If you could go back in time with the knowledge you have now to change your career, what would you do differently in academia and the working world, why?

I would change SO. MUCH.

I love the fact that I'm in marketing & have a deep love for user experience & product - but it's focused in the wrong place.

I was born to be a dancer. I was born to be in the arts (e.g., illustration, animation, all facets of fashion & makeup, theater, etc) & I'm not even close to pivoting in that trajectory.

So if I could do it all over again, I'd skip college (huge waste of my time & money) - and apprentice under a seamstress/fashion designer while taking various dance classes at night.

I can't tell you how much happier I'd be!

And with my business mind, me & Bad Gal RiRi will have more in common than just our 5-finger foreheads.💰💰💰

I know it's not too late - but 'geez!' I need to be in the right community (not Virginia) to make that happen.

How about you?

Finally, someone else who understands college is not the end all be all for all.Start blogging earlier, make a few more friends at college (I hate where I went to college at, the city is terrible but it is improving), just post to LI once a week or so, don't interact with anyone, find communities on other places and grow there instead.I was so hellbent on succeeding and now I'm doing surveys to hopefully be able to afford a mouse. The hard work was essentially for nothing, and I wouldn't do it again.
1000% Morgan!College screwed me over in more than one way, for sure!There are a handful of great experiences from my time there, but if I knew now, what I knew back then - I'd bypass it altogether & save my money, and more importantly MY TIME. I'm the person, where if someone asks - or I say this to my friends who are parents - 90% of kids DO NOT need to go to college to do what they want to do. Doctors, lawyers, some engineers - sure!Everyone else - community college, a trade school would do fine!An apprenticeship - even better!Though there is an excellent chance that, that kid THINKS they know what they want to do, but have not done the research to find out - the day-to-day tasks of that profession. What are you ACTUALLY doing all day?Hell, mom & dad who are pressuring them to go to college don't even know. They just like the title...I thought I knew what I wanted to do. I thought I knew what I would be doing day to day. Yeah, I was dead ass wrong. And that reality crushed me. So I'm raising my oatmeal smoothie to you Morgan. Good luck in turning around your situation. There's no doubt in my mind you can do it 😏
Turns out I do not like the typical white collar work style. I don't mind collaboration, but going to the same place each day and taking up all my time is NOT it.But I worked to get to that point, and it would have been nice to be unhappy and at least be paid.That's why I don't blame my younger cousin at all for simply working in a restaurant and traveling after dropping out. She's doing stuff I wish was.
They're right and they should say it.
These economists need to get out more. I can't remember the last time any hiring manager gave a rat's ass what college I graduated from. They cared about what I could do for their company on Day 1. And in my opinion, if they do care, that's a red flag ⛳️If they care where you graduated, then abort the interview. You're going to be dealing with 'old guard' systems & attitudes, and you don't got time for that!Someone who may be self-taught, has stacks-on-stacks of experience making money & saving time, and has created their own 30/60/90 day plan BEFORE being hired vs. ANY graduate?Please...πŸ™„No contest.The real question for me is: With the current status & teachings - is it worth it?And the answer is still "no".
I love this question so so so much! Because in the grand scheme of things, i have really zero regrets about the way i have lived my life to date, as i believe all my decisions (or lack thereof) is what brought me to where I am today. And had I changed some of the main drivers, my life would have looked totally different eg. maybe i'd have ended up with a child in a marriage now, and that's amazing but perhaps it would have been done at the expense of my career? because that would have stopped me from chasing anything and everything (when i was in my 20s i said yes to everything but had I had a kid at that point, I'd have learned to prioritise really quickly, not a bad thing but i think i wasn't ready for it).On that same wavelength, maybe I'd have been more focused on dating and less on career? I am curious what would have my life looked like today? And part of me is curious to know that but the other is also really really stoked about and proud of the part I went on!On a lighter note, I think for me I'd have tried to give more of a shot to my economics and finance classes because I was then a late bloomer (business school is where I got the fundamentals down and how and why things worked the way they did).
Iynna, I 1000% believe that you're going to have it ALL. πŸ˜‰
OMG you're a sweetheart! thank you for this and let it be a manifestation!
Is it possible to still learn sewing and/or work in the fashion industry? Would you be okay with working in marketing in the fashion industry, or do you want to create clothes yourself? I too thought about fashion design and that idea was rejected by my parents as not stable enough. I have a cousin who went down this road, and she has a steady job as an in-house designer but it's not necessarily the glamorous thing I would have imagined.
ABSO-FREAKIN-LUTELY!And I want to do both - work in marketing in the fashion industry AND create clothes myself!How do I do that?On my own goddamn terms, under my own company name!I wanted to be a dancer, but my parents - like yours - rejected it for the same reason. I went to become a Mechanical Engineer and it SUCKED. I've been thinking how I can carve a small path to do that kind of work, and it's not going to be a big leap. It's going to be small steps. The first thing I had to decide was, "What type of designer do I want to be?"And that was easy. I L-O-V-E repurposing. And I'm all about that 'Fake Fancy' life! πŸ€«πŸ€‘I purchase used sneakers (for less than $40) I get from the thrift, eBay, or Mercari and custom paint them to look like they're worth $800 bucks!That's one skill under my belt.The first thing I want to get REALLY GOOD at sewing are thrift store blankets I turn into bomber jackets. Yeah...😏"How can I make this profitable?"Well, I also love teaching.So we have the physical product I might do from time to time (Wix or Shopify store), but I'll also have a course (perhaps on Skillshare) on how to turn a blanket into a bomber jacket.I love teaching people the craft & giving THEM the power!!And of course, YouTube!I just made a custom bomber jacket. It needs custom shoes to go with it, baby...YASSSS!And then what about my hair & makeup - which will be a FUN journey! What about the rest of the outfit - I probably picked up at a thrift or Mercari! That channel will be hella fun - and eventually monetized. πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’°So let's see - I'm marketing my clothes/style/etc AND creating clothes AND working for myself so I don't have to tolerate any of the industry bullshit. My day-to-day looks fun as HELL and I can't wait to do back strokes in it! Of course I look forward to learning more sewing techniques, pattern making, and ALL of that🀀 - but THIS is my step one. This is me making carving my path. So why not answer those two questions above, and get the wheels turning on you doing the same yourself? 😏
Yup college is hella expensive these days and just keeps getting more expensive. The tech job market in particular seems insane right now too and there is no guarantee of landing a job right out of college anyways. It is crazy to see so many grads right now that can’t even find entry level jobs.Before I started college I worked heavily on an app then never published it cause I started college and then career that took so much focus, but now I really want to start getting back to doing my own projects again and let my more traditional job be more of a padding to fall back on rather than the main show.
I can tell you this from experience, don't go all in on your project and leave your traditional job in the dust - YET!You want that steady incomeπŸ˜…But work on your app at nights & on the weekends - making small strides so you can one day turn your project into your MAIN gig & sprint out of your traditional job, Road Runner style. Think about it.What would be your first step? What would you have to do to get the ball rolling - and keep at it for the next month?
Honestly, I feel so exhausted and tired with my job cause it just takes so much. When I get to nights and weekends I just have no extra energy…even though I would say my job is one of the better ones out there, but it’s tech and I think overall tech has a ton of burnout in its work culture that is just kind of accepted as normal unfortunately. I guess next step is really trying to prioritize and find that balance so I can really get to work on my own projects but definitely don’t want to quit my day job anytime soon so I can keep paying rent!
Love it! You should check out this video by Mel Robbins: for me, it hit it right on the head why I was procrastinating (who knew?!) - it might help you too. Also, check out Focusmate ( to setup times with an accountability partner, even if it's just 25 minutes a day, to work on your project and take steps to walk in your truth & towards your greatness.
Mel Robbins is awesome!
First off, followed you on LinkedIn and here, would love to connect because you seem like a rad human and my kinda person ;) Your Riri line took me out. haha!I'm also a marketer as well and my path went into B2B marketing and smaller startups which becomes draining and uninspiring QUICK. I know I do great work, but it's just not "FUN". Similarly, I also love the arts!! I never even considered or knew what apprenticeships were then and at the time school was out of the question. It's kinda astonishing me sitting in the thought of how many people out there don't know other ways of building careers without school even today. I feel like I'd do something similar since I once dreamed of becoming a fashion designer. I LOVE fashion styling, photography, makeup and personal styling. I wish I focused more on sewing and learning pattern making and built my own fashion business. If I knew then what I know now, especially when it comes to plus size fashion -- I wonder ;) Also, I used to want to fashion blog but never found the confidence when the "wave" took off. If only I had my self-confidence back then too, sooo much could be different! loved this question!
Well aren't we kindred fashionistas!See my response to Kayln61 and I'll see you on a photoshoot set, music video set, the theater set, the runway...we got options 😏
I have a different story to tell.I dreamed of getting my doctorate after my undergrad and becoming a professor. I was accepted at UT Austin and started there, but was under the weight of serious undiagnosed depression. Additionally, the day I moved there from Utah (leaving my husband behind so he could finish his degree), I found out I was pregnant, and the morning sickness kicked in real fast and hard. Because of my religious beliefs at the time, I would need to quit school and work once the baby was born. After several weeks of being miserable, I dropped out. This is my great regret.I was a stay-at-home mom for eight difficult years. I love my kids more than anything, but I needed to get out of the house to have my own goals and opportunities. A few years after going to work as a marketer I got divorced. I took advantage of the life reset to go to the University of Chicago to earn my master's in anthropology. Apart from kids, this was the very best decision of my life.My degree is helpful in my career as a markting director, but it isn't a straight line from one to the other. I don't know whether it has opened a ton of career doors for me other than the simple act of having master's in any field. Still, I would advise my younger self to stay at UT to complete my degree, and if that didn't happen I would encourage myself to attend UChicago all over again.I tell students all the time to complete their schooling in quick succession. It will *never* get easier to attend college, so it's best to step directly from high school into undergrad and then grad work. Sure, you can get your foot in the door with a job, but you'll eventually run into a ceiling of how high you can be promoted without a bachelor's or master's degree. My advice is to attend college in your 20s rather than your 40s. And if education is your dream, pursue it with all your heart no matter what your family situation is.
Wow this is so inspiring to think about as a college student. Truly a pivotal moment. School is so money driven it comes to career growth; like what job can you get that will make you the most money. Of course it is important to be financially literate and stable, but do you think future finances were important factor in your decision to choose a more 'traditional' career path? As an art student, I have this mental back and forth all the time!
As a college student in the arts, I would 100% suggest you learn about marketing & business. Something that SHOULD go hand-in-hand within a university curriculum!I'm going to go ahead and say - don't take university business classes.Learn from online entrepreneurs instead - either for free (YouTube) or a 100th of the cost university would charge you (getting a membership on Skillshare or purchasing an online course)Business & marketing is the muscle that A LOT of artists I've met, don't want to do. And it's because (I've heard this so many times) they, "just want to do their art and have everyone leave them alone!" - which is fine!They're forgetting one HUGE distinction though... You can either have clients or customers.And there is a big difference between the two (that I won't go into much detail about here)If you want to do your art and have no one critique it, and just buy it as-is - then you need customers. If you like working with clients, the 1-on-1s, the negotiating, scoping, etc - get clients. And yes, you can do both - but usually folks lean towards one or the other. Doing business in either bucket requires a different skillset.When it comes to college, don't think about the career that will make you the most money.Think of how your skills can help your audience get them to where they want to go (e.g., your artwork could make their space/style look cool or sophisticated or feel more like home, and so on)After you've come up with a product or service, develop a: - marketing & promotion strategy- an email marketing strategy- website for salesAnd so on!Again, skillsets you can learn online. My "traditional" career path, and future finances, were an important factor to my parents.And they harped on me so much, that I just gave in. Unfortunately, I wasn't as knowledgable and savvy as I am now. When you can develop options for yourself - and have trained your brain to know that it isn't trapped - you can do this, or this, or this, and'll never be the same again.Train your brain by getting knowledgable in marketing & business. Period.Get your power!
I wouldn't get my MBA - at least, not at the school I did and with that price tag. It was not a good culture, values, $ fit and honestly one of my biggest "learnings" there was that capitalism is more problem than solution. Also - I wouldn't take out large student loans. As someone committed to social impact, I put my trust in the government to make good on their promises through public service loan forgiveness. What a mistake! I did the best I could with the information I had at the time - it was only after that it was made public how mismanaged the industry and PSLF program is.
You're not aloneπŸ˜…
I love this question! I am an undergrad student right now, and these responses are extremely inspiring to hear. I think it is super interesting how different the college experience can be for everyone. I am currently trying to make the most of my degree by meeting people, gaining experiences outside the classroom, and exploring my options. I will definitely take these responses to this question to heart as I move forward in my college journey!
That's definitely something I wish someone would've taught me before I went to college, Katie. And that's how to make the most of it while I was there. I had no idea how to network with professors, do informational interviews, look for internships/apprenticeships, join professional groups that could aid in accelerating my career, etc. I just - went.πŸ˜…Good luck in pondering all these questions & thoughts floating around in your head - and know that no ONE decision is permanent. You have a plethora of options! And remember that the more experiences you have - the easier it will be for you to sift out what you do & don't like. And that will tell you a lot.πŸ˜‰