Updated: Aug 12, 2020
It is never easy to make the decision to study again or change your career path, especially when you have already succeeded in your career.
I once read an article my husband gave to me about multipotentialite people, because he told me that I might be one of them. According to that article, those people are interested in many different topics that might not have anything in common. They have many ideas and they do not have a specific vocation. In 2010, Emilie Wapnick defined them as “curious and creative, with diverse interests”.
After reading it, I totally identified myself with it. I had never noticed before that I am this type of person. Fortunately for me, life made me not take the typical path as dictated by our society, which is to choose a career at a young age, study and perform that knowledge in a company where you may grow and think that it is the only way to be successful.
When I chose to be a Tourist Guide in Ecuador, I wanted to be a doctor at the same time. I was 17 years old and at that moment I needed to do something faster that would allow me to work and have money to be independent and help my family. Then, I decided to go to Europe with a unique goal: learn languages and go back to my country. At that time, I did not know that my destiny would be in Switzerland and that I would not go back to live in my country anymore.
During my time in Switzerland I took the opportunity to apply to the University of Lausanne, because the political and economic situation in Ecuador was deteriorating, and I thought that I would have better opportunities in my life if I had a diploma from such a reputable establishment. I was accepted at the Literature Faculty, and my objective was to master languages and then go for a Master in Tourism. Unfortunately, my diplomas from Ecuador were not accepted to do a Master, and I was told at the University that I could stay in that faculty and obtain a diploma to become a teacher. Going back to my country without any diploma was not an option for me. I worked at night in bars and restaurants and during the day I studied and attended classes. I decided to stay in the same faculty and that is how I became a Spanish and French teacher.
As I said at the beginning of this story, I did not know at that time that I would not go back to my country anymore. During my studies, I met the love of my life, and as you can imagine, I stayed in Switzerland for good reasons. After being a teacher and receptionist for a little while, I wanted something extra in my life, professionally speaking.
If you do have that desire no matter what the situation in your life is, you really need to take the step and follow your gut. If you were for some reason out of the market for many years, the decision to study again can bring you back to the job market.
When I decided to go back to the tourism and hospitality field, I had been out of that market for around 6 years and I had a hard time finding a job, but that did not take me away from my purpose. So, even if I was thinking that I was too old to study again, it was, to be honest, one of the best decisions that I made for my professional life. This is how I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management with an specialization in Events Management at HES SO University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland.
However, nothing must be taken for granted. After I had been working and living for many years in Switzerland, my husband was relocated to work in Miami and I moved with him. Today, it has been 4 years that we have lived in this beautiful city.
One more time, I was confronted with living in another country and to learn new behaviors and culture, meet new people, make friends, look for fun activities, and also, find a job.
When I decided to move to Miami, I made this decision seeing it as an adventure. I said to myself: “This is a great opportunity for both of us. With the experience I had organizing events all around Europe, with my language skills and my charisma, it will be easy for me to find a job in Miami.”
By living in Miami, I had to start to put my feet on the ground. “Girl”, it is not going to be that easy! Because I was told many times: “You do not have experience in Miami, or in the US”, and I said: “but I have experience organizing events in Europe, and they told me yes, it is good but all of Europe is the same!” I was shocked to hear that. In Europe there are different countries, with their own languages, with their own cultures, beliefs, rules, etc. It is not the same to organize an event in Italy as in Germany, but for many people who interviewed me, it was not a big deal!
Once, I even had people who told me that I had a strong accent and that was the reason why they had not selected me for the job. Of course, I have an accent, I have an accent in all 4 languages I speak, and I think this is an extra advantage.
Nevertheless, to open doors and acquired experience in Miami, I offered my services to different companies as an Independent. I even decided to take English pronunciation classes to lose my accent, because I said to myself: “I will not be ever pushed down again because of that.” But please, do not make this mistake if it happens to you. Everyone has an accent, even Americans do, from one city to another. And if an employer does not take all your experience into consideration, you do not want to work for that kind of company, trust me. Please do not take me wrong, if you need to start again do it, but do not believe that everything you have done in your life was for nothing. Every experience matters!
Finally, I found a permanent job with a DMC company and I was working between NYC and Miami, creating events, and organizing incentive trips for Europeans who were traveling to America. I had so many great moments, the job environment was incredible, with an incredibly supportive team.
Unfortunately, COVID19 happened and the industry of Events and Tourism was very affected as many others. So, I was one of those who were let go, and today I am one more time in the same situation as many years ago, thinking about making a change to give a push to my professional life.
Even if today I consider myself multi-passionate, I am once again faced with changing careers. And with the same questions: “Am I too old to study again? I have already studied enough and have sufficient diplomas. I