I am not my degree: a story about not being limited by a profession you chose at 18.
If you have ever found yourself sitting in a bar, sipping on something strong and all of a sudden questioning your entire career path since college, you are not alone. There is nothing more daunting than feeling that you may have chosen the WRONG major in college…and that your degree may have set you up for a lifetime of jobs that you don’t like. I’ve been in your shoes, and that feeling blows, BUT what blows even more is believing the lie that you must work in a field designated by your degree and wasting time in a career that does not give you fulfillment.
About a year ago, I was in that position.
After completing a BS in Communications in 2015 from the best school in the world (Western Carolina University), I began an internship at iHeart Media. If you have ever turned on a radio in your life, you have listened to an iHeart Media station. Immediately I was disenchanted with corporate radio. The dog-eat-dog atmosphere was a bit much for me, and I was expected to fit a certain mold in which I just did not feel I belonged. Following my radio experience, I moved to a city I liked a lot better, and after a few “just to make money” jobs, I got my first ever marketing job, the first of three, and while I had some good experiences at some of them, I always found myself watching the clock and counting down until the end of the day.
During those couple post-grad years, I became a military spouse, and my husband and I were relocated to Saint Louis, Missouri (with a casual thirty days advanced notice!) Immediately after the move I landed my third marketing job. I was so proud of myself for getting employed less than two weeks after moving! And yet… after less than three months at that marketing agency I was longing for an escape and already job hunting.
I started thinking about the common denominator in all of my less than perfect job experiences. Was each company lacking something, or was I the one lacking something? After quite a bit of thought it occurred to me that perhaps the reason why I had not fully enjoyed any of my jobs was because I was in the wrong field.
I am someone who refuses to settle in all aspects of life. I won’t hang with people who make me feel like shit. I wouldn’t have married my husband if he didn’t make me feel like a princess. I won’t spend the majority of my days at a job I can’t stand! I knew from experience that I loved working with college students, and I started to wonder if a job in that field would give me the feeling of fulfillment that I was looking for.
It’s incredibly scary to think that you wasted your time getting a four (or more!) year degree in something that you do not want to hold a job in. But, #1: Any time you spent getting a degree in ANYTHING is not a waste, because all college degrees show hard work and longevity. #2: Nothing, repeat NOTHING, is scarier that letting a decision you made when you were 18 create an entire lifetime of missed opportunities and careers that you despise.
Don’t be the person who teaches for 40 years even though they realized they hated kids at age 22. Don’t be the person who practices law because you spent so much money getting a law degree because your parents said you should. If you are lucky enough to find something that fills you with wonder and excitement and challenges you in the best way, don’t ignore that something! Lots of people never find their calling. Do not ignore your calling just because your framed piece of paper has a different title on it.
As for me, I have settled into a job at a college tutoring center, and I am working on completing an M.ed. I barely even look at the clock at my job now. (:
Becca Mulloy is 24 years young, North Carolina grown and Missouri planted. Visit her blog at thesemicharmedlife.com.
Thanks for reading, you guys! Becca and I have been friends for about two years now and I came to her last week for a guest post because I know there are readers out there feeling lost and without answers (uhm hello me too) and she delivered. Go give her blog some love, and follow her on Instagram. She’s a smart cookie and her posts can offer some great advice. PS: she has two Schnauzer puppers who are also super adorable.
Have a good rest of the week, you guys!