31 Mar 2022

How Important Is It To Try New Things? Advice From A Software Engineer At MI5


It’s midnight, and I’m still finishing an essay that’s due at 9 am (I didn’t start it until that evening, so I only have myself to blame!). We’ve all been there. And we know that working all hours of the night and day isn’t good for anyone.

A great way of getting that all-important balance is by finding something you really love to do. Picture this: you’re working on a really tricky assignment. Or you’re getting ready to work with a new team. You might be feeling a bit anxious and stressed. But by getting totally absorbed in something you love; you switch off for a bit.

Brain switch off gif | Stemettes Zine

It can feel a bit daunting, but the best way of finding a passion is by trying new things. It’s even better if it’s got nothing to do with your studies or work. Some people love high energy sports, some like practical activities, or some (like me) love to get stuck into a good book. There’s no better escape! But just remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. It might take a while to find your feet, so don’t be too hard on yourself.

self care is not selfish gif | Stemettes Zine

You’ll discover things about yourself along the way and you might even find something that changes the direction of your career. If I hadn’t stumbled across coding while I was studying physics, I wouldn’t be a Software Engineer now. I’ve also got a friend who just wanted to learn a sentence in another language. A few years on, she’s now fluent in that language and they’re working in a team that supports international relationships. It all came from being curious about trying something new.

So exploring something outside of your career or comfort zone is never a wasted opportunity. It’ll give you a focus outside of work and you never know where it’ll lead to. Whether it’s rugby or reading, gaming or gardening, get stuck in. And enjoy!

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