“You Don’t Need Another Degree. You Need Experience.” Although I’ve talked about this “Kandid” one-liner too many times, I can’t take credit for it. I snagged the title from Chelsea Krost, a 23-year-old badass entrepreneur, radio and TV talk show host, who creates content that targets Millennials.
Recently Chelsea hosted a ” Twitter chat for Millennials on this topic, but I also think this issue is relevant to the generation that falls outside of the Millennial category. You know the types of people I’m talking about. The serial back to “schoolers.” The people who simply don’t know what the heck they want to do with their lives so they run back to school—the safe haven. The people who think that grades, degrees and titles are their golden ticket to a better life.
News Flash— a second or third degree is not a golden ticket to a new life or better job. Because the reality is, almost anyone can get good grades and/or a degree. Now granted, in some instances, you may need to return to school to improve your skill-set to transition to a new role or career. However, there are a lot of people who are using school as an excuse because they’re beat down from job rejections or they’re too lazy to do the hard work required to live the life of their dreams.
Let’s face it, we live in an age where you can learn just about anything on the Internet. Find a niche you’re passionate about and get started. Let’s explore some scenarios:
- Do you want to be a photographer?—buy a camera, snap pictures, and share. Build relationships with like-minded people. Viola!
- Do you want to be a chef? Find a recipe & start cooking for family, friends, neighbors, cooking competitions, etc. (Oh, and check out my Black Enterprise articles with Self-taught Chef Omar and Fitmen Cook, Kevin). Viola!
- Do you want to be a writer? Create your own blog. Write. Share. Build relationships. If necessary, hire an editor. Pitch online publications. Viola!
- Do you want to be a talk show host? Start your own youtube channel, identify a subject you’re passionate about, shoot your first video and share with the world, consistently.
- You want to be a doctor—okay seriously go back to school.
My point is stop waiting for titles and degrees to validate your existence. Even if you’re not pursuing entrepreneurship, it’s your life own it. Here are a few things to make it happen:
- Join the social media revolution and engage people in your chosen field.
- Create a website. Although I use WordPress to build my website, I’ve used Squarespace for clients–and I love it for its simplicity and beautifully designed templates.
- Share your thoughts, work or ideas consistently via Twitter, Linked, Forums, etc.
- Help others succeed in their careers. Believe me the experience you gain from helping others is beyond powerful. Volunteer at a non–profit, an industry event or local business or start a “social movement.”
- Seek mentorship and opportunities where you can promote your work and gain feedback.
- Seek learning opportunities (attend meet-ups, industry events, or empowerment conferences) beyond the four walls of the classroom.
- Be confident in your abilities.
- Do the work and trust the process.
Stay tuned for next week’s Mindset Monday.
Photo Credit: Getty Images