This is about life decisions around education and career choices. About having to pick a livelihood and somewhat live with it…
“ I could take this job that would pay me a lot more than I am making now”, Amy, one of my friends at work said with excitement while we grabbed lunch after a workout at the office gym “This job would totally set me along the career path I wanted in management, direct reports and everything! But my current job has the best hours and I actually have a life outside of work”. Amy (whose name shall remain an alias for privacy), was always looking for something more in her current role. However, when the perfect opportunity presented itself, she found herself at cross-roads.
I had a similar conversation with Michelle, a student seeking career advice. Michelle was looking to pursue a higher degree in Psychology but could not decide between getting a job/ making money and gaining work experience vs. not taking up a job and spending money on graduate school instead. She ultimately made the decision to accept graduate school which was mainly driven by the fact that she got into the school of her choice.
Michelle decided to trade the time value of money with a higher education primarily because of the quality of the institution for her degree of choice. This in turn opened-up the possibility of breaking-even later on, via getting a fulltime job that would pay well.
Michelle’s decision could have changed had she not wanted to pursue Psychology and perhaps if she had not got into an institution that would have set her up for success in her line of work.
Amy, my friend from work, eventually stayed in her job, which was not her dream job but she realized that what she wanted was not another corporate role but rather a side-hustle. She went through HR and all the Legal channels and started a fitness consulting business. Making tough decisions is half the battle. The real battle to overcome, is to be at peace with the consequences of your choices.
Amy and Michelle came to a point where they put a high capital on being ready for change.
Albert Einstein is broadly credited with exclaiming “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”
At a reunion at my alma mater, while chatting with the incoming Health association president, we talked about bringing in a career workshop. I figured I could use my off-the-shelf product. Was I wrong. What I had been using for smaller, more Healthcare focused schools, didn’t work for this ivy league school - they wanted a basic workshop!
My 2 cents for picking your educational institution: big names vs the little ones - A larger brand name is useless if it does not train you well in the career of your choice No knock on large brand institutions, but you might want to think hard before picking a big name in Law and Banking if your focus is on Science or Public Health instead. I also have my opinion around a big university degree for your undergrad vs. saving that for grad school. This, I shall save for another column