“Sometimes you find out what you are supposed to be doing by doing the things you are not supposed to do.” – Oprah Winfrey to Howard University, 2007
Leaving university. What’s next?
Less than a month ago, I received my diploma at the university commencement day. Best day of my life? May be. I graduated 3 months before the commencement. And I was stuck in 3 things along that period:
- Considering a Master – My parents, uncles, cousins were asking about this. Even my old self with idealism of attending a university abroad. I did my research on the universities, the programs, the titles I could get after graduation, and the scholarships my friends are talking about. LPDP scholarship. Everybody talked about it and I got inspired of people who already attained the scholarship. One question for me: “What will you get from a Master (the title, knowledge, and pride)?”. My parents and other relatives talked about the pride and higher payment in job. My Google research results in getting broader knowledge and network. My friends said the title beautified the wedding invitation. My opinion? I changed the question: “Do you need a Master?”. I am thinking about the need. One of my friends attains a Master because she wants to be a lecturer. But I am not. So I recently do not need a Master. I want to be a business practitioner.
- Attaining a Professional Certification – I met a cousin a week after I did an oral exam. He shared his stories from being paid under minimum wage to getting a manager position right now in a multinational company after previously struggled in several companies because of his professional certificate signed by Bill Gates. I assumed it is related to Microsoft or something. Hence, he advised me to get one that is relevant to my interest. Project Management? Risk? Marketing? Have not decided. Same question as attaining a Master – “Do you need it?” – but different answer, “I need it. To get a job”. And a follow-up question: “Urgently needed?”. Hard question. An employer wants an employee to bring values to him/her. A professional certification can be a portfolio. Others are achievements in extracurricular activities – for new grads – or in previous jobs.
- Getting a Job – I’d rather say “Building a Career” rather than “Getting a Job”. The question is “Where should I start?”. During the 3+ month period after graduation, I have applied to several positions. Still related to my interests, Project Management, Risk, and Marketing. A bit-gambling-but-still-structured career path because I made a scope. If I could start my career in one of those fields, I would attained a Professional Certification and a Master related to the field at the time when I need them. As Natasha Bedingfield’s song, Unwritten, “Today is where your book begins. The rest is still unwritten.”
Back to the quote at the beginning of this post (for more quotes, I recommend 35 Inspirational Graduation Quotes Everyone Should Hear), the what-you-are-supposed-to-be-doing thing might be found by being happy for what you are doing right now because happiness is not a destination, it is a journey. I love one of my friend’s LINE account status, “Integrity, Loyalty, and Totality”.
See you on the next post.