Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A job or a career?

Do I want to be an astronaut or a firefighter? My future career has been a frequent subject on my mind lately. What am I going to do with my life? Is there a definite path I want to take? Should I go for something that makes me a lot of money or something that will make me happy? Maybe lots of money will make me happy? They say money can't buy happiness, but it's a lot easier to cry in a Mercedes than a Geo.

I didn't finish college, which is a negative thing to most people. Personally, I think dropping out was one of the best choices I have made in life so far. I made the decision to leave school because it was a waste of my time and money. I was already had a great job that I enjoyed, and at the time I wasn't sure which "career" I wanted to pursue. So why cause myself the extra stress with homework and tuition for a degree I don't want?

In the past few months I have given all of this a lot of extra thought, and I have come to the conclusion that I really do not want a career. Yeah, I want to be a detective, but that's pretty much a pipe dream. You don't just get to sign up and be on Forensic Files the next day. That is a career in which I have to start at the bottom and work my ass off to get to the top. I don't wanna do that. I don't want to go to college for criminal justice, or psychology. I don't want to be stuck with one steady career for my entire working life. I want the opportunity to experience all types of things.

Most people are probably going to think I'm crazy. Why would I want to jump from one job to another? Don't I want something that's going to lead to a successful career, making lots of money? The answer is no. Because to me, money does not equal success. Most people dream of finding an awesome job with great benefits and pays well so they can live comfortably and retire. They go to college, spending tens of thousands of dollars to get a specific degree and then what? Hope you can find a job in your field? Spend the next 30 years paying off student loans? No thank you. People today have it in their minds that if you don't go to college you will be stuck working at McDonald's forever. Without higher education, you will never get anywhere in life. Well, I have something to say to those people. Forget you. Forget all of your judgments and criticism. When I dropped out of school it didn't put me on the road to nowhere. In fact, it opened up the opportunity for an amazing career.

This is definitely not my way of saying you should drop out of school. Because you shouldn't. Enjoy your time being a student. Take advantage of your only worries being homework and finals. I miss learning new things, and some day I will go back to school, not for a degree, but just to listen to lectures and learn things again. Stay in school. Even if you never use your degree, at least you can say you have one!

I was recently given an opportunity for a career that I probably never would have found if I didn't quit school. I applied for what I thought was a receptionist job with an insurance agency. When I went to the interview, I was offered the chance to be an insurance agent. The job would guarantee $4,000 each month, in addition to the several hundred dollars in commission I would make from each policy I sold. This rate would be steady for three years. At the beginning of my fourth year I would become an independent contractor, running my own office and hiring my own staff. I would be making up to $280,000 annually.

How did I land something like that without college? Because I'm impressive, that's how! I have less than two years of work experience, none of which has anything to do with insurance. Although US Bank did teach me many skills that will help with just about any job I would come across, I was only there for a year, so sometimes it's hard to convince people that I have those skills. I have three terms of college under my belt, and I had zero personal connections to anyone relating to this job. All it took was determination. I went in knowing I wanted this job, and I wasn't going to take "no" for an answer.

Basically what I'm trying to say is that you don't need college to make a lot of money, and it's NOT about who you know. It's about working hard, and being able to prove you can in a 20 minute interview. Obviously this doesn't apply to everything. You can't become a surgeon just because you can convince someone you're industrious; go to school!

With all of this in mind, I didn't accept this job. I can hear the criticism already! Why didn't I take it? Did I not read $280k? RETIREMENT!??! I know, I know, but hear me out! Like I said before, money doesn't equal success. I just couldn't imagine myself working as an insurance agent for the next 30 years. The old me would have taken the job in a heart beat. It seems logical - make loads of money, retire by age 47, and have the option to pass down my business to my children. But what good is all of that if I'm not enjoying it?

I went through a mid-life crisis recently (well, hopefully not mid-life), and I realized that I don't have much time left here. The average america woman lives to be what? 80? That means 1/4th of my life is gone. I don't have time to be unhappy! So I'm not going to waste my time on this earth working a boring job for 30 years. I'm tired of being bored and unhappy with my job! I'm ready to grab happiness by the balls! I'm throwing away everyone's opinion that says I need stability. I'm ignoring all of the advertisements for colleges. I'm living my life the way that makes me happiest! Freely :)

So go out there and do what makes you happy! Don't settle for something you're not passionate about just because it'll pay the rent!

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