Look for a New Job or Apply to Grad School?

A few days ago I wrote a post about how I’m going to take the GMAT in 2010, but I’m still unsure that’s the best idea. I feel like I’m ready for a change, and ready to focus on education right now. I don’t want to put grad school off much longer, despite being incapacitated by my fear of educational loans and debt.

There are still things I like about my job, but not many. Largely I just need like I’m not needed anymore and the few things I could do to help, I’m not allowed to do. I’m in a very odd spot.

I have a hard time reading my mind and separating out what I really want to do from my escapist tendencies. I’ve been in this job over two years now which is really good for me, but I feel really stuck. My biggest problem is that I have trouble marketing a product that is flawed in ways that it needn’t be flawed.

I don’t know how people separate their work from their emotions. I always, ALWAYS get emotionally involved in the work I do. And when things are imperfect I find it impossible to just accept that and ignore it and do my job.

But going to grad school ISN’T going to change that. There will always be people who don’t want to listen. And there will always be times when I’m wrong even though my gut tells me I’m right. I feel like at least with a graduate degree I’ll have a little more clout, or an opportunity to be in a role that has final say about something.

I don’t fit in with the culture here at all, but I’m not sure where I’d fit. If I go to grad school for the field I want to study I’d likely end up back in a company just like this. Maybe the culture would be slightly different, but designers as a whole seem to be faced with the problem of having engineers and the marketing team and the CEO alter their designs until there is no design left.

The reason I’m drawn to an MBA is that maybe I can be in charge one day. But I don’t really want to be in charge, I don’t want all that responsibility on my shoulders. I don’t mind running my own freelance writing “business” because if something goes wrong I’m the one who loses money… no the investors or coworkers because I don’t have any. I like that kind of responsibility. I’m terrified of being responsible for a business. And still having to convince people that my ideas are right.

So do I apply to grad school now? I kind of… well, I kind of really want to. I’m trying to think about why I shouldn’t and should…

Why I should apply…

– Time to study a field I’m really interested in and obtain skills that I didn’t get during undergrad
– Be in an environment where people are allowed to explore perfection without business realities (ie design school)
– If I get in, I can still decide not to go, but at least I’d have the option
– Have an “end date” to my current job that is set, so I can survive each day until I leave
– Open doors for myself that are currently closed due to my experience
– Shake up my life a bit, get myself out of this funk, move on to the next phase of my life
– maybe my boyfriend would be more inspired to apply to grad school if I did, and especially if I got in and had plans to leave town
– Explore new career paths that I’m not even fully aware of yet
– Make contacts and get solid faculty recommendations
– Secure internships in design that I can’t do as a non student
– To prove to myself that I can get in to grad school
– To prove to myself that I belong in grad school

Why I shouldn’t apply…

– I probably can’t get into the schools I’d want to go to with my GRE scores and GPA
– I struggle with consistency in academic work and I’m worried I’d fail, never get my degree but still be in debt from school
– Going to grad school doesn’t guarantee a good job after I graduate. It could even hurt my chances of being employed, though that’s unlikely in my field
– It’s possible to pick up skills by taking non matriculated classes nearby and to change professions without a masters degree
– A business degree might make more sense even though I’d rather be a designer than a CEO… but if I am the CEO at least I can have final say on design
– I’d have to ask for letters of recommendation from my current employers, so they’d know I’m trying to leave, and if I don’t get in that would be even more awkward
– If I ask for letters of recommendation from my coworkers and then I get in and decide not to go, that will also look bad
– Did I mention debt?
– I like living in the bay area and the grad schools I’m looking at are far away. I’d have to move again. I hate moving. I really, really, really hate moving.
– I will miss my boyfriend. A lot. We’ve been together almost 4 years now. It would be tough being away from him.

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