Over and over and over again, I’ve found my clients run into the same roadblock when searching for a career they love: education. There are three levels of these educational issues.
The first? You don’t have enough education to achieve the goals on your heart and mind. This, of course, could mean future doctors, lawyers, and the like. It’s also those who simply want a degree, in general, because they don’t feel complete without it.
The next is you have the wrong degree for the job you desire. This happens in a lot of science-related fields. People think they are getting a practical degree and end up in a lab doing research, when they would rather be creating art or coaching entrepreneurs.
And the third level is the one I want to speak to specifically today: those who have too much education. If you have one or a few advanced degrees, maybe you have regretted taking your education so far... and still not enjoying your job.
Maybe you believed that advanced education, the years of studying and hard work and dollars spent toward your masters or doctorate, would finally pay off with a career that lights you up every day. And then that didn’t happen...
In this video, I talk about a friend’s husband who is going through this sort of advanced-education remorse. He graduated with his MBA recently and is miserable at his job, but he doesn’t want to disappoint his family or not live up to his education.
I had three pieces of advice for him, and for anyone else struggling with the same misalignment between career and education:
1. Reflect on what your education program(s) have provided you. Those relationships, experiences, networking opportunities and new information were not for nothing.
Whether you feel the reward of them now or not, they will provide some degree of benefits throughout your lifetime. I encourage you to write down the many advantages this education brought you.
2. Remember you will always have that advanced degree, and that is something to be proud of… Sure, you may not use it every day. But you put in the countless hours of studying, the late nights writing papers and a few too many cups of coffee.
Your commitment to your education demonstrates your capability and commitment, and that’s pretty incredible.
3. Start moving forward. Explore what you DO want. What do you appreciate about your current position, and what would you change? These reflections can be powerful tools in your movement toward meaningful work.
When you begin to search for the next job or industry, you can use these as indicators for a career that will fit you better.
Maybe you’ve found yourself in a similar position to my friend’s husband. Or, perhaps, you are dealing with another education issue. I would love to hear about your education experience, good or bad, and how it’s playing a role in your career journey.
Leave a note in the comment section below to share where you’re at on the education scale: too little, not right, or too much? I plan to address more education topics in future videos, and your feedback helps me to determine the direction these discussions take. Thank you for being here!