’s cold, it’s COLD! Getting a hot bath is an escape from the chill!

      Reply

      • I have to admit, I do remember the London cold. It’s not that it’s terribly cold (try Moscow in December) but it’s that most houses have poor insulation or poor heating system (or both). I used to catapult myself from the bed to the bathroom in the morning and it wasn’t pretty…

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