If you haven’t already, make sure you check out the two previous posts in this series of post so you can make more sense of what is being said here (Part1, Part2). Otherwise, let’s just dive into it, shall we?
Figuring out a way out
I knew that I didn’t like most of what I was studying. Some of the things were interesting to know but not fun to be doing for a long time. Some were like boooooring! And a few subjects were like OK, that sounds like fun, but what do you do with that? Are there work opportunities in this discipline? At least I didn’t know there was, mainly because opportunities were very limited in that specific thing I liked, and also because it didn’t involve the big companies where you’re supposed to make a lot of money. Those companies (in my field of studies) were mainly big construction companies, consulting bureaus as well as mine extraction, and water and electricity distribution agencies.
But it was just not for me! And that became much clearer to me after I went for internships as part of the school curriculum. One of the internships was in one of the top consulting companies in the country and it was about sizing a wastewater treatment plant for one of the cities in Morocco. It was only for a month but it felt like a year, I still remember that awful feeling I had whenever I was there. There was very little human interaction, everything is quiet, you have to start at 8 am and you are only allowed to leave after 5 pm, but of course, if you’re just starting out, you need to prove yourself and so you’re expected not to leave before 7 or 8 pm.
My work was not that heavy and my internship supervisor was a very busy guy and so I had to get used to the fact that he is not there and that I’ll have to wait for him for days. I was bored out of my mind, I hated going to that place, it felt cold, I didn’t feel free there at all and I couldn’t imagine myself having that kind of life. Let me just remind you that this was one of the best consulting companies where the top engineers of the country are dying to get in. We were taught in school that if you get a job there, you’ll have an amazing career, very good pay, benefits, bla bla bla. And so, saying that I don’t like that life and I don’t want it for myself was considered to be arrogant (because it’s like a dream job for most of my peers), and so I kept quiet.
And so my next step was to try and find something that I could be doing with my degree after I have it and that I will at least not hate. I had to choose something while I had no idea if I’ll find any opportunity in it after I get my degree. Choosing that was actually a bit harder than choosing a dress to wear for an event if such a thing existed LOL. But there were two particular pieces of advice that I have heard repeatedly from different sources including that book I told you about in the previous post, and that I found very helpful. This was not helpful for me only at this stage of my life but also in a lot of other stages (more about that later)
Number one: make lists of subjects that:
- you like (you’re passionate about if you know what that means LOL).
- you are good at.
So practically what I had to do is to figure out the things that will fall into these two categories at the same time (the area where the two circles intersect). Because let’s face it, you might like something but you don’t have the knowledge or the skill for it and you can be really good at something but you hate it. This tip was kinda helpful for me to at least narrow down my list of the things that I both like and I’m good at.
And then, there was some similar advice saying that you should add another circle of things that can be monetized and that’s very important especially if you’re trying to choose a career or a school discipline or an idea for a business, etc.
Because let’s face it my friend! You can be passionate all you want, but if you’re homeless and hungry you would be more interested in a meal and a shelter then in investing your time and energy in something you like but that doesn’t put money in your pocket.
Number two: Answer the question; imagine if you did not need any money at all what would you do for free and still be happy about it?
OK, that’s a tough one, it’s tough because a lot of people all over the world work for money, they may be hardly surviving or they can make six figures on jobs that they hate, that causes them a great amount of stress and anxiety, but they still feel stuck in them because well, they don’t have a choice. OK, I’m not saying this is good or bad, I am not judging here but all I am saying is that if you are one of those people, it might be very hard for you to answer this question right here, and I totally understand.
More about that on the next post inshAllah. Make sure you subscribe so you’ll be notified as soon as it is online, and follow me on instagram, I post some pretty cool quotes there as well as sneakpeaks from my blog posts ;).
To be continued