So, you don't have a degree. Well, neither did Henry Ford, and he became one of the richest men in history after founding the Ford Motor Group. Born into absolute poverty, he never had the luxury of going to school. What he did do was learn his trade through an apprenticeship.
The key message? Success, wealth, and the job you want has nothing to do with a piece of paper from a university. Sometimes, a few short courses combined with the right attitude will do more for your career than any degree ever could. Landing the job you want is all about you; your passion, attitude, willingness to work and learn, the people you know and your professional relationships.
Follow your passion
According to Deloitte, passionate workers are committed to performing better (and not just after a bonus payment lands into their account) and have a much better chance of making progress in the company because they drive extreme and sustained performance.
While being passionate about your job can set you up for success, it won't guarantee it. Passion needs to be combined with realistic goals, the right skills (so, maybe you need to do a short course) or experience. But most of all, it needs to go hand-in-hand with hard work. By combining all these things, you will have the greatest chance of scoring goals in the career path you choose – even without an official degree.
Be ready to learn and find an employer who will support your learning
Formal degrees are just preparation for a career – there is a lot of learning that needs to be done on the job with hands-on experience. And the learning part should never stop. If it does, you become less competitive in the job market. To put it another way – you become stale and have nothing of value to offer the company or future workforce.
Never stop learning, as there is always more to learn about your profession. You can always do more, do better or do something a little differently to other workers doing the very same job you do. And – if you want to stand out, that is what you should be aiming for.
Be the person they want to hire
So, you don't have the qualifications listed on the job ad, but you are a hard worker, willing and ready to give it your all. Believe it or not, with the right employer, this may be enough. There are employers out there who are more than willing to pay for your training and qualifications if you have potential. And that potential is in your attitude. Hiring for attitude and training for skills has been tried and tested across many industries, and it works!
You must be wondering now, what kind of attitude you need to have to be chosen by an employer? Think things like; a positive, can-do attitude, a willingness to learn, adaptability, willing to take on responsibilities, being dependable, honest, and acting with integrity and professionalism.
Find a mentor and network
Employees who have mentors are 5x more likely to be promoted, which proves that sometimes knowing the right people will help you get ahead in life and work. So, get out there, meet the right people, build connections, and you may get your foot in the door of a company that will help you win the job you want. Networking also gives you more chances of finding out about job opportunities that may be suited to you.
A word of advice on mentors and networking – firstly, find the right mentor. Look around at the people you know and friends of friends. If you see someone who is where you would like to be one day, approach them. Most people will feel honoured they were approached but may feel they don't have the time. If this is the case, offer to work around their schedule or volunteer some of your time to work on jobs where they may need extra help. Also, be on time for catch-ups, pay for the coffee (after all, they are giving up their time to help you) and don't go overtime if they say they have 30 minutes to give.
A formal degree is not an absolute must for landing the job you want.
A few short courses combined with the right attitude will do more for your career than any degree ever could.
Choose a job you have a passion for and combine it with hard work and a can-do attitude.
Never stop learning. Always look for new and better ways to improve the job you deliver.
The right attitude will help you score a job where the employer will be more than happy to pay for your training.
Get out there and find yourself a mentor that can share lessons learnt and help set you on the right path.
If you are open to new opportunities, contact a recruitment agency like Trojan Recruitment Group and receive advice from the experts in labour-hire, permanent and contract staff.