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So, you finally did it. After years of sleep deprivation, self-induced panic attacks due to deadlines looming over you, and the literal gallons of caffeine that you consumed have finally helped you reach the peak of your higher education: graduation. As you catch yourself for a brief moment in the mirror on that final day, regardless of what grade you earned, you can smile at yourself and think, "Yes! After all this time, my work has finally paid off!" You arrive at the venue, walk up that stage the minute your name is called, you collect your certificate, you shake hands with someone important, and just like that, all those years, that crucial chapter of your life, has finally come to a close. And now you're here, waiting to start the next chapter with a broad mindset and all doors open to you.
Or, you've done what I did and questioned where you were going to go from there.
I remember when I was in my second year of university, studying a course known simply as Education. And one day, as I was reading about different school policies in third world countries, I had realized that I actually had no intention of being a teacher anymore. I then realized that I was wasting a lot of money and putting myself in unnecessary amounts of debts just so that I could complete the cycle of my mother's children attending university, a feat that she was never able to achieve because it was never presented to her. Don't get me wrong, I still carried on with my course after knowing that I wasn't just limited to teaching, but when I graduated, I didn't make use of my degree. I returned to my usual job that I had been working at for four years now at a theme park, and although the job was never fun a hundred percent of the time, I still loved what I did every day.
Now, the only reason why I'm writing something like this is to say that maybe your degree shouldn't influence what you actually want to do with your life and where you want to work. I have always wanted to work with children, but more like a au pair or a live-in nanny rather than a teacher in a stingy old classroom, making children work so hard that they feel intense pressure from family and society to achieve the best results and then leading them down a road of inevitable despair and misery (you can tell what my education was like growing up). How I see it is that you should take into account these main factors:
- Are you happy with the job that you're in?
- Do you see yourself working there for more than ten years and not get tired?
- Does it pay for your living costs; can you live off the wage you're given?
- Do you feel like you're earning enough job satisfaction?
- Can you progress in your job? Is progression important to you?
Now, you do have to be practical in your job choices, but that doesn't mean you should force yourself to be stuck in a workplace where you're not happy anymore. Don't go into a high paying job that will make you feel miserable, but don't go into an easy job that barely pays for bills and rent and such. But regardless of what you pick, aim for what your heart wants and take what your mind has to say as a decision maker. The sky's the limit.