I have a good job. I really like my job. I just got promoted at my job. And it’s okay that I’m not doing the type of job that I thought I’d grow up to do. Welcome to our economy.
The job market is fairly small. And sometimes it seems that people have forgotten that. A lot of people go to college, but most people don’t get jobs in their field after they graduate, and that’s not for lack of trying.
A month or so ago, I was having a conversation with someone I work with who also has a degree. People come through all the time and act like we’re dumb because we work at Starbucks, even though Starbucks will actually give tuition reimbursement to their partners who are trying to get their bachelors if they go to ASU. Starbucks cares about education, so why would someone assume that only stupid or uneducated people would work a job like that? No, you don’t need a degree, but I never wanted to get a job in my field anyway.
But I digress. I was talking with my coworker about working at Starbucks and about how college isn’t for everyone and having your degree doesn’t really make you any better than anyone else, because in this economy, it’s usually pretty hard to get a job in your field unless you’re either top tier or you have a lot of connections where there are openings. It’s luck and who you know, not necessarily intelligence or capability.
An hour after our conversation a very loud man walked and announced that he had a question. But he then went on to say that his question required intelligence, and that was pretty hard to find in Starbucks. Both my coworker and I looked at him with obvious offense on our faces. He began to laugh and told us to take a joke, then my supervisor came up front and he got to ask her his question.
During their conversation though, he told her she should go back to school, because she dropped out when she realized it wasn’t for her. He was trying to force his worldview on her. And she was annoyed. We were all annoyed.
It’s fine to value education. I’m currently planning on possibly going back and getting my masters degree next fall. And that’s not because I think my current job is beneath me. It’s not because I’m dying to do something else. Even if I do get my masters and find a job in that field, I might still work a few days at Starbucks, because I enjoy it, and I like the benefits.
A degree does not necessarily mean a career. And a lack of a degree does not equate stupidity.
It’s okay that I have a degree and am a barista. Welcome to the real world.