Stay In Your Field (We’ll get paid sooner if you do)

I remember when I began to realize how unimportant "enjoying my work" was to the world at large. I had developed some food service experience (including management) while in school; working for a couple of years for my stepfather after graduating reinforced this. But I didn’t want to stay in this line of work forever, so I went looking.

One thing I tried was working with employment agencies. I was in Chicago at the time, so there were plenty to choose from. I believe I went to four or five different agencies, where I heard some version of the same thing: “Your experience is in food service, so that’s where you should interview.” They weren't kidding, either. I managed to convince one or two to ignore my food service background, more or less, but it was a constant struggle. Most insisted on sending me on food industry-related interviews.

The fact that I did not want to continue in this direction was completely irrelevant to these people; my staying in my current field represented the quickest path to their commission so that was that as far as they were concerned.

My degree -- a Bachelor's in Marketing -- was not nearly as interesting to the agency counselors as my work experience. Maybe this would have been different if I had held a more advanced or more specialized degree.

I appreciate self-interest so I understood their position: they had bills to pay and weren’t interested in my personal issues, wanting to change my career, and so on. But this is my point: it was up to me.