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Monday, May 14, 2007

Why unconventional career choices can lead you to professional success

Do you have a degree or a master already?

The main question when you want to expand your career path is:

Are you going to do it the conventional way or the unconventional one.

The conventional way is to follow the traditional curriculum.

This means that you sit in a classroom for many years.

Get a diploma or degree.

Apply for jobs.

Get hired.

Work in an organization.

Etc.

That's the conventional way.

The unconventional way is to respond to a call.

You know that many people who succeed with their career did not follow the usual study line.

They took another path.

Probably 90% of the work force followed the conventional path while only a fraction took another road.

What exactly is that other road?

You identify a need in society.

You create a response for that need.

Now, you have to navigate and stay within the limits of the regulations of course.

You can't go around operating people if you are not trained as a surgeon.

In many fields, though, diplomas have much less weight and you can practice what you love without the hassle of getting certified or trained in that specific field.

Now, why would you do that?

Because it might be much faster!!! And, more effective!

The problem with classroom training is that you often end up using only a very small fraction of what you actually need for your profession.

Some of the tools you did learn might be needed as background or backup but very often even the skills you need to perform effectively with your profession are not there... Even after a few years training and a couple of diplomas!

Why is that? Because most of the times what really makes you successful in your profession can't be learned in a classroom: you have to learn it in the field via experience!

Practical experience is very different than rational knowledge.

Depending on the area you want to focus on, the rational knowledge and tools needed might be very minimal.

In other terms focusing on classroom type of training could be a mistake!

Suppose you want to set up your own business for instance, what do you think works best to learn the skills:
  • Starting your first business when you are 16 and selling this first successful enterprise to someone else by the time you are 20?

or

  • Sitting in a classroom for 4 years, learning the theory of business and economics and having a nice diploma and no experience by the time you are 20?

Which of these two directions do you think works best?

Which one will give you the greatest satisfaction and excitement?

Which one will give you the most valuable skills?

Which one will even get you the most likely hired?

These are the questions you can ask yourself.

I believe that if you have inspiration and focus on a field which does not require highly qualified technical skills, than the self discovery road might often be more suitable.

Does this mean that you don't need education at all?

Absolutely not!

You simply need the right balance of theoretical and practical experience.

The key word here is: right balance.

More on this coming soon...

Take care

vitalcoach