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Finding Your Purpose in Life/Is graduate school the right choice?


I'm in my twenties and at a crossroads.  I have a BA and MA, and have recently started a second MA (in Anthropology) at the request of my current employer.  My employer is not assisting me financially with this degree, and I do not earn what I would consider to be a substantial income.  The problem is, I enjoy the field I am in but after the money and time (3 years) it will take me to finish this degree, I am not confident I will achieve a salary or position that will make it all worthwhile. This degree is proving to be difficult in terms of workload, and I'm relying on graduate assistantships to help pay for it. If my assistantship gets discontinued, I will likely have to take out a loan or take a semester off.

I like where I work very much, I wouldn't say I love it because I am not in the position I want to be in, but I'm just not happy with the salary and the lack of raise or promotion potential.  Also, the massive amount of work and stressing I'm doing over this degree, to not get any financial assistance is filling me with some animosity for my job, which is a problem. A promotion could happen, especially if someone quits or retires, but I work at a very small company and I don't want to bank on this.  

I'm having a hard time deciding if I should just quit this degree (I know in the short term at least I would be happier) or stick with it and hope for the best.  The degree will be helpful in the field I'm in, regardless of my current company.  A lot can happen in 3 years either way.  My options, I realize, are to look for another job in the same field which is very slim pickings right now, or change careers.  The only other thing I would want to do is also very risky, and that is to start my own art business, something I've done research into for a year.  Between working full time and going to school for this MA, trying to start a business on the side has been near impossible.  I feel like I need to choose one course of action and I'm not sure what to do.  I greatly appreciate your advice!

The Vision Board book
The Vision Board book  
The true question is not whether another graduate degree is right -- but where you are going and what is your vision. Are you looking at the whole scope of your life -- or just your job and school. Consider making a vision board see to see a free chapter of my book THE VISION BOARD: the secret to an extraordinary life and do the exercise on pages 16 & 17 to see what is truly in your heart not just your head.

On the left brain side of things-- why not consider getting a PhD rather than another masters? so you can at least teach. Starting your own business is fascinating-- so look online what is going on in the area of startups for your region/state/country etc. I do not know where you are.

My expertise and topic is : PURPOSE IN LIFE -- I'm sure you realize your purpose in life is much more than work or school. Sit down with your employer if possible and explain that the second degree is causing stress and see if a) you can get your hours shortened or b) get a student loan for your degree or c) get some kind of compensation to continue your degree. Good luck to you -- but remember LIFE HAPPENS WHEN YOU'RE NOT LOOKING !

Finding Your Purpose in Life

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Joyce Schwarz


How to change careers, how to apply the law of attraction to your career, creating multiple streams of income, successful recareering, creating your life path, changing careers, when just another job is not enough, creating abundance, attitude of gratitude, volunteering, mentoring, how to use a vision board, dream board, wisdom or life collage to manifest your destiny


Joyce Schwarz is an author and internationally known career strategist. She created AOL's WORKPLACE OF THE FUTURE forum and her book "SUCCESSFUL RECAREERING" When Just Another Job Is Not Enough is a best seller. She has been interviewed by Wall Street Journal, NBC News, PBS TV, NPR radio, and more than 75 magazines and newspapers and hundreds of other radio stations. She is the author of the upcoming book "The Vision Board" Unlock the Secret to An Extraordinary Life, Harper Collins Publishing, Collins Design, fall, 2008,

Interactive Television Alliance, Women in Film, Pacific Rim Chamber of Commerce Board member, ABWA Boss of the Year,


BSJ -- undergraduate degree in Journalism, Ohio University, Masters Degree, USC School of Cinema and TV, MBA studies, University of San Francisco, APR (certified PRSA), MPW degree, CBC (certified business counselor)

Awards and Honors
ABWA Boss of the Year, AAAA awards and citations, ACPRA award, Time-Life Citation for direct response, Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in Entertainment, President's Council Business Woman of the Year, 2007, NEA Grant (co-recipient), California Arts Council grant (recipient) Colorado Women's Foundation (recipient).

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More than 10,000 workshop students in cities such as New York, SFO, San Diego and Los Angeles. Corporate clients range from Sheraton Hotels to AT&T and such major brands as Revlon and Philips Electronics. Seemore at

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