Dislike my Masters and don't want to work in this area, but I feel trapped and guilty

clueless

Chatty Member
Brief background: a few years ago I worked in an admin role through a recruitment agency on a temporary basis, and left to join my fiancé who had to relocate abroad with his work; he was so grateful because he couldn't have done it without me. But I thought it was an amazing and fun opportunity, so I left and joined him, had a wonderful time for a few years, even made a bit of money dog-walking and dog-sitting 🥰 but thought I should do something after enjoying being a lady of leisure for a few years!

I'm now back in the UK doing a Masters in Software Development, a course initially suggested by my fiancé. I thought it was a good idea too at the time. I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life, I looked more into it, played around with Java and it seemed like a great option; well paid and would allow me to work anywhere in the world. So I applied, passed the aptitude test and secured a place. I was delighted and so excited. I enjoyed some of the classes, but the enjoyment has waned significantly over time. I really don't know if I want to be doing this for a living anymore. I no longer enjoy it, some of it is incredibly boring, stressful and frustrating, and I struggle with the content to the point that I don't think I'm cut out for it. I'm now at the beginning of my dissertation and I feel so out of my depth, especially now I'm without my classmates.

I'm also feeling extra terrible about it because my parents paid the tuition fees (£6.5k; I wanted to take a postgrad student loan, but they didn't want that) and my fiancé is looking forward to me having this well-paid software job so he can "take a chance" with his own aspirations (potentially leaving his job to do something else, or start up on his own). This is fair enough because he supported me for those few years when we lived abroad, so it's like his turn, but I feel so trapped and I don't want to let anybody down.

Anytime I express to him feeling unhappy or out of my depth, he gets annoyed and accuses me of being "so negative" and ungrateful; I should have more gratitude to be on the course, software is "exciting" and I should look at all the potential, the job security etc. I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to do the course, and at a Russell Group uni, but I just can't find the same enthusiasm now. So I no longer express any unhappiness to him about it, and I'd never express it to my mum and dad. They wouldn't pressure me into doing anything I didn't want to do, but I feel so, so bad.

I'm beginning to really miss my old admin job. It wasn't a high flying role or big salary, but I worked with lovely people and didn't have the sort of stress I'm feeling with this. If I manage to pass the dissertation (so much pressure there too, if I don't, I'll get a Graduate Diploma instead - not ideal when you've paid for the Masters), I'll be happy to have my MSc (it will feel good, because it really has been blood, sweat and many, many tears) but unlike most of my classmates, I'm not excited about working in IT. But I feel like I have no choice. Maybe once I'm in somewhere it will be ok. If I can even just earn enough money to pay back my parents for the fees (not that they would want me to pay them back, but I'd feel a lot better about it if I don't stick with doing software), that would be good. Maybe I'll feel differently with a wage coming in, I don't know.

Thanks if you managed to read all that! Just needed to vent about this, it's getting me down and as time goes on I feel myself getting more anxious about the future. But maybe I should just be sucking it up - I know not many people enjoy their jobs - am I being a bit of a spoiled/entitled brat in feeling the way I am?

Has anyone here been in a similar situation? Does anyone here work in software/IT that can reassure me? Or anyone who has completed a Masters, but not used it?
 

Tattlingpineapple

Chatty Member
Not quite similar but I was really unhappy with my first bachelor programme. I never liked it (it was interesting but a very heavy workload, never really liked the people and also didn't see myself working in this field) but felt I couldn't quit (which I wanted to do after a month) because my dad had paid the study fees, had helped me with moving (abroad), I had a one year contract for a flat and also I didn't know what else to do. So I stayed, continued studying but was pretty unhappy most of the time. Shortly before graduating, I talked to the university psychologist because I felt really depressed and knew something had to change. I realized quickly what I wanted to do instead. I still finished the degree (only had to write my bachelor thesis). I am kind of proud that I didn't quit but it could have saved me from lots of tears. Probably, I should have quit earlier. I took a year off (doing internships/ working) and then started a second bachelor programme (no study fees in Germany). Best decision of my life. I am still very happy in my field (social work / early childhood education). Worked full-time for two years and now work part-time and do a Masters. Well, what I want to say, life is too long to do something that makes you unhappy. I was so scared about what my family would say, financial issues, doing a second bachelor ... but everything turned out well. I am not sure, if I can really use my Masters in the future but guess it will be helpful at some point although I don't know yet what to do after completing it. You are welcome to pm me.
 

Italy2

Active member
Aww sounds like you are really stressed and struggling at the moment. Studies can be really challenging sometimes specially if you are working from home on your own without the support of your mates and teaches and I bet that is taking a toll on you as well.

It sounds like you are nearly done with it and only have the dissertation left to do.
I think you should stick it out and finish it off but maybe get a different graduate job? If you have a graduate job then it doesn't mean that you have to work in that specific field. You can always venture out to different career paths. Maybe go into teaching? Graduate scheme? Management courses?

If you quit now then you will out all your hard work in the bin for nothing.. I know life is short and you should do what makes you happy but sadly sometimes we have to stick out somethings that we don't want to do. As you said you are so close to the finish line now that maybe you just want to see it out now?

Maybe take a break from your studies completely for a day or two. Give yourself some time to clear your head and thoughts. Take time to do positive fun things that make you happy to get your energy and enthusiasm back then try and see if you can bear the dissertation to just get through it?

Also definitely look into alternative careers of what you can do with your MSc because there are so many jobs you can have rather than 1 traditional job related to your degree. For example I know computer software graduates working in management or English graduates working in IT firms and history graduates working in law firms...

Maybe see what's out there for you as it sounds you are not sure what you want to do ATM? It can be really hard to decide what you want to do as a career and you never know until you try and you don't try until you know lol...
 

clueless

Chatty Member
Thank you for your replies! I really appreciate them.

I definitely want to stick it out and get the full MSc 🤞 it would be a waste otherwise and at least I'd have the qualification after it all.

I'm really not sure what I want to do, but I've been feeling strongly for this past while that I don't want to do anything in software 😖. There are things I think that I would like to do but they're a bit unrealistic/hardly any opportunities (writing, working with animals in the zoo, being a dog groomer).

My fiancé is always talking about me doing it, about how I should be updating my 'GitHub' (portfolio thing) as it helps with job applications, how exciting it all is etc, but my heart just sinks at the thought of it 😔 I should probably just park it and not worry about a job until after I'm finished the dissertation, and hope that maybe a great opportunity outside of software will appear 😅 I think he'll be annoyed if I don't get a software job and I worry my parents will be disappointed, after doing the course, but I'll just see how it pans out...!
 

BettyCrocker

VIP Member
Your life & your happiness are not to be laid down for the approval and happiness of your parents or your partner or anyone else.

Your partner thinks this is a great career? He’s really excited about it? Well, that’s wonderful for him - maybe he should do it? Just because he thinks it’s brilliant doesn’t mean that you have to and he doesn’t get to dictate what should or shouldn’t make you happy.

Your parents paid your tuition- but like you say this was their choice and you had already suggested that you take your own loan. You don’t need to feel any guilt over that.

If you have no interest or intention of working in this industry I’d honestly just put it to bed now, it sounds like it and this whole situation are making you miserable. What’s the point?
 

clueless

Chatty Member
Your life & your happiness are not to be laid down for the approval and happiness of your parents or your partner or anyone else.

Your partner thinks this is a great career? He’s really excited about it? Well, that’s wonderful for him - maybe he should do it? Just because he thinks it’s brilliant doesn’t mean that you have to and he doesn’t get to dictate what should or shouldn’t make you happy.
Thank you ♥

My thoughts exactly! I told him this too, why doesn’t he do it then? And he said he can’t because he has other responsibilities so he can’t leave his job as easily... so I’m “so lucky” that I’m in a position to do it... but there’s a part time evening version of the course over two years for people who are working, which I pointed out, but he has never applied for it. Funny that?

I’ve been telling him to worry about his own career and not mine 👍 I just don’t understand why he tries to sell it to me so much. He works in the IT industry but not in a technical role, he says he sees how valuable these skills are etc. But maybe it’s because I admittedly haven’t had much direction the past few years and he’s trying to encourage me. He has all this faith in me and thinks I have all this potential. And he has always been so supportive of my other endeavours that didn’t work out.

Your parents paid your tuition- but like you say this was their choice and you had already suggested that you take your own loan. You don’t need to feel any guilt over that.

If you have no interest or intention of working in this industry I’d honestly just put it to bed now, it sounds like it and this whole situation are making you miserable. What’s the point?
That’s true, I didn’t think of it like that. And they are very good, they don’t pressure me and wouldn’t want me to do anything that makes me unhappy. I’m considering that!
 

Meh

Well-known member
Thank you for your replies! I really appreciate them.

I definitely want to stick it out and get the full MSc 🤞 it would be a waste otherwise and at least I'd have the qualification after it all.

I'm really not sure what I want to do, but I've been feeling strongly for this past while that I don't want to do anything in software 😖. There are things I think that I would like to do but they're a bit unrealistic/hardly any opportunities (writing, working with animals in the zoo, being a dog groomer).

My fiancé is always talking about me doing it, about how I should be updating my 'GitHub' (portfolio thing) as it helps with job applications, how exciting it all is etc, but my heart just sinks at the thought of it 😔 I should probably just park it and not worry about a job until after I'm finished the dissertation, and hope that maybe a great opportunity outside of software will appear 😅 I think he'll be annoyed if I don't get a software job and I worry my parents will be disappointed, after doing the course, but I'll just see how it pans out...!
Sorry you’re feeling this way; studying is so difficult especially if you have doubts about the future or subject.

Well done for deciding to stick it out; definitely worth it! Get that Masters under your belt.

Perhaps just trying and break down the next few months: your focus is completing your dissertation and that’s all. No job apps, no CVs, no registering on sites etc.

Your fiancé does sound supportive BUT also a bit selfish. You’re completing the course, getting the masters but you’re entirely right to decide that it’s not the pathway for you. You can, and will, be able to get into other fields with your Masters. So you’re definitely not stuck or trapped.
It sounds as if your fiancé is quite attracted to you having a specific job he wants you to have; well if he’s so keen to be a software developer then HE should go do the masters!

It’s your life and future, you make the decision.

one thing I would try and avoid is looking back at older jobs as that can often be through rose tinted glasses.

You’re nearly at the end, one final push and it’s over and you’ve got a great qualification that you can use in any field. Remember employers are interested in people who can follow through to that level of study 🙂 Please don’t feel pressured or like you’re letting people down.

When I was at Uni and feeling the pressure I used to think: “this time in X days/weeks/monthS it’s all over; no exams, workload, stress etc”

slightly negative but that mindset still calms me to this day. A presentation or meeting I’m dreading? This time in 24 hours it’s over. That’s how I cope.
 

Mookiegoose

Member
Your life & your happiness are not to be laid down for the approval and happiness of your parents or your partner or anyone else.

Your partner thinks this is a great career? He’s really excited about it? Well, that’s wonderful for him - maybe he should do it? Just because he thinks it’s brilliant doesn’t mean that you have to and he doesn’t get to dictate what should or shouldn’t make you happy.

Your parents paid your tuition- but like you say this was their choice and you had already suggested that you take your own loan. You don’t need to feel any guilt over that.

If you have no interest or intention of working in this industry I’d honestly just put it to bed now, it sounds like it and this whole situation are making you miserable. What’s the point?
I totally agree with this. Why would your partner have a problem with what you eventually choose to do? Surely he'd prefer you to be happy rather than proper miserable in a job you hate.

Life is way too short to be this miserable.
 
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