20something profile: Mackenzie
This post was written by Mackenzie, who works in real estate and property management:
I was never a very decisive person…especially when it came to my career aspirations. I’ve dreamt of everything from being a plastic surgeon, to a fashion designer, to a volunteer veterinary assistant.
It wasn’t until early 2009 when I made the decision to go to University. Part of the reason for deciding to go to post-secondary was because of my parents. I got the old, “go to school or move out” speech from my mom, so I did what any confused 20-year-old would do, and I signed up for classes the next day.
I’ve always had a penchant for writing, so I chose to enroll in the Bachelor of Applied Communications in Professional Writing program. It was a 2-year diploma program, with an optional 2-year extension to get your degree. The program wasn’t quite what I thought it was going to be, and a lot of my classes involved learning to develop creative writing skills. This was not my cup of tea.
Due to my lack of motivation and disinterest in my classes, I exited the program in 2011 with my diploma…not a complete waste of time, right?
After completing my 2 years, I attempted to find a job that would utilize my newly learned skills in the communications industry — it was not easy. I applied for various “communications” jobs, including positions at a couple of local publications.
I had this vision of myself working at some upscale magazine where I got to travel the world, writing about expensive restaurants and buying vacation homes in the south of France. The thing that I didn’t think about during my 2-year stint in University is that you simply don’t fall into jobs like that. You have to work extremely hard to get a job like the one I was seeing in my head.
I eventually did some volunteer work for a local fashion magazine, but it never amounted to anything more than that. So, I ended up working in a restaurant and traveling for a year before I moved onto my next opportunity…real estate and property management.
It’s a competitive industry with a very good opportunity for success, but you have to work hard. So far, I’m enjoying it! It’s lucrative, fast-paced and great if you enjoy working with different people, which I do. However, if you are easily stressed out, this is not the career for you.
Being in your 20’s and trying to nail down one career can be difficult. Today’s economy is so full of opportunities that we often have a hard time deciding what to do. No one ever said you have to pick one thing and stick to it for your whole life — that just doesn’t make sense nowadays. We struggle to find a career that will be relevant now, and in 10 years.
I think we all have certain expectations for a career that are not always feasible. We all want that six-figure-a-year job that allows us to retire by 45, but we’re not all willing to work hard for it. I, myself, have struggled with that a lot. I have expectations, but I’m not sure where to start or how to get there. We see an end result, but we don’t see the ways in which we get there.
My biggest piece of advice for any 20-something who is going to University or beginning a new career is to make sure you’re willing to stick it out…for a while at least! In today’s economy, the most valuable thing you can have is good, solid experience.
Check out Mackenzie’s blog Beauty Sleep Deprived