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How do you balance doing a career from college with a biology or business degree with your passion of wanting to do trades. Some summers I am doing an internship at a company but I also want to focus on trades like working on cars and concrete/laborer because it’s fun. Does anyone else have the same predicament?? #Spring24

I am currently double majoring in Business Administration and Communication Studies, and will be interning at a company for a design/marketing position. I always have the thought in the back of my mind to work in trades but feel like I should focus on my business degree. Has anyone ever done both a blue collar and white collar career? If so, can I do both? #Spring24

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James Constantine’s Answer

Dear Oscar,

Balancing a Career in Business with a Passion for Trades

Balancing a career in business with a passion for trades can be challenging but certainly achievable with careful planning and dedication. Here are some steps you can take to navigate this dual interest:

1. Identify Your Priorities:

Reflect on your long-term goals and aspirations in both business and trades. Determine which field aligns more closely with your passions and where you see yourself thriving in the future.

2. Explore Opportunities for Integration:

Look for ways to integrate your business knowledge with your interest in trades. For example, you could explore entrepreneurship opportunities in the trades industry or pursue roles that require a blend of business acumen and technical skills.

3. Seek Mentorship and Guidance:

Connect with professionals who have experience balancing careers in both white-collar and blue-collar industries. Their insights and advice can help you make informed decisions about your career path.

4. Gain Relevant Experience:

Take advantage of internships, part-time jobs, or volunteer opportunities that allow you to gain hands-on experience in both business and trades. This will not only enhance your skill set but also help you clarify your career preferences.

5. Continuous Learning and Skill Development:

Invest time in continuous learning to stay updated on developments in both fields. Consider taking courses or certifications related to trades alongside your academic pursuits in business.

6. Create a Flexible Career Plan:

Develop a flexible career plan that allows you to explore opportunities in both business and trades. Be open to adjusting your goals as you gain more clarity about your interests and strengths.

7. Network Strategically:

Build a strong professional network that includes individuals from both the business and trades sectors. Networking can open doors to unique career paths and provide valuable insights into industry trends.

8. Stay Committed and Persistent:

Balancing dual interests requires commitment, persistence, and resilience. Stay focused on your goals, remain adaptable to changes, and don’t be afraid to take calculated risks along the way.

In conclusion, while balancing a career in business with a passion for trades may present challenges, it is possible to pursue both paths simultaneously with careful planning, dedication, and a willingness to explore diverse opportunities.

Top 3 Authoritative Sources Used:

Harvard Business Review: The Harvard Business Review provides insightful articles, research studies, and expert opinions on various aspects of business management, leadership, and career development.

National Association of Home Builders (NAHB): NAHB offers resources, training programs, and industry insights related to the construction trades sector, providing valuable information for individuals interested in pursuing careers in this field.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): The BLS offers comprehensive data on employment trends, job outlooks, wages, and educational requirements for various occupations, including those in the business sector as well as skilled trades industries.

Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is really helpful. Oscar
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Thiago’s Answer

Hello Oscar!

Balancing a formal education in fields like Business Administration and Communication Studies with a hands-on passion for trades such as automotive work and concrete labor can indeed be challenging but also rewarding. The key is to see both paths not as mutually exclusive but as complementary parts of your professional identity.

During the academic year, you can focus on your studies and internships, which will solidify your credentials in the business and communication fields. These internships are valuable for gaining experience, networking, and understanding the practical applications of your studies. They will prepare you for a corporate career, giving you a solid foundation in professional skills.

In contrast, the summer breaks and other off-periods present a perfect opportunity to explore your interest in trades. Engaging in hands-on work like fixing cars or concrete labor not only provides a creative outlet and a break from academic rigor but also equips you with practical skills that are highly valued even in corporate settings. These skills can enhance problem-solving abilities, physical dexterity, and can even offer entrepreneurial opportunities in the future.

Many professionals successfully navigate careers that blend white-collar roles with blue-collar passions. This hybrid approach can lead to a uniquely fulfilling career path, combining intellectual satisfaction with practical, hands-on work. It’s about finding the right balance that works for you, ensuring that you remain engaged and productive in both arenas.