In the world of bschools, leadership has been the byword for at least a couple generations now. Used to be, business school prepared you for management. The first business schools were created in the era of assembly lines and automation and they needed workers who were kind of like cogs in a machine; everybody needed to make sure everything else went smoothly. But then places like Harvard and Wharton and everywhere else elevated their game and said, “No, we need leaders in the world and we’re gonna task ourselves with preparing them.” And that’s been the focus since like the 1950s or so. And then in the 1960s and ’70s there were all these self-actualizing hippies especially out in California and lo and behold, Stanford started pushing personal development and interpersonal skills and all that touchy-feely stuff, and slowly that took hold and now you get empowerment type content at most every school out there. Heck, lots of bschools even teach mindfulness now!
And our new cultural era is about being happy at work. There’s a gazillion books out there, some in the Business aisle, many more in the Self Help section, all telling you how to be happy.
Full disclaimer: EssaySnark loves that stuff. 😉
There’s a Happiness Consultant on twitter (our term not hers) who posted this recently:
It's extremely simple. We deserve to be happy at work. And while leaving your job may not be your first option, perhaps reconsidering how to make the position a better fit for you is. Learn more at https://t.co/aAs7ucKjzE. #HappyAtWork #ProfessionalDevelopment pic.twitter.com/BzunwTff2S
— Annie McKee (@anniemckee) June 5, 2018
And EssaySnark must encourage you, at this important crossroads in your life, as you’re thinking about embarking on this very big adventure to mix things up and create change, and move from the path that you’ve been on, to a totally new path…
We need to remind you that you’re doing all this because on some level you’re not satisfied.
Whether it’s being dissatisfied with the basics like your level of income, or being dissatisfied with the direction you’re on and feeling like you’re stuck, or being wholly miserable because you work for the boss from h3ll and you want a way OUT…
Or maybe you’re so miserable working for that person that you’ve vowed to learn how NOT to be such a terrible manager, and that’s one reason you’re looking for bschool, in order to not repeat the mistakes of the past or inflict such misery upon any other person.
Regardless of the motivations, you’re looking to change.
You’re looking to go for a big jump, to improve your life.
You’re looking to go back to school and learn stuff.
There’s also a possibility that you’re not.
There’s this chance that you’re only interested in the MBA because that’s what everybody else is doing and you figure it’s kind of expected.
Maybe you worked for two or three years in a traditional pre-MBA role in finance or consulting, and it’s a kind of up-or-out environment, and you’re not entirely confident you’re going to get an offer to stay, and even if you did, you know in your gut you don’t really want to, because you can’t stand the place…
Yeah, we’re back to not liking your boss. 😀
Hopefully the “I hate my boss!” feeling is only happening in a small minority of you, since that’s an awful mindstate to be working in and if you’re only starting the process of applying then most likely you’re going to be in that same place for another full year — in which case, we do hope you’ll take steps TODAY to fix the situation! (That’s a post for another time, though we have blahgged about it before, so we’ll try to dig up some reference posts for you to review now…. OK, here’s one semi-related, and this other one at least is coming from the same perspective… Basically if you can’t stand your boss, then there are things you can do to be proactive in making adjustments to how you interact with him or her, and being brave enough to have an honest-to-goodness conversation to find out the core of the issues between you… So that’s the tl;dr of how to deal with and now we don’t have to write another post on it, right?)
The reason for today’s post is it’s important to stay focused on the WHY of this project.
Not just now, as you’re coming up with your fancy schmancy talk about what are your career goals and why do you want an MBA that you’re planning for your maestro essays of brilliance.
We mean, as you go through each step of the process to keep reminding yourself of the WHY.
Part of this means not getting sucked up by the FOMO of bschool, which is often an instant recipe to lose your own core objectives and forget why you’re there.
It means not comparing yourself to everyone, and not going along with the crowd. If you know today you want do pursue ABC goals through the bschool experience, to not get sidetracked into the XYZ things that other people are doing.
It’s fine to change direction and adjust plans, and it’s totally okay if you end up throwing away all original intentions.
Just make sure you’re doing it intentionally, for a reason.
It would SUCK to end up another ten years down the road, looking around at another job that you truly hate, wondering how you got there and what happened to your life.
NOW is this incredible opportunity. You have this energy at your disposal and this interest in change.
Do some reflection. Ask yourself questions. Figure out what’s important to you.
Make adjustments as necessary but don’t sell yourself out as you go through this process.
If you don’t know who you are, start learning!
And don’t settle.
You don’t need to know where you’re going to end up in ten years. You just need to be clear on what you’re doing next, and why.