How To Get A Good Job - Without A College Degree
By: Natasha Watson

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Most of us are taught at an early age to get a good education so that we can get a good job when we grow up. Our teachers, our counselors, our parents all have instilled these ideas into our brains to "Finish school, and then get a good job." As a parent, I couldn't think of any other lesson more valuable to teach a child. 'Knowledge is power', 'a good education will open doors', or my personal favorite "don't be a fool-stay in school".

The National Center for Education reported for the years 2003 and 2004 that the number of high school completers totaled 42.2%. College enrollment rates of recent high school completers were 45.2%. The reality is that more than half of all high school students do not graduate from high school and less than half of high school graduates will enroll in college. This says there is a strong likelihood that the majority of people looking for a good job do not hold a college degree. You can still get a good job if you are willing to have a good job and you can do so without a college degree.

So, what makes a good job, "good"? Is it salary? Distance from home? Company benefits? Advancement opportunities? Believe it or not, we think about these things when we apply for positions and seek opportunities. Actually, none of these things make a "good" job. Simply put, a good job is good when you love doing what you do so much that nothing else matters. There has to be some delight in going to your job everyday. Not all people take pleasure in their work. As a result, we are only selling ourselves short of this fulfillment.

Remember when you were asked 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' when you were younger. Think about the reasons 'why' you wanted to be those things. 'To help people, fight crime, etc.' Those are the same reasons that should lead you into your job today. A passion. A belief. Not the amount of money you are going to make. Instead of finding a job that makes good money and learning to like it. find out what it is you love to do and make money doing it.

So, how do you know whether going to college would have been more beneficial than just obtaining a job right after high school? That depends on the hirer.

Depending on the size of the company and the salary range for the position, the employer can hire a non-degreed applicant with experience or a degreed applicant without experience for the same money.

So why go to college in the first place, you may wonder. Well, attending college is a personal decision that is only the best option for those who choose it. In other words, not all successful people have a college degree; so by far, it is common to choose alternative paths to become the person you want to be.

Being non-degreed in a work force so competitive can be intimidating, but it is possible to overcome.

1. The first thing you must do is to figure out what it is you want to do. There are so many occupations, jobs, and careers that match so many different objectives so start this process early. If you are unsure of your career goals, consider completing a career assessment to help determine your personal motivations and characteristics and see which careers are most suitable for you. You can also speak with an employment counselor.

2. Research a typical work environment for that profession and the most popular companies that are hiring. Contact the managers at those companies and request informational interviews with them. Ask them questions about how they became successful in their field and how they got where they are. Networking with people in your industry is the best way to get into a job. Network with as many people as possible.

3. Gather any and all on the job training certificates, seminars, workshops, volunteer activities, or other training that you have participated in that showcase your talent. This training will transfer into beneficial job skills and will need to be transformed into valuable experience and knowledge.

4. Be yourself. A phrase you have undoubtedly heard before. Sometimes you may need to practice being yourself by playing up your most desirable traits in social situations. If you are 'positive' then bring something positive to a situation, event, or conversation. If you are 'dependable' then always keep your word with others.

5. You must have a sound understanding of communication and how to communicate with others effectively. You must develop impeccable interviewing skills and clearly, you need to make a lasting first impression with the interviewer. Here are 5 tips to help you accomplish this:

  1. Use strong eye contact. Be confident.
  2. Smile. Show some teeth.
  3. Shake hands firmly. Even I have shaken some wimpy hands on occasional interviews. Don't be afraid to touch the interviewer's hand, some might take offense to this. If you're that finicky, just remember, you can wash your hands later.
  4. Speak clearly. You want to be understood and you want to make powerful statements that have meaning.
  5. "Monkey see, Monkey do." Take note of the receiver's body language, tone of voice, posture, hand gestures, etc. People want to be around other people who are like them.
You can still get a good job without a college degree because a college degree does not make you successful. you do.

Your success is not measured by the degrees you hold, but by the person you are. Shape your own future and mold it into something beautiful. It starts with you and no-thing and no-one else matters.

© 2006 Natasha Watson. All rights reserved.

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