The Power of Professionalization

Source:, edit my own


This is my personal post-professionalization course manifesto; it is a declaration of belief, behavior, and intent regarding my career path and life trajectory.

  1. I enrolled in this course in the interest of practicality and necessity; I pass it with a profound respect for the art of career and work. I will carry this respect with me from job to job, and I will remember the beauty of craft, of the words of business, of becoming whoever based on those words.
  2. This course taught me to be gentle with myself when it comes to my major, because it matters greatly, incredibly, enormously. I will reject any narrative that tells me otherwise, and spread this newfound regard to anyone near.
  3. Value is often times intangible. Just because I can’t quantify something doesn’t mean I don’t have it, but I will also quantify things when possible. It is always a number game, but one I know now how to play.
  4. The humanities are complex, and if I can interpret and analyze great works of literature, I can do the same to a job advertisement, and I now believe that I can do both at the same time, and intend to until the ad asks specifically for the ability to interpret and analyze great works of literature.
  5. The finding and securing of that job is wholly possible, and I will find it in the future, using the knowledge gained in my studies, but also, or especially, the things I learned in a two-week professionalization workshop.
  6. Exploration is both natural and necessary. I will not limit myself when career-choosing based on a path others set me on, and I will always cast a net that is as wide as it is deep.
  7. I am someone who is happiest when thinking and creating, and it’s important I remember that when searching for a livelihood.
  8. Details determine a lot, and there is power in the patient edit. I want to continue this careful amending, endlessly, with the joy that comes from knowing I am not stagnant.
  9. It’s not narcissistic to know yourself.  In fact, now that I know myself a little better, I feel like I am much more capable to live outside of myself and help others.
  10. Which is the most important, inescapable, imperative part: to connect with those in your community and outside of it. I am committed to connecting, to humanizing and empathizing people from every field. I will not begrudge life for this anti-aloneness, but be thankful for it, because there is nothing more beautiful than doing something you love with someone you care about.

“Liberal Arts” comes from the Latin liberalis, meaning “worthy of a free person.” In Ancient Greece, liberal arts were skills or subjects considered to be essential for a free person to know. I took this course because I was tired of the narrow well-intentions of others, and I am leaving it with the realization that I am a free person, and that what I am learning is, was, and always will be important for existence.  I now also possess the necessary skill set to navigate the complex and trying field of career hunting and obtaining. I learned the art of tailoring, the craft of a carefully curated resume, how to write a cover letter that is more likely to land me an interview. I learned the power of self-branding and how to role play as the face of that brand. I learned how to talk to others about something I believe in, and how to make them invest in that belief. I learned that making a living it for yourself isn’t something you do by yourself. All this is coming from a place of research; because this course also gave me the intelligence and confidence to reach out and investigate. I spoke to a man who reminded me that the humanities matter because of the “human” part, that connections and stories are who we are, and that employers want someone who knows how to communicate and connect with others.

It seems inept to me that this course isn’t required for English or Liberal Arts Major. We’re required to take innumerable classes on how to read, write, and talk about literature, but not a single one that will teach us how to use those reading, writing, and talking skills to find a living. There’s a disconnect, and one that is so easily fixable, if the students, myself included, would admit it’s there, and then do something about it, by taking classes like these, and then asking for more. This class taught me how to take what I love and find a way to spend my life doing it, and that’s the power of professionalization, of actualizing passion.


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