Getting a Job
My parents saw “getting a good job” as the only reason for college. Problem was, their idea of a good job had no relation to my strongest skill, writing. So they directed me toward the business department where I was a fish out of water. After two and a half years, I threw in the towel.
Without that piece of paper, I fell back on what I knew: retail. Both my parents were in retail and most of my summer jobs had been, too. I landed a management trainee position with a Major Retailer and had worked for them for almost two years when disaster struck.
Losing a Job
I was scheduled to promote out of the training program in just a week or so when some pencil pusher targeted my position for his cost cuts. Everyone on my career track suddenly didn’t have a job. It didn’t matter that I’d actually been working in the position I was supposed to promote into for several months. I was just another name on the list.
In the following days I got calls from several individuals within the organization trying to hire me back. I thought about taking one of the jobs, but I wondered how long it would be before I was just another name on a list.
I spent three decades in the career world. From retail, I moved on to banking and then spent the majority of my career in the office equipment industry, in jobs ranging from clerical to training to sales. Eventually I tried property management and residential real estate. I can honestly say I found something to enjoy about all my jobs, as well as things I didn’t like.
A Return to the Classroom
Professionally, I never felt like my lack of a degree held me back. Friends who did graduate failed to surpass my professional success. However, two things nagged at me. I hated the sense of unfinished business and the desire to write never left me.
Oh, I found a lot of uses for my writing skills, in all my jobs, but that’s not like saying, “I’m a writer.” One day, I went back to school and got the BA I’d always wanted. Now I’m a writer. It’s funny to start all over at the beginning, but I’m glad I did.
Though I learned a lot while earning my degree, I can honestly say, the possession of the document hasn’t made getting a job any easier and I’m making a lot less money now, than I did as a college dropout.
I truly believe pursuing a college degree should be a matter of personal choice, not a career necessity. A student should study whatever interests them, not what’s most likely to get them the highest paycheck.