Thinking of a Professional Grad School Degree? Why I ditched it.
What I wish I had known
In university, 9 out of 10 people you meet in university will tell you that they want to be some form of a professional – a doctor, a lawyer, a nurse, an engineer, an accountant, etc..
I mean, I don’t blame them – look at our economy. It’s increasingly difficult to find an entry-level job within a specific field with a general Bachelor’s degree. Desperate grads are moving into positions that have nothing with their expertise and field of study, and might not even require a Bachelor’s degree at all. Look at me, the Kinesiology graduate working in a bank.
Of course it’d be an appealing prospect to aim for a specialized post-graduate degree to become a registered professional. You get to avoid a going into the dark and gloomy job market for a few more years, and you come out at the other end with a prestigious specialization that throws you in a much smaller pool of competition.
But if your only reason behind your vocational choice is because of the stability and comfort instead of your genuine interest in the job, please ditch it.
I chased the career of becoming a physiotherapist like a puppy after its own tail. I spent an extra two years at university retaking choices and volunteering in order to apply over, and over, and over again. It wasn’t that I was in love with physiotherapy – I was in love with the idea of being ‘set’ in this job market of instability. I knew I preferred the opposite of physiotherapy – I craved quantifiable results, numerical targets and goals, and competition.
When I got rejected from grad school, I was surprisingly relieved. I knew that at least a genuinely interested and passionate person had taken my spot and was on their way in becoming a physiotherapist, while I could finally allow myself to pursue other goals. While I’m very content with my life right now, I wish I hadn’t wasted so much time chasing something that wasn’t something I wanted.
If you’re lost, pick a field you’re interested in, aim to learn, and strive to execute what you’ve learned flawlessly. See work as a challenge and a passion instead of an avenue to make money, and you’ll eventually find out what you love to do.
I worked at as a sales associate at my favourite jewelry boutique during my university years. I became one of the top sales associates because I genuinely loved the products, and I believed in what I sold. I learned the business model, sales techniques, and the make and material of the products inside out, and took that knowledge to create a jewelry business of my own. I also learned that I loved working in sales, and decided to pursue sales in banking as well.
If you feel lost about your future, here’s a quote from William Shedd always made me feel better: a ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.