Career Changers Teaching Career Change

Millennials changing jobs – From journalism to teaching

Hazal is a journalism postgraduate. Born and raised in London, the 24-year old was faced with a painful choice during the UK’s third lockdown, along with many other struggling graduates and realised that changing her career was her only option.

One of many stories of millennials changing jobs

Hazal Dursun is one of many millennials changing jobs and careers because “hanging in a very competitive field” is not a very good career strategy.

Hazal is a journalism postgraduate. Born and raised in London, the 24-year old was faced with a painful choice during the UK’s third lockdown, along with many other struggling graduates and realised that changing her career was her only option. The coronavirus pandemic, it has led many people to a career re-evaluation or a peak of interest in other possibilities. While millions of workers furloughed, others were forced to look at new career paths, with millennials specifically changing jobs after experiencing unemployment and wealth divide during the coronavirus recession.

When “hanging there” is not a good career strategy

After many failed attempts of finding a journalism job, Hazal realised, that “hanging in there” was not a good career strategy. “You give yourself a deadline,” she says. Hazal spent years at university building a journalism career.  She decided that it was time to do something that felt more worthwhile. For this reason she started a new path transitioning from journalist to primary school teacher. According to total jobs, the impact of COVID made a (22%) of UK workers realise their current role isn’t for them.

Dreaming of a career in journalism

You started a career in journalism five years ago, but things didn’t go as planned.

Five years ago I got into journalism and probably I was very naive. I was not aware of the difficulties I would face in the sense; For example, I would not always be writing about subjects I am passionate about.  I worked at a surveyor company for a few months during my studies to develop their website and create some articles for them. Although this experience was new and exciting it made me aware that I will not be writing on topics I am passionate about.

Although building safety can be interesting for some, it was not for me at the time. I was however really keen to write about Grenfell and the impact of the lack of safety checks had on the disaster at the time; I was told it would not be ‘necessary’ to.  This was a major let down for me. I was not as interested in finding a job as a journalist anymore. I was keen to write about subjects I was passionate about and working for someone else will not allow me to do that.

From journalism to teaching

The realisation that a job in journalism wouldn’t allow you to write about topics you felt passionate about led you in a different direction in your career. How did that happen?

Teaching came into my life a few years back when I was tutoring children with a private company to make pocket money for myself. My sister being a teacher also motivates me immensely to follow this path. As the years went on, I decided that teaching would be a more beneficial job for me.

What steps did you have to take to change career and become a primary school teacher?

I decided to take a PGCE in Education. I will be completing my PGCE in September. Getting into teaching is very exciting for me. I have been tutoring for 4 years now and working with children is very rewarding for me. At the same time, I will never regret studying journalism at university, as journalism allowed me to write about what I was passionate about. I still today write on my website regularly about events or news I believe is important to talk about. Most of my writing is opinionated pieces which allow me to express myself. This will not be something I can necessarily do while teaching, therefore keeping my website up and running is something I will continue with.

Childhood dreams and foreign languages

Which job did you want to do when you were a child?

Growing up I was always interested in law therefore becoming a lawyer was my childhood dream job. I however did not choose that path when I got older.

How many languages do you speak?

I speak two languages, one of those languages being Turkish. Turkish is the main language spoken in my household and it was what I was brought up with. My family encouraged me to develop my Turkish by sending me to Turkish school for a year, which is where I developed my reading and writing skills.

What difference has the knowledge of these languages made in your life?

Speaking good Turkish has always been beneficial for me, not only because I can communicate with more people but because knowing another language allowed me to research information from a wider range of sources during my university studies which I think was a big part of my success. It allowed me to speak about issues and events happening in other parts of the world to students and lecturers living in the UK. Understanding someone from their own words creates a more genuine bond and connection, whereas reading subtitles or translated text I do not believe is as genuine. Living in the UK with all the privileges of life made me more aware of struggles back at home, and understanding the true emotions of others living in less fortunate conditions impacted the way I think and live my life.

Travelling the world

Did you travelling abroad give you a different perspective of the world?

I have travelled to 10 countries in my lifetime, I still have a lot to see and experience.  Visiting Morocco and Turkey especially was eye-opening for me. Seeing others struggle with things such as food, shelter and health care makes you realise how insignificant our worries are. How many people have you met struggling to find food money and healthcare? It is not often you see this, therefore travelling did give me a different perspective of the world. It makes me realise our significance in the world. In the sense that we are a very small part of what the world is made of, which is very humbling.

Transferable skills, highlights and lowlights of a new career and the future

What life or transferable skills have you been learning during your teacher training programme?

I have become a good listener and good at explaining concepts. My knowledge of the curriculum has increased as well as my confidence in teaching.

What are the highlights and lowlights of a career in teaching?

Teaching is a very rewarding a job and allows me to feel satisfied knowing I’ve been able to help others. Working with special needs kids especially has allowed me to break down any boundaries or preconceptions I had.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

I will hopefully be a successful primary school teacher and continue to write on my website as an opinionated writer.


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