The Pursuit of Happiness…

… is an uphill battle.                                                                                                         

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Lac Lioson, one of my favorite hikes in the area.

When I moved to Switzerland for my MBA almost a year ago I had one thing in mind: this year was going to be some hike, tough, exhausting, but ultimately would lead me somewhere amazing. On the more practical side I had one objective: to change my career and have a fun job in the corporate world by 2019.

But, as with every hike, the path is not always what you thought it would be.

During the last months through the many traditional business streams and the not so traditional ones, my year delineated itself in a broader search for meaning. What is it that drives me? What is it that I want? Why am I even doing this to myself? And as my hike turned into a climb, the challenges turned out to be much bigger than I had predicted.

Every person that hikes regularly has faced that one time when you started your walk and you had the eyes on the peak, but as you came closer to your goal you realized that there was still a whole lot of mountain to climb, and what you thought was the peak turned out to be just a stop on the way.

At this time of the year that’s pretty much where a lot of us in the class are. We have started receiving our first job interview invitations – and rejections; we have started case prepping, had our first mock interviews, and got grilled on them. We’re sanity checking our expectations and reflecting on how realistic they are on the short and long term. So let me tell you one secret, reality is one tough lady. And she’s knocking at the door.

We have also started to face the fact that (surprise! surprise!) employers have needs, and that if we want to be successful at this game, we need to reconcile a lot of variables. What is it that this company needs? What can I offer? How does that fit in my broader search for meaning and happiness?

So emotions are running high, everybody is at the edge of their seats, waiting for something to happen. And how do you navigate that? How do you deal with the realization that you still might have to put in a lot of hard work, a lot of time, that there’s still so much to climb?

Personally, I rely on friends and the solace that they bring when they say: “this is happening to me as well”. And then I take a step back, one deep breath and I look back and see how far I’ve come and that gives me the energy to focus on the next 10 meters of the climb…

Joyce

P.S.: If you want to understand why I went into this journey take a look at this post from 2017.

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