You control your destiny
You control your destiny.

The harsh reality is that there’re a limited amount of opportunities in the work force. With a bachelor’s degree becoming as common as a high school diploma, you’re competing against so many folks that you almost certainly need to acquire a Master’s degree in a specialized field of study to get ahead.

From a very young age, our parents, teachers and role-models stress the importance of college and how necessary it is to be successful. While acquiring a formal education is certainly helpful, many folks receive a degree they never use. What’s unfortunate is that you need to make a life changing decision at a point at an age where you’re basically ignorant to the real world and how it functions.

My point is, never be afraid of exploring alternative options prior to deciding on pursuing a degree. Don’t be afraid to explore your creativity and chase your dream. Sometimes you’ll need a degree, but other times, you can carve out your own destiny. Ideally, chase your dream and a degree simultaneously.

If only diplomas came with guarantees...
If only diplomas came with guarantees…

Do some research and learn a skill or trade, seek alternative education programs, or start your own business among other things. The key is to network and build a team who shares your vision and passion. It’ll take a lot of work and discipline, but if you’re consistent and resilient, you will achieve your goals. From there, build your brand and promote it every chance you can.

I’m not against a college degree at all, but I do wish that it wasn’t presented as the “best” decision post high school. Of course, the situation is different for everyone, so don’t pass up on that scholarship or special opportunity.

Weigh out your options. Write down several areas of interest and opportunities, and then rate them very critically. Determine a time line for each, and then establish requirements, processes, and challenges. Don’t be afraid to experiment, change, fail, and reassess as you go. Trial and error will help you realize what’s working and what isn’t, and what you love and don’t love. You’ll realize as you evolve that your interest and passions will change.

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Elliot is a Northeastern graduate and the editor for ElevatedPost. His mission is to help motivate, inspire and teach. His passion is driven by his desire to help others self-improve and realize their untapped potential so they may find success and prosperity.