I am allowing myself plenty of time to achieve my career change and one of the luxuries I am giving myself is the chance to do some courses. Some are aimed at improving my skills and make me more employable, some will be an attempt to reignite my long-defunct creativity, but one is just for my own self-indulgent pleasure.
Next week I am taking part in a MOOC – a Massive Open Online Course. The Introduction to Forensic Science course is being run by the University of Strathclyde and will be the first course to be run by Futurelearn, a private company owned by The Open University. There is no formal qualification, the courses are purely for pleasure and for me this is simply an itch that I needed to scratch. When I was at school I dreamed of being a Forensic Scientist. I even tried to leave school after my A-levels to take a job at a Forensic Science laboratory, but my Headmistress steered me towards University and a degree in Biology which somehow set me on a different path.
When I first started researching my career change and how to find work that would make me happy, a number of sources suggest looking back to the things that you loved in your teens. What did you dream of when you had no boundaries, when you had no idea of responsibilities or paying bills? When you could tell your parents you wanted to be an astronaut or a stuntman and they would smile and say ‘that’s nice dear’ without a flinch. My ‘astronaut’ was Forensic Science.
As an adult, I have had the good fortune to be presented with a decade or more of TV programmes that have sated my hunger for a bit of Crime Scene Investigation, and I have become an avid Armchair Forensic Scientist. But, on the 6th January, for 6 weeks only, it will be down to me (and a few hundred others) to solve ‘The Murder on The Loch’. I simply can’t wait!