A few days into the semester I realized I had made a huge miscalculation; I was sure a business major would be a good, secure educational investment. I thought I could bring my creativity and passion for communication to the frame of business. Then I started my classes. They were manageable, but I realized I had enjoyed writing my Economics paper primarily because I love writing. Many phone calls and tears later, I decided to switch my major to English Writing. I told my roommate through sobs, “I’m going to be poor!” and believed it. Emotionally I was a complete wreck, but I also had to find new classes, buy books, and catch up on all I’d missed. The chaos of all that had to be done and the fear of the unknown future consumed me.
Our society places so much emphasis on majors, and on careers, that my major morphed from something I was studying into something that defined me. When my initial plan vanished, I felt I had lost my identity. I was left mourning the death of the person I was. Food made my stomach churn, I couldn’t sleep, and I cried for hours every day. (a bit dramatic, but what can I say I’m an English major). It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made, but I’m glad I made it.
A week or so after I changed my major I was able to recognize that I was still the same person: still passionate and creative. I still love people. Economics still interests me and accounting still does not. I realized that looking for a career might actually be easier if I didn’t allow my major, or any other box, to define me. So when you are looking for a job, don’t look for one that fits your major. Look for a job that fits your talents and your values. Maybe you don’t need to switch your major, but everyone can benefit from taking a step back and reflecting. Here is my advice: Ask yourself who you are as an individual. Then find a career than that fits you – not one that defines you.
Tell us what you think: What are you good at? What do you value? What would you do everyday for the rest of your life if money wasn’t a factor?
Written By: Career Peer Ahna