How 3 Awesome Jobs Sent Me Right Back to College

I’m sort of a career-a-holic. My last three jobs were in no way interconnected. I mean, I wasn’t a loan officer that went from one bank to the next. All three jobs were completely unrelated – at least on the surface – but they all brought me to where I am today.

Where am I today? College… again. It seems that most of us just aren’t very good at picking out a lifelong career in our late teens or early 20’s.

I mean, this is about as eclectic as it gets, right? Here is a look at my last three jobs, and what I learned from each. Each job got me to where I am today, and for that I’m grateful.

Server & Bartender

These jobs were your typical “I’m going to school” sort of jobs, and I didn’t expect either of them to wow me to the point where I wanted to stay long after graduation. In fact, I didn’t expect to stay nearly as long as I did, but I found that the job was easy, it paid well, and other than long hours on my feet or the occasional drunk that decided he wasn’t going to be taking the fact that I just cut him off and asked him to leave, lightly… it was okay.

What I learned. I learned how to deal with the public. I learned how to handle awkward situations that I truly didn’t want to be in (asking drunks to leave was particularly horrifying at first).

Social Media Marketing Specialist

My degree was in marketing, and it was only natural that after I graduated I should seek employment in what was supposed to be my forte, right? I worked this job for just over two years, and besides the awful pay and thankless work, I did learn a lot. I also learned that even though my degree was in marketing, I didn’t necessarily want to spend my life in this sort of environment.

What I learned. I learned how to formulate a plan and execute it. I learned how to deal with corporate hierarchy with a smile on my face. I learned that the office environment certainly wasn’t for everyone, and it seems that I was part of that group that wasn’t really quite right for an office.

Massage Therapist

It sounded interesting. I’ve always been into natural and alternative medicine, so one day I answered a help wanted ad at a local massage parlor. I started out answering phones, but over the next few months, I was trained in the art of massage and I really started to love it. After the parlor I was working for closed down six months later, I had to buy my own body massage oil and massage table. Eventually, I moved my business into my apartment . But what can I say, I was hooked. It seems that I had finally found my calling, and it was something that I was not only good at, but really loved doing.

What I learned. I learned that your degree doesn’t define you, and it shouldn’t be something that confines you to a particular career path that you are unhappy with. I learned that even when dealing with adversity, sometimes you can make the best out of it. That’s exactly what happened to me. My place of employment went belly up, and I snagged as many clients as I could and started my own traveling (or in-home) massage business.

So, why am I back in school? Well, I love the art of massage, and I think my marketing degree can help me to promote myself and attract new clientele. I’ve truly found something I good at, and something that I love doing so I thought it might be best to take a few business classes to fill in the gaps between alternative medicine and modern marketing.

I thought it was important to share this story because I’m just one of many that has passions outside of my chosen degree. The overwhelming theme for most of us should be to seek out our passions, find what makes us tick, and then find a way to make that work for us. Take what you learn from life, whether it be jobs, schooling, or just socializing, and apply it to how you want your life to look in the future. You can’t go wrong when you find ways to get paid doing what you love.

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