This week I submitted the final take home exam for my 19th subject, which means the end of this degree is finally in sight!
It’s now been four years since I started studying and I’ve recently been reflecting a lot on the barriers I’ve had to overcome. In that time I have changed job three times and moved home, cities and states twice. I used to travel for work every other week. I’ve also tried to maintain a social life, yearly holidays, host my family and attend overseas celebrations and a funeral. Unfortunately it tested relationships with friends and partners.
On a positive note, I just completed a spring school unit, leaving four units remaining. Two for semester one, two for semester two. I’ve had to become quite resourceful in the last two years, reaching out to those more experienced with full-time study to assist with my approach to assignments. Private tutoring changed my life and helped me keep on track and be accountable. I was gratefully supported by three amazing friends.
Many people ask why I did it and what I intend to do afterwards. The answer is that I don’t plan to do anything drastically different for now. I would like to one day start and run a business, or help to turnaround a struggling business. However, at the moment I just want my personal time back. Perhaps in a few years time I’ll begin an MBA program, but for now there’s many online and short-course learning I want to enrol in. Most importantly I want to spend time reconnecting with friends, with nature, and with experiences.
I’ve gained some resilience through this experience. It has been a challenge, something to overcome and to say I’ve done it. I’ve also gained insights into our tertiary education system, which will be invaluable as I shift into recruiting the next generation of teams and leaders. I reflect frequently on the future of work, and how during my lifetime this has shifted immensely from the what I knew growing up in a small town with limited opportunities.
I now try to mentor and help others find their next stage in working life, and for that reason alone it has been a worthwhile experience. A mentor of mine once said to me “the worst kind of man is he who withholds his knowledge from others”. I’ve stuck by that mantra throughout my career, passing on what I’ve learned and experienced to others who can rise up and benefit from it.
I’ve seen the result of people who do the opposite, they’ve remained limited by their potential, burning bridges along the way, and unsuccessfully sustaining a wholesome career.
So the next stage for me is to continue helping others and discovering what the future of work holds for the industry and broader community.