Life Update: The Job That Made My MBA Worth It

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Apologies for being MIA for a good chunk of October — I completed my MBA leadership capstone course (every Saturday 8am – 5:30pm!!) and wrapped up the final project of my block week course I took the first 5 days of September. Going 6 days per week for the last month was a challenging sprint, but I’ve now completed 16 of my required 20 courses for my MBA, with two more in progress. In January I’ll start my final two classes, and pay the remaining $3,000 of my tuition, and that will be the homestretch of my crazy expensive academic endeavour.

October has been a crazy month for more than just academics: I changed jobs.ย 

As most of you know, I managed to wrangle myself into an exhausting underpaid internship for June to August. At the end of August, the company decided to keep me on, so I worked full-time of all September. When October arrived, I quit. I won’t go into the nitty gritty details, but suffice it to say the following is true: People don’t leave companies, they leave their managers.

 

Like most finance-savvy bloggers, I generally think it’s better to earn money than to not, so abandoning a steady income with no back-up plan in place felt financially reckless, which is one of the reasons I didn’t tweet/blog about quittingย my full-time job without an idea what to do next. The other reason is because within three weeks I was already employed full-time again, at nearly double the salary and in a way better working environment. Talk about a lucky break!

After quitting my internship on a Friday, I was browsing job boards the following Sunday morning because many of Calgary’s major oil & gas firms were already hiring for May or June 2015 start dates. I found a job posting and was recommended by a friend for another, and as a result I had two interviews scheduled less than 5 days after I’d quit my internship role. After jumping through a few hoops, those two interviews turned in two solid job offers, and both companies wanted me to start right away.

Having multiple offers made me bold in negotiations (I followed my own steps in How To Negotiate Your Salary and it worked like a charm!) and as a result I landed my ideal role. Honestly, I could not have dreamt up a better position. For those that are curious, I work for a small (there’s 5 of us total!) technology commercialization firm where my role is helping entrepreneurs launch their products. It’s the legwork behind the real-life Shark Tank/Dragon’s Den-esque companies: taking big ideas and making them real, marketable products. The working is challenging, exciting, and deeply rewarding — and the money is awesome.

This is 100% my post-MBA career, even though I’m starting it when I’m not-quite-done my degree.

I never had any real hesitation about going back to school for my MBA until I was already 6 months into the program and realized I didn’t want to go into investment banking. I started to doubt my decision to give up a perfectly good job with nice hours and great pay to go broke in graduate school for 2 years. However, my new salary starts where my old one would have maxed out — except it would have taken me 11 years of annual raises to hit my salary cap at the university. This means I’ve essentially receivedย 11 years of raises in only 14 months, and overall I achieved some steep income goals I had made for myself to hit by age 30. I’m feeling a crazy sense of gratitude, relief, and accomplishment… and happiness! SO MUCH HAPPINESS! And an intense drive to perform and achieve even more.

The MBA was worth it, and even though I’m not quite done it, I’m still calling it the best investment I ever made.

Which, you can imagine, is a very nice feeling!

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About Author

Student debt killer, super saver, and stock market addict. BSc. in Chemistry from the University of Alberta, MBA in Finance from the University of Calgary. CEO x 2 and MOM x 1. Currently residing in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, but hooked on travelling.

28 Comments

  1. Good to hear the education paid off. Congrats. ๐Ÿ™‚ They say one of the best investments you can make is to invest in yourself. Some people believe higher education is a waste of money, but I think as long as you are focused and know what you want then learning in a deeper way can only help your cause. A six figure income by 30 should be no problem for you now ๐Ÿ˜€

    • No problem.. I’m there! Thanks to this new job, with the blog income I’ll be over $100K annually which is a pretty big deal — and I have a year to spare!

    • Congrats on the job and hitting major goals before 30, very inspirational. Oil price is very low right now so a lot of the major players are not hiring. I think you made an excellent choice going into technologies based on the current market.

  2. Congratulations! Can i just mention that this post is a bit ironic following the title of your last post. Well done on the new job!

  3. Congrats! I definitely agree with you on people quitting managers, not companies. This should make saving that big down payment much easier ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • I’m hoping so! I mentioned to my fiance it was so weird that I wrote a post about we couldn’t afford an expensive wedding and then I got this job, which felt like money falling out of the sky. Still not going to throw a big party, but definitely have way more buying power.

      House it is!

  4. Congrats on completing your MBA. Seems like the degree is very well worth it if your starting salary is already at what your old job would max out. I was looking at MBA a while ago maybe I should look into it a bit more.

    • Isn’t it crazy? I couldn’t believe it actually WORKED.

      At Haskayne, they say the average student sees an increase of 40% from their salary before the MBA to after. That’s about where I’m at now.

      I feel lucky that the MBA was such a complement to my original skill set. It opened a lot of doors that would have been closed before because I had no business background.

  5. Yay for you! My partner quit a job with nothing lined up for similar reasons…but unfortunately he has not proved quite as employable as you.

    I have never had a bad manager, thankfully, but good managers leaving have definitely been a catalyst for me to leave or consider leaving.

  6. Congrats! That is so fantastic! And, I totally agree with you about people leaving managers and not companies. It’s rarely about the company as a whole, in my experience. Glad you’re in an awesome position now!

  7. That sounds soooo awesome. Your role sounds like my dream job as well! I’m currently planning a path to get me into that area more so that R&D. Well done!

  8. Congratulations on the new gig and on negotiating a strong salary!

    I love that you call your MBA a strong investment. I feel the same way about my master’s of journalism, which I’ve blogged about, because it helped me land a job I love.

    • Nope! I’m still on track to graduate April 2015, which was the original plan.. I could have crammed those last two courses into this term and finished in Dec., but I think work is definitely the better option!

  9. Congratulations on the job! It’s so exciting that you’re starting your career already! ๐Ÿ™‚ And it’s fantastic that you’re so close to the end of your MBA – it’s got to be a good feeling!

  10. I’ve always wanted to be in a situation where two jobs wanted me so I could negotiate boldly. I’m living vicariously through you right now, haha! This is AWESOME! Congrats Bridget!