Just this morning, I received a random message on my facebook account. Should I Pursue MBA or other courses? When to get that MBA degree? Those are the questions.
I decided to take action even if I don’t personally know the person. I thought, one better Filipino is all our country needs right now with all the s**t out there. I realized that I was in her shoes when I was her age. If anyone would have helped me, I could be better right now. Though no one became a mentor when I was in this situation, I think I could pay forward to all the blessings I received in my life. One person helped is one country better. This is my take on the honor and excellence thing inculcated during my high school, college and MBA days in UP.
Here is the message I received:
“Hi Sir! I chanced upon your blog site regarding MBA schools/universities and the program itself. Actually, I’m starting to search for reviews, advice, and other articles only to ascertain if I should take this up. I’m already turning 27 and I think I’m a bit stuck as compared to my colleagues and batch mates. I’m no longer sure if I’m happy that I chose to become a CPA. Right now, I’m having a serious lack of self-confidence as I don’t have any success in my corporate career yet. Sorry, Sir, as I’m speaking as if we’re close and it’s like I’m turning you into some career counselor hahaha. But, I really need to have an advice: should I take an MBA, should I just pursue other learnings/courses related to business, accounting, or perhaps something that’s not related na at all since like I told you, I’m already losing interest in this field, but not sure if I’m that willing to give this up. The pay is, sad to say, still sweeter in the corporate world as compared to other fields, so much more if you want to have a start-up when you don’t have any strong entrepreneurship foundation.
Sorry for the long message, Sir. I hope you can still find time to reply to me and somehow enlighten me. I really find you accommodating since I noticed that you replied to almost every comment on your blog post. Nahihiya lang po akong i-post itong message ko since this is a bit personal, I guess, and medyo nakakatawa because you can sense how fickle-minded I am. Still, thank you, Sir in advance! God bless po!”
Here is my reply:
27 is still young but If you feel a bit stuck, you need to shake things up to see what is the career path for you.
One, taking MBA is a lot of investment in terms of time and money. Not to mention that you’ll be spending more time studying so that means less social life for you. It’s a lot of investment considering you are still unsure of what you want to do in life.
Here’s the true impact of MBA for you. Being an MBA graduate does not mean promotions or more success. It really doesn’t. MBA just increases the chances. No one trumps motivated hard work and perseverance. Though I must admit, your CPA credentials are very much compatible to an MBA degree.
Now on motivation and perseverance. I understand that you are having a mid-life crisis right now and it’s natural to have those thoughts. Being motivated is very hard if you do not love what you do. But at the same time, doing what you love cannot pay the bills instantly. You still need to work and have a steady stream of income. I think that is what made you think you are stuck in you current situation.
What I recommend for you is to follow what I did when I was in your situation. Yes, I am an MBA graduate but there were so much behind-the-scenes things I did way before I decided to take MBA.
You know way before my MBA degree, I believe that opportunity knocks only once. But that changed when I realized I need every bit of luck to work for me instead of waiting for it. The “opportunity knocks only once” saying is too constricting and I thought out of the box. What if I build many doors? Would it lead to more knocks of opportunity for me?
That personal hypothesis was validated with my efforts.
What I did was to enroll in short courses that wouldn’t require much time and commitment. Since I was working full time in the office, I cannot afford to spend time in the classroom. So I decided to take courses that are hinged on technology. I stated in Entrepreneurship courses in University of the Philippines Open University. I took certification courses and even courses in Udemy and other e-learning platforms.
What was the result of these course taking for me? It opened up opportunities and made me think that the world is so big that I need to explore. More importantly, it made me discover what my true calling is. It’s difficult to discover that and I hope that you do.
Test the waters first by taking short courses that would spark the interest in you. I’m afraid if you take MBA now and find out that that isn’t for you, you will be wasting time, effort and resources taking something that you don’t like. It is so hard to regret anything at this point in your life. I suggest taking 3-6 month courses that are similar to MBA. Take distance learning courses so not to disrupt your current routine. Search for distance learning courses in Universities. It’s a win-win for you in the short term since you can discover something about yourself and earn certificates to fatten your resume. I took courses in UP Open University because I’ve been always been the UP guy ever since high school. You don’t need to follow, you should choose where you want to study.
While you are studying on the side, do actual business stuff like starting a small business that wouldn’t take so much of your time. The experience of that is similar to what you will learn in MBA. You don’t need to register at first. Just to reiterate, just test stuff that interests you. You don’t want to be committed to starting a business only using your free time. Starting a business requires all of your time. You just need to get you hands dirty to see whether that can interest you.
In my case, I did e-commerce selling stuff and my expertise since I can do that right in my bedroom. So for you, try anything in small scale. Sell on Instagram and Facebook. Maybe market your CPA expertise as a consultancy service. Think out of the box, you have that in you. Again, do things at small scale. This will enable you to take off if you think that is uncomfortable and learn as you go. This will also make it easy for you to reassess yourself and change as you seem fit.
Well, I said a lot. Just to recap, don’t take you MBA Entrance Exam yet. Discover yourself more. Find your true north. Build doors first to see and explore opportunities in small scale. This will make your career a lot better in whatever path it will take. Reassess your situation in a year. You’ll be surprised that your perspective will definitely change. You’ll either be pursuing MBA in the classroom because logically that is what you aim for or you’ll just to continue learning on demand. You’ll never know, you’ll discover something in you that is worth pursuing.
As an end to this advice, I’ll be leaving you with a mental model to assess things. Remember that everyone has a plan but most of the time, plans aren’t executed as initially thought of because of the external factors not controllable by us.
So my last advice, don’t plan! But make a path. What is a path? It is the process of making the right decision every time you need to decide. What is right you may ask? The right decision is any decision that is towards your personal vision; a destination that you want to be achieved in 5-10 years. You know life makes a lot of detours but make sure the detours have that positive impact on your destination. You’ll thank me when the time comes when the dots finally connected or the stars aligned to make you who you wanted to be.
Don’t plan because there is no successful one. Make the right choices tempered with your dreams.
Thank you so much! I’m feeling so blessed to wake up with this message from you! (Working on a night shift). I didn’t think you’d take what other people take as my rantings and tantrums in life this seriously. This is a very long and meaningful message from someone that I felt really cared about my situation. Sir, I heard your suggestions from other people, but well, advice and suggestions are more credible when it comes from someone who’s actually been there, done all that, and became a success, just like you. Thank you, Sir, for hearing me out!
Since I think some of my friends might be able to relate, may I share your thoughts with them? This would be like a testimonial from you. Thank you so much, Sir. I owe you one. I hope I’ll be successful someday ??? armed with these many advice coming from you.
My Last Advice:
Sure you can share this advice to those who share the same situation as yours. I hope this can help them.
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You’re close to the top even though you don’t notice it. Today is a milestone for you. The fact that you made a decision to seek advice admitting that you need a help or a nudge is a great start! Keep it up, make most of your time after your office hours. That I think is the specific definition of hard work. Make something out of the 1-3 hours after your regular work hours. Make it productive and you’ll just notice that you are just a step closer to your goal. Be gritty, there’s no substitute for hard work.
Her Last Reply:
Yes, will do that! I’ll put your kind words and advice into action haha! Kahit napapagod at medyo nakakadishearten ang life, I think life is modeled this way eh. Push lang!
Push lang po talaga siguro haha! I feel blessed to know you, even through this haha! Sana I can meet you in person. More books, lectures, and business events for you, Sir! And I hope I can attend in one of those
I feel blessed to know you, even through this haha! Sana I can meet you in person. More books, lectures, and business events for you, Sir! And I hope I can attend in one of those.
To you who sent this message:
I’m also a work in progress. I’m not yet successful. I just had the head start.
I know we’ll meet at the top. I know we will.
I know we will.
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P.S.: I hope I answered your question: Should I pursue MBA? I’ll also hope you can attend on one of my events. See you at the top!