The Best Career Advice You Never Got

When I was in high school, I  remember one of my math teachers telling me he had been a mailman for thirty years before he became a teacher. That was the first time I realized that it was possible to have multiple careers over the course of your life.

Since then, I’ve noticed the trend over and over at MCTC. There are a lot of  students in their 40s or 50s who aren’t just setting out on their path to employment, but were leading a successful career before MCTC and are now on the path to a new one.

During my service as an Orientation Leader this August, I met a student named Rizwan. He was attending MCTC with the goal of becoming involved in social work and veterans affairs, but had already been through school before and lead a productive life as a businessman. He told me he wanted to do something that was more personally fulfilling, where he felt like he was giving back to society.

Rizwan and my old math teacher taught me something that most students starting school never hear, although it may be the best advice they’ll ever get. You don’t have to have one job your whole life!

There’s pressure on the generation just coming out of the Great Recession to figure out their role in an economy that has yet to completely solidify. It’s easy to forget that the reality of life is far less rigid. Now, more than ever, workers are moving from company to company across different sectors and bringing with them knowledge and experience with multiple applications.

The one question that I’m sure every twenty-something is more than sick of hearing is “What’s your major?” and the even worse follow up question “What are you going to do for a living?” I believe that MCTC is the perfect school for floating, because of the affordability and the abundance of resources for struggling students, but it’s also the perfect school to throw all your old schooling away and start again from scratch.

So have faith, all you new students still unsure of what you want to do with your life. That feeling never goes away, and even once you find your calling there will still be room for doubt. But we need that doubt. It keeps us flexible in a society that has yet to fully coalesce. It gives us the ability to reinvent ourselves and to drag our experience across one field and into another.

Don’t worry about your major and don’t worry about finding your dream job. You’ll always be welcomed back to MCTC with open arms once you change your mind.