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Essay on Career Goals

September 10th, 2009

My dream job would be owning and operating a bakery. I enjoy baking bread and do it well. I cannot imagine a better way to earn a living, than by turning a hobby into a profitable business? Three major obstacles stand in my way, the knowledge and skill to run a retail business, the finances to begin and maintain it, and the personal confidence required to leap into such an endeavor. I have already addressed these concerns by taking a management position in retail food service, keeping my financial house in order, and completing a paralegal certification program. Although these steps have narrowed the gap between my goal and me, I believe a Bachelor’s in Business Management will help bring me within reach. It will do so by providing me with the educational foundation to run a business successfully, improving my financial situation, and improving my self-confidence. These three barriers are not unique to me. On the contrary, they are well documented as difficulties many entrepreneurs face as they launch a new business.

Successful business ownership begins with proper education and experience before the business is opened. Statistics show that, “14.6% of small businesses fail due to a lack of management competence or experience” (Flushe). This makes it clear that many people go into business without first obtaining the required education and experience.

Holding a management position in retail food service is providing me with the day-to-day experience, which I will need to open my own business. Every day I gain real life experience in dealing with personnel. Common issues include, settling disputes between crew members, balancing labor costs to income, and ensuring that everyone works together as a team. I am not directly responsible for ordering raw goods and materials. Another concern is that of maintaining just the right amount of stock. Customer service is yet another area where I am gaining experience. Balancing the needs and desires of the customer with the needs and capabilities of the company can be difficult. Although generally both can be satisfied, there are times when it seems neither can be satisfied.

Even though practical experience is very useful, it is only one side of the education “coin.” A degree in business management provides foundational knowledge that practical experience lacks. Because I am employed in a management position while I am working on my management degree, I can begin to put this foundational knowledge to use as I am learning it. I believe this is a key to learning, to be able to immediately put to practice the knowledge acquired in formal education. That is the very reason the University of Phoenix requires its students to be employed before enrolling in a degree program (Phoenix).
Education and experience combine to form but one leg of this three-legged stool. Money is equally important. Regarding start-up costs, Benny posted a question to Bakery-Net asking how much it costs to open a bakery (Benny). Many people provided information regarding the costs of individual items, but only one, June, stated her start-up costs. They were $80,000 and she lost an additional $30,000 in the first year of business. June said her bakery had broken even by its second anniversary. She went on to say that the break even point is usually attained around the third to fifth years of operation (June).

I have done my best to keep my financial house in order. Other than currently accruing student loans, I am debt free. Admittedly, I have yet to amass the required eighty, or more, thousand dollars, that will be required to open a bakery. However, not being in debt for house and car is a good foundation.

The role of a formal education in the improvement of my financial situation is, perhaps, indirect. Because of accruing student loans, one might go so far as to say that I will end up in worse condition than I began. In deed, if things go according to plan, by the time I graduate I will be about sixteen thousand dollars in debt. That view, I believe, is short sighted.

My chances for promotion with my present employer will improve because a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management will be very beneficial for the advanced position I seek. Very few people in my current job category have four-year degrees and such a degree will set me apart from the competition. This advanced position includes a substantial increase in income, as well as several other benefits.

The advantage of a four-year degree is not unique to my current employer. After completing this degree program, I might choose to look for employment elsewhere. A Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management will open doors of opportunity that would otherwise be closed to me. Such opportunities would very likely include an increase in pay.

The third, and final leg, of this three-legged stool is self-confidence. I had no trouble finding sources that expounded on the need for self-confidence when it comes to starting a business. “Even though most people would like to start their own business, only a small percentage actually do it. When push comes to shove, most lack the self-confidence to make a decision and act on it“ (Texas). “There are many obstacles [to starting a business]…. These can be overcome with self-confidence and a strong belief in your ideas” (Leeds). “Self-confidence is a necessary ingredient for success” (Talbott).

By the time I finished the sixth grade, my self-confidence was a shambles. My grade-school teachers had no recognition nor understanding of dyslexia. They considered me to be a slow, stupid and lazy student and told me so. This led to poor performance in my subsequent educational experience. I believed that a four-year education was beyond my reach.

I have freed myself from the shackles of this false belief. Not too many years ago, I completed the Paralegal Certificate Program at the Denver Paralegal Institute. To be accepted into the program, a student must either possess a four-year degree or pass an entrance exam. I did not have a four-year degree, but passed the entrance exam with a score of ninety-seven percent. I finished the Paralegal Program with a 3.7 GPA. Completing my bachelor degree will help erase the damaged caused by years of misinformation about my childhood learning disability. The mere fact that I have enrolled in a four-year degree program is evidence enough that this leg of the stool is firmly in place.

Owning a bakery is more to me than simply being self-employed and running a business that I enjoy. I see it as a vehicle by which I can better reach out to my community and help those in need. I would like to use the income from the bakery to sponsor, for example, youth soccer teams. Using the bakery to sponsor children through Compassion International is also a desire of mine. I would be most gratified if the lobby of my bakery became a meeting place. A place where people sat down and discussed issues of the day over a hot roll and cup of coffee. A place where people maintained old friendships, or developed new ones. I want the bakery to be a vital part of the community, both locally and worldwide.

For once in my life my goals are attainable. The roadblocks, which have stood in my way, are being replaced by a solid foundation of education, improved financial opportunities, and self-confidence. Because of this, I am becoming a better husband and father. I am also better able to reach out to members of my community and provide a helping hand. By this I set an example for my children and their children. That if I, at 49, can begin again and overcome obstacles to attain life-long goals, so can they. I am very excited about the future and what the future may hold. I appreciate the opportunity afforded me by the Bachelor’s of Business Management Program at the University of Phoenix.


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