We have over 100,000 highly qualified agents in our database ready to tackle any challenge, expertly handle every customer interaction and radically improve the quality of customer care for our clients. Yet, if we did a poll I’m betting that the majority of people would say they did not plan on becoming an Agent OnDemand™. In fact, I estimate that most people are on career paths now that they did not plan for when they decided to go to college – or not to go to college.
Recently I was on a small business panel for Fox Business News and this very topic was discussed (with some interesting results). A recent study shows that 15% of taxi drivers and 25% of retail sales workers have bachelor’s degrees. If you asked them, they most likely did not plan on their present career paths when they went to college. The truth is that people have been in jobs and on career paths for which they are overeducated for many years now. This is not a new phenomenon. However, with recent economic challenges, the conversation seems to be quite prevalent. And the big question? Is a college education worth it?
Let’s think about what the college education system truly does for us (in addition to providing an opportunity to learn), and how it aligns with our present job situation:
|College||Results||Current Job Environment||Results|
|Leave home (typically) garnering more freedom||Sink or swim – you must learn how to be self-motivated.||Motivated self-starters are the norm.||Only those with the ability to manage themselves, their time and their work ethic can make it.|
|Can set your own course; e.g., change majors multiple times||Adapt and embrace change while learning what we really like to do||Entrepreneurial environments expect that employees can adapt and even create change||Fast moving companies are revered, which requires employees to change course regularly and quickly.|
|Set your own path and determine the outcome.||Awarded for the results you have in classes as well as social activities.||Changing jobs and working outside a college major is the norm.||Understanding how to set your own path and create desired results will get your farther.|
Obviously there are more benefits to attending college than just learning a trade, skill or industry (and more benefits than the ones I listed above). While I am not suggesting that everyone must or should go to college, having the ability to further your own career and set your future starts with understanding how to learn on your own, adapt to change and create your own destiny. These skills are seeded in college and other trade educational groups and then fine-tuned in our current job environment.
Expect your career to change. Expect that you will end up doing something you never imagined. Expect that life will throw you curve balls. You’ll be much happier in the long run. After all, there will be entire careers created in the next five to ten years that we cannot even imagine today. Don’t hem yourself in by setting a course and expecting it to be fulfilled. Maybe it will. But then again, by giving yourself permission to enjoy a different idea about your career, you may just find that you are much happier.