I wonder- if I was able to live through my teens again- would I have went to university? It was a great way to meet new people and the internship I had in the States after I completed my course was probably one of the best things I have ever done. However these are the cherries on top of the cake. The cake of course being a degree. Was that cake good enough for me to recommend?
For some, it is a necessity. If you are going down a certain career path, a degree may be the door into that career. There isn’t another way about it. For others, such as myself, a degree wasn’t necessary but a faster route into a job. I studied ‘International Tourism and Hospitality Management’, mainly because all I wanted to do in my teens was travel. I didn’t have a career in mind, and I still don’t. Heck, my 60+ year old lecturer told me he still didn’t know what to do with his life. As a 20 year old this put me at ease.
I probably would still choose university if I had the option again, but only for the benefits around the degree. The social skills and the job in Texas that filled me with confidence, gave me some lifelong friends in another part of the world and truly allowed me to see how amazing travelling is. But I have told my friends that didn’t attend university that living in hostels abroad is very similar to university life. Endless parties, so much diversity and noodles for breakfast. Except there is no lecture to attend hungover the following morning. You could say hostel life is university life 2.0.
But back to the post, my reasons for attending university was to avoid the dreaded dead end job. I didn’t want to go straight into work without any skills at all and get stuck there. However what I have learned as I mature is that these kinds of jobs aren’t always doom and gloom, and can have the opposite affect. For some people, it has launched them into a career and success they could have never imagined. It can be a gateway to freedom if utilized in the right way. We are taught at a young age that we don’t want these kind of jobs, jobs that we get stuck in with no viable way to progress or develop from. I have found that these kind of jobs can be much more liberating and provide more potential than your more career focused peers.
Take Casey Neistat. I have mentioned this YouTuber before as I watch his videos a lot as inspiration and to remind myself that he was once in a very dead end job. He used to be a dishwasher in his late teens, living in a trailer park with his girlfriend and infant son. He moved to New York City, worked hard and as of today has just under 10.5 million subscribers.
This is one his videos, Do What You Can’t.
I remember in an interview he said being a dishwasher had value, as he knew he most definitely did not want to do that job ever again. He made the most of his job but says that:
‘If you don’t know what you wanna do in life, spend as much time as possible doing something you fucking hate doing.
When you do that 50 hours a week you spend a lot of time thinking about what you wish you were doing.’
It worked for him.
Another example I have is someone a little less well known. A rap-battle camera man that now works for UNILAD. Rap Battling was a passion of his and through this he became a well known figure in rap battles. I am sure many of you may be surprised that I like rap battling. I enjoy the British scene as it is less guns and more jokes and British humour. I watched an interview with Liam Bagnall– who made his name doing great camera work in the UK and also overseas- talking about his progression. He once worked nightshift and was out of touch with the battle rap scene. By working overnight, he managed to watch endless videos that he wouldn’t have been able to in another role and this benefited him greatly. This sleepy job at the dead of night made it possible for him to follow his passion and lead him to where he is now, currently working for a huge online website and company.
It made me think that these kinds of jobs can be the complete opposite of dead end. If you have an idea of what you want to do, or in Casey’s example even if you don’t, there is not just a way out of these jobs but a great opportunity within them. There are some people out there in a stable career that are so busy that they have very little time pursuing their interests and hobbies. A job with less responsibility can free up precious time to think and even build on something you want to do. This is how I have been able to blog as much as I can and watch it grow it along the way. Working nightshift? Use the quiet time to draw up ideas and build a website. Dishwasher? Put your phone against the wall and watch videos to learn and gain inspiration from.
For me personally, I try to squeeze as much out of every day as possible, especially in the times that time is easily wasted. On a commute to work or standing in a long queue, these are opportunities that are largely wasted as we gaze out of the window. These are the times that can determine how successful we can be, the times that are truly precious, very valuable and can unlock plenty of potential. If your job allows you the time to scroll endlessly through social media or watch episodes of your favourite TV show, these are times that can launch us into a career that we have always wanted.
Lets use it whilst we can.
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