Many people, old and young, wonder how to get a job in today’s world. The answer is simple, but here’s where most people get it wrong. People think if you get a college degree, you’ll magically get a job after you graduate.
The truth is that a college degree is expensive and time-consuming to achieve. That immediately puts many people in debt. Even worse, a college degree by itself does not guarantee any job whatsoever. There are people working at Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Burger King who have college degrees, doing jobs that aren’t using their college degrees at all.
If getting a college degree isn’t a sure path to success, then what is? In the book “Dream Differently,” the author, Dr. Vince M. Bertram suggests that people need to first decide what they want and then decide how they’ll get what they want.
Right now, people do things backwards. They determine what they’re good at in school and what their interests are, then they pursue those interests. What they should really be doing is deciding what they want to do and then figure out what they need to learn to get what they want.
“Dream Differently” gives a story about a high school student who was horrible at math. Yet he liked the idea of being an engineer, working in the aerospace industry. Even though he was bad at math, he simply worked harder to get passing grades. Then he became an engineer.
If he had done things the normal way, he would have assumed since he’s bad at math, he can’t be an engineer and thus can’t do what he really wants to do.
The truth is that anyone can do anything they want to do. The sad part is that most people never figure out what they want to do in the first place. So instead of choosing a goal and then aiming for it, they drift through life and choose whatever looks easy at the moment. That’s a sure-fire formula for choosing the wrong career and getting stuck in it for the next few decades of your life.
People who do this wake up forty years later and wonder where their lives went. If you want random chance and luck to define your life, it’s much simpler to simply buy lottery tickets every week and hope for success. Maybe you’ll be lucky but chances are good you’ll simply be broke for the rest of your life, waiting for luck to define your life instead of defining it for yourself.
Don’t let random chance and luck define your life. Define it yourself. That means deciding what you want and then working towards that goal. Don’t look at what you’re good at and go in that direction unless that is the direction you want to go.
“Dream Differently” also emphasizes that it doesn’t matter what college you go to or how much you spend. When people graduate from college, they’re no different than thousands of other people who also graduate with a college degree. The huge problem with college is that it teaches knowledge but fails to teach vital skills needed to work.
For example, someone may graduate as an engineer, but part of being an engineer may involve writing reports. Someone else may graduate with a liberal arts degree, but they’ll still need to know how to use a computer. Colleges too often funnel people into narrow specialities that creates people unable to do other types of tasks.
That’s why so many companies complain that college graduates are not prepared for working. College graduates may know how to solve problems, but they lack basic communication skills (writing and public speaking), they lack business sense (how to manage their own finances), and they lack computer skills (to use the tools needed on a job).
- Communication skills involve writing and speaking. If you can’t write clearly, you’ll be at a distinct disadvantage in any job. Engineering and science graduates often lack basic writing skills, which handicaps them from any job.
- Business skills involve knowing how to manage money, both your own and a company’s finances. When you understand how a business works, you can better understand how your role in a company can help that company’s business thrive. If you can’t help a business make money, it doesn’t matter how much you know form college.
- Computer skills involve knowing how to take advantage of computers of all types to be more productive in your job. Liberal arts majors often shy away from technology, not realizing that computers can help them do research and write in addition to performing basic tasks on the job like printing reports or designing presentations.
If you want to be a success, decide what you want to do, then figure out what skills you need to develop to do what you want to do. Finally, make sure you develop a basic competence in communication, business, and computer skills.
Do this and you’ll go a long way to separating yourself from the masses who fail to understand their purpose in life. There’s never any guarantee you’ll succeed, but if you fail to do anything, you’ll definitely guarantee you’ll never succeed at everything.