I’ve never been a fan of post-secondary formal education. Not because of the skyrocketing tuition prices or the fact that most college students enter school without a solid idea of what job they want. It’s the fact that going to college doesn’t properly prepare you for being a successful adult in the real world.
1. To be successful, you need to be specific about what you want
In college, you can slip by for a few semesters with only a sliver of an idea of what you want to do for a living but when entering the real world, you need to be a little more specific. You need to know exactly what you want from the world so you can create a plan of action and attack your aspirations head on.
2. In most job markets, formal education will always be second to experience
When it comes to hiring, employers value one thing above all else: experience.All the degrees, certifications, letters of recommendation and references in the world are outweighed by the simple sentence:
“Ten years experience with a proven track record of success in the industry.”
To that end, if you like doing something and want to turn it into a career, simply do it.
Do it, practice it, become good at it and, in the end, you’ll land the job you want.
3. The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself
You may know the proper way to file end-of-year earnings reports and how many creamers the boss likes in his coffee but, really, what does any of it matter if you don’t know who you are? The average 9-to-5 job pits an individual against themselves and floods them with an overflow of useless knowledge that inhibits their ability to get up-close and personal with their own identities.
To get the most out of your career, you need to find a job, or business, that pushes you to explore your secret talents, and hidden abilities.
4. Enjoying life and having fun is far more important than holding down a steady 9-to-5
Would you spend 40 hours of your free time every week doing something unrewarding? Probably not, right? In a very real sense, every single hour of your life is free time… so why not take advantage of every second of it? If your job doesn’t excite you, and if it isn’t something you would do for free in your spare time… search for a new career.
There’s more to life than a suit and tie, and it’s up to you to find that perfect job — conventional or not — that provides you with the room you need to satisfy your bold and adventurous impulses.
5. If you do happen to take on a 9-to-5, you need to take care of yourself
If you’re making a choice to pursue a steady 9-to-5, go on at least 4 vacations a year. When monotony is running high, your boss is calling you for that expense report for the 7th time in a row and you feel like your head is going to explode… don’t take the afternoon or the next few days to blow things off, fly to Jamaica. Relax under the Caribbean sun, play hooky, and flirt with some locals until you feel like heading back. That down time will do wonders for your mental health and your productivity; you’ll be much happier and able to do your job effectively.
And if your cookie-cutter job doesn’t come with enough off time? Feel no shame in mercilessly negotiating your way into a few extra “sick” days.
Over the years, I’ve learned that happiness doesn’t come from locking yourself into a lifelong career at the age of eighteen. It comes from liberally experimenting with your life’s direction, and having a rather flexible existence.
Ultimately, while college can prepare you for a job that seems interesting at the moment it can’t prepare you for the inevitable changes that you go through in life. In order to truly experience all that life has to offer, you’ve got to define what you want, devote yourself to practicing it, remain true to yourself and pursue your dreams with an open mind.
Like this post? Check out: 10 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Should Never Enroll In College