Why It’s Totally Okay If Your Career Has Nothing to Do with Your Degree

We grew up with the understanding that the courses we chose in high school would depict the route we took in university and ultimately drive the career we’d have to endure for the rest of our lives. People would say stuff like “as long as you do what you love.”

And they were right… kind of.

Sure, it’s not ideal to be miserable at your job, but how would you be able to choose a job you love without dabbling in a few fields and testing them out? For example, how were we expected, at 14-years-old, to choose the right level of math which would let us take the right courses in university to allow us to major in Accounting? On behalf of everyone, I’m going to assume we didn’t all choose ‘correctly’.

I majored in health studies and psychology which sounds pretty targeted to some form of medical related career, right? Oddly enough, I’m now in marketing for a very well-known brand of soda.

I get some unusual looks and questions when I talk about my job but in 2016, it’s not that absurd to be working a job that has nothing to do with your degree.

After all, that piece of paper we call our diploma is like a VIP club card that basically gets you into some cool “parties.” And by “parties” I mean companies and opportunities.

woman driving

You may not be equipped to take on every career in the world. As much as the show Suits might make you believe, I couldn’t just walk into a law firm and get hired based off of the fact that I have a bachelor’s degree. But unlike our parents who most likely worked (or are still working) the same one or two jobs for 40 years, we have the millennial syndrome.

Symptoms of millennial syndrome include:

  • Staying at a job for no more than 2 years
  • Overusing the word ‘literally’
  • Communicating via Instagram tags
  • Scoping out new jobs on LinkedIn during lunch breaks
  • Constantly striving to be better than we were yesterday
  • Having people tell you “maybe it’s time you settle down” too often

Oh, and you probably took a six-month program abroad in Tel Aviv or New York at some point.

We are beautifully plagued with the need to do more, see more, live more and be our absolute best selves.

man walking

We don’t settle for ‘less than’ and so we have a problem staying in our own lane, let alone our designated highway. Just because we chose a schooling path that slowly lost our interest us by our mid-twenties, that doesn’t mean we’ll be chained to it. We’ll do what it takes, whether that means enrolling in night classes at a local community college, watching online tutorials or my all-time favourite – faking it ’till we make it at something we love.

I’m glad we are no longer abide by absolute mindsets or norms and we keep everything in a state of flexible limbo.

We found ways to relieve the pressure of having to have our shit figured out because, well, we are all pretty open about the fact that we don’t have it figured out.

And that’s not attributed to laziness but instead, our curious minds that demand more and more. We’ve developed brilliant commitment issues in that we don’t commit ourselves to one way of life.We are not burdened by our internal (and external) clocks/timelines, or our parent’s ideas of what an appropriate career path is.

No, we own the fact that we are somewhat inconsistent and unsettled. And that’s okay because we get to see a lot more when we change lanes. After all, there are so many places to see, and tons of knowledge and skills to obtain.

Sure, when we’re old and grey, maybe we’ll seem like a bunch of jack of all trades but we’ll have mastered some and not just one.