Graduate Series: Are growing or stagnant?

Recently at work, my colleague approached me to ask ‘How do I progress in my life; Nohémie you seem ambitious, do you advise that I sign up for certificate courses to better my career path and prove my family that I can go far in life?’

There is so much in that question. What started as a 30 second question, lead to a two hours conversation. To best answer my colleague, here is the advice I gave:

  1. Do it for yourself, not for others. I find that people who seek success, wealth, relationships, education, for the sake of proving themselves to others or to be better than someone else, these people give up on such pursuits the moment they encounter hardship because they were doing it for the wrong reasons. To my colleague, I advised her to do it for herself, she already has a bachelor’s degree, works full time, has her own car, and an amazing savings account, I am pretty sure her parents are already proud of her.
  2. Have a vision, don’t get comfortable. My colleague, just like most people I know who work 9-5 jobs or not occupying their day doing work that they are passionate about, have a tendency of easily getting comfortable and not realizing that one month at a temporary job has turned into two years. It is not bad to get an entry-level job as a university graduate, or getting a job to pay-off your student loans, but go into it with timeline, ‘I would like to pay off my $50,000 student loans off within two years, with a $3,000 a month salary and living at my parents’ house, then with that experience apply for a better job to set off my future career path’.
  3. Go to school with an end goal. If I had to do it differently, I would have worked a bit longer between my bachelor’s degree and masters, instead of jumping into within 6 months apart. Universities are a business, they want to make money out of you. I do value education, in the western economy without a degree it is hard to get by, however, if you feel like your career is stalling, before paying a lot of money for a certificate, figure out what you want to do first, then pay for a certificate or second or third degree to open more door in the career path you want to embark in, or to strengthen your knowledge in a particular area of practice you are interested in.

I ain’t no oprah, I am just a girl documenting her daily learning journey.

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