Around the 6-month mark of any year, most people tend to do some reflection. Yep – I’m one of those people. When I first started at generationYOU, I was technically still a student. No really. I was 99.9% sure I was going to get my degree in June 2017, but I hadn’t graduated as of yet.
Luckily there were no surprises, I passed all my subjects, and Lisa didn’t have to look for another Saara.
It’s been 2 years since I jumped into your email inboxes, and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting maybe 40% of you in person (yep, our community is THAT big).
So I could make this article about all the things I’ve learned since then. But I didn’t want to make this just about me. I wanted to dedicate this article purely to you. Because there’s no generationYOU … without Y-O-U.
Our articles are about giving you #NoFilter career advice. So I went straight to where I could find exactly what was on your minds. And what you needed help with.
For all of our events we ask you to fill out a little question that goes along the lines of … “What X question would you like our speakers to answer?” The ‘X’ tends to reflect the event topic – so career, networking, personal branding … you get the gist.
Because there’s sooooo many of you, some of these questions get answered, and some don’t. I went and picked a bunch on “career” that I think a lot of you could benefit from hearing a #NoFilter answer/opinion on, and which I don’t think we’ve had the chance to hear our speakers dive into (yet).
Ready? Here we go.
1 // How far in your career should you consider doing an MBA?
I’m not going to lie. I’ve also considered this. I think as a generation that is so so thirsty to prove our worth to our family, friends, colleagues, next door neighbours and Instagram followers … we can get caught up in the ‘hype’ of accolades – how many we can brag about; what looks best on our resume; what’s going to make us look #boss compared to our peers.
It’s important to SLOW DOWN. In all honesty, an MBA without a few years of experience in your particular industry, is not going to hold much value. I know someone who applied for and started their MBA at 29. Another person I know was considering it at 50. Some of the most successful people in their respective roles/industries don’t even hold an MBA.
It’s a lot of grunt, hard work and effort. It requires a hell of a lot of time. I would encourage you to put that energy into using your current degree (which can also take you more places on its own than you imagine), and building tangible skills outside of your degree (interpersonal etc).
Whilst writing this article, Lisa and I chatted about it and she said that when she was studying the only people who did MBA’s were engineers or those who were originally in quite technical roles and who were rising up and being managers.
When you compare that with now – where everyone is looking to turn their business degree into an MBA. Fair enough if you’ve completed a separate degree to business and you wish to upskill in other areas – yes – it may make sense for you to do an MBA!
If you really want to dive into an MBA, I would encourage you to schedule an appointment with a careers advisor at your university, or get in touch with someone who is currently studying an MBA, to get an honest insight into what it involves and when it would make the most sense for you to begin one.
2 // How do you plan your career if you’re not sure what you want to be?
First of all – no one really has a ‘plan’. And if they do, I guarantee you, it’s going to change at some point. Think about it. How often does the nature of a ‘workplace’ change? How often do new technological advancements impact different industries? It’s 100% OK to not know what you want to ‘be’.
Take it from someone who wanted to be an investigative Journalist; moved from Far North Queensland; started out in an Arts degree at The University of Melbourne; did 6 months (failed 2 subjects); deferred; worked in a cafe in WA; moved to Brisbane; started (from scratch) a Media & Comms + Journalism degree at QUT; worked part-time in PR; graduated (finally); started working in Marketing and Events. That whole study/work journey took me 4.5 years. Am I an investigative journalist? No. Do I know what comes next? No. There is NO recipe for your career. Your journey will be good, bad and sometimes ugly.
Here’s my tip – focus on what you enjoy doing. Is it writing? Creating videos? Talking to people and building relationships? Coding? Presenting to an audience? Designing buildings? Growing plants? Fighting for justice?
That silly little saying “If you love what you do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life” is 98% true. The 2% means there will be days or tasks that come with your job that you may dislike … you might even loathe them … but it’s what makes the 98% worth it.
So work on making the 98% filled with the things that make you EXCITED. You might be feeling a little bit lost at the moment, but I’m sure you have come across things that excite you, right? There’s opportunity in those things.
3 // How do I progress in my career in minimum time?
This question was one of the most asked. And it slightly worries me.
We are at a point where if you don’t appear to be succeeding and smashing goals every. single. day. you are not a winner. I’m STOKED that you’re hungry for success. So am I. But you know what’s dangerous? Expecting instant results.
Enjoy. The. Process.
You need to gain experience, you need to LEARN from those around and above you, before you can BE them. You need to go through challenges so you can grow from them.
Work hard. Be strategic about your moves. ‘Progress’ takes TIME. Sorry, but there are no shortcuts.
Something that stood out to me when reading through the hundreds of questions we have from you, is how much in common we all have with each other. Reading these questions from all of you inspired me, because it indicates that we are a far cry from a lazy generation – we are in fact – a generation dedicated to being the very best version of ourselves, and that in itself is an achievement.