How to reconcile conflicting career choices
Glenford Smith, Career Writer
I have just completed a degree in marketing management (major) and banking and finance (minor). I, however, feel incomplete and still need more. This is because I really wanted to study law. Due to financial constraints, I was unable to do so. On one hand, I feel like I need more, and on the other hand, I feel like I am being ungrateful.
Can you please advise me.
Congratulations on earning your degree, first of all. Based on what you've said, it is natural to feel incomplete and as if something is still missing, despite your achievement.
That is because, deep down, you didn't get to do what you really wanted to, which was to study law. To answer your question specifically, I don't believe you're being ungrateful.
What is more likely is that you are feeling frustrated at having the flickering flame of your heartfelt passion snuffed out by the draft of financial lack. Very few things can enervate a human being like having a burning desire or need which seems unlikely to be fulfilled. My advice, however, is that you reconsider your response to the current situation.
Always remember you cannot always control external circumstances, but how you interpret your circumstances and what you do in response to them are totally up to you.
First, I think you should take pride in having the wisdom and flexibility to adapt to the reality that you didn't have the financial resources to study law. If you didn't, you wouldn't have attained a degree at all.
By making that decision, you practised one of the most important skills for career and life success, namely adaptability. I call this tactical adaptability, which is about changing your practical approach to achieving a goal. It's about being flexible in your actions and is very important when what you're doing or want to do is impossible for one reason or another.
You now need to practice mental adaptability as well. This means changing your thinking about your situation. See your achievement and possibilities in a new light. Start to appreciate yourself for having accomplished what some people are envying you for, even as they read your story. They are wishing they had the opportunity and the money to do a degree in marketing, while you're frustrated you only have a degree in marketing!
In his book, The Power of Intention, Dr Wayne Dyer has this saying: "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change." He's perfectly right.
Start seeing your attainment as something positive. In fact, your marketing and finance qualifications may now enable you to get a job which can help you afford your law studies. By working and saving, or qualifying for a loan, your dream may now be able to be realised. Or you could find a career in the field of law which uses your marketing and finance competencies. Always look for the opportunities in what seems to be obstacles. They are always there.
Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. firstname.lastname@example.org