Do what you love.
Skip the MBA and start your own business.
These are common themes among today’s young professionals. For every one article that promotes a traditional path to success (hard work, getting an MBA, climbing the corporate ladder, remaining loyal to one company) there are 10 articles that promote dropping out of school, doing what you love regardless of money and skipping an MBA because it limits your creativity.
I read these articles, and it stresses me out because I’m not giving in to the pressures of today’s expectations.
I work for a background screening company where a lot of the “hot topic words” include “compliance” and “accreditation.” Am I following the wrong career path because I don’t passionately love background checks and drug tests?
Would I be more successful if I started a fantasy football focused business?
What if I opened a gym?
Should I continuously look for new jobs, each paying a few thousand dollars more than the last?
Should I pass up an MBA because the structure it would provide me may hinder the next big idea?
Some people take huge risks, and others are very conservative. Others aren’t at a place in their life where they feel comfortable making a huge change. I fall into the later. I have chosen to work for a great company with great people. I have chosen to stay at one company, and I have chosen to pursue my MBA. I believe all of these things will enhance my career and my future.
I wrote this article, not to discourage young people’s dreams, but to comfort those who find themselves in the my current position. It’s okay if you don’t drop what you are doing right this instant to pursue your “dreams.” It’s okay to pursue an MBA.
It’s okay to do whatever you personally need to do to prepare for a rewarding life.
What could be worse than removing yourself from a good situation only to fail, go bankrupt and have your dream crushed because you weren’t adequately prepared. Don’t listen to people who use Steve Jobs or Bill Gates as reasons to drop out of school. These amazing leaders were and are once in a generation minds who just happened to be in the right place at the right time in history.
I encourage you to grow by whatever means is the best for you. If an MBA is right for you, then try to get into the best program possible because it will make you a better business person. Consider finding a company with great people and stay with that company regardless of pay, not because you love what the company represents necessarily, but because you will learn so much about yourself and how a business operates. If you jump around, you will never be able to witness the cycles every business encounters. The experience you’ll gain from seeing leadership change, completing projects and growing within one company is one that you cannot get if you job hop.
I encourage you to network in your industry and to travel. Observe the failures of others and take note. Why not learn on someone else’s dollar?
To those who want to hit it big with an idea: work hard, network, learn and gain experience. It will pay off. When the time comes to make the leap, you’ll know.
Sean Chalmers is a business developer and marketer for CertifiedBackground.com, a background screening company (sounds awesome, doesn’t it?). He works to bring new products, services, and partnerships to CertifiedBackground.com. When he isn’t reading, working or writing business plans, you can find him at the gym or at the beach. You can connect with Sean on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.
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