WHY I AM AGAINST GRAD SCHOOL
August 9, 2017
MY BIG MISTAKE
I had already landed my first dream job within my first 10-months after college graduation. I was working as a motivational speaker for campus-wide high school assemblies and as a Product Narrator for the International Auto Show. I was traveling the country, dressed in Armani suits, making thousands of dollars per week and feeling like a rockstar! But after one years time I had reached the top of the promotion ladder. I was making the maximum amount of money that these companies were willing to pay out and I was ready for.
So not knowing what was next I made the mistake that a lot of my millennial counterparts make. When we find ourselves at those fearful crossroads of career uncertainty and not knowing what do next. So I enrolled in graduate school and sold myself on the hype that more education would mean more success. I accelerated through my masters degree program in 13 months, earned my MBA and the title of Class Salutatorian, but found myself just as lost for answers when I graduated as I was when I entered the program. Only this time I had accumulated over $50,000 in student loan debt and was met with no new job prospects.
THE MILLENNIALS THAT I MEET
Whenever I have the chance to coach another college grad or intender, I’m always interested in learning their future plans post graduation, and when they are unsure, they usually intimate defaulting to a grad school plan, typically because they just don’t know what else to do with their lives and school is the thing that is most familiar. It’s convenient. It’s a comfort zone. And believing that it will be their safest bet to buy them more time to figure things out, they acquiesce to the farce that more education means more success. Only most don’t use this time wisely to create a solid plan, figure out their path or set themselves up for success. Most people waste it and find themselves just as lost and in a greater panic at the prospect of entering the real world.
I am a firm believe that one must know what makes them tick. What makes them angry. What things makes them happy, and what issues fire them up on a rampage. This one issue has got to be my biggest soapbox replay! I am so passionate about this because I made this mistake. I myself lacked clarity, purpose, direction, the know-how and light on my path. And I ended up doing what most people do when they don’t know what else to do. That is why I am so passionate about this topic. It of course becomes a different story if the career you desire officially requires that you obtain an advanced degree, but if you remember nothing else from this post, please remember THIS ONE THING:
GRAD SCHOOL IS NOT THE SOLUTION FOR BEING VOID OF CLARITY, PURPOSE OR DIRECTION
Do you know who you are? Do you know your strengths? Are you clear on what you really want your future to look like? Have you researched your dream? Do you know what preparation is required? Have you studied others that have gone before you along that path? Do you have a good mentor? Have you traveled? Have you interned, job shadowed or test-driven the reality you believe you desire? And have you given your all to something to find out what you are really made of?
MORE FORMAL EDUCATION IS NOT THE SOLUTION TO FINDING YOURSELF
1. GET VERY CLEAR ON WHAT IT IS THAT YOU REALLY WANT
Clarity is peace. What’s your one thing? Your killer talent, proclivity or superior strength? Are you following the path of your hearts’ truest desires for your future? Or are you following the expected standard? I suspect you already have a pretty good idea on what you really want. I suspect it’s the thing you’ve always thought about, dreamed about, but have maybe given up on due to peer pressure, family or parent pressure. Return to your one thing, research it, develop it, listen to it, follow it and you’ll find peace.
2. HUNT DOWN A MENTOR (CREATE YOUR OWN EDUCATION)
This is the day of the Coach. Learning from industry experts. Those who have walked the walk and are ready to impart their hard earned wisdom into those like you who are trainable, teachable, coachable and humble. There are mentorship programs, coaching programs, seminars, workshops and active-duty professionals who [for a nominal investment] are ready and available to guide you along the paths of your potential, no matter your chosen field. Before you make the investment into grad school, I would highly suggest that you invest in mentorship first. A good mentor has been where you haven’t. They can affirm what is inside of you, put some light on your path and fast track certain phases of your success.
This can be done through watching expert online videos, reading books from experts in your field or even attending their upcoming live-workshops or learning events. This is what I mean when I say: ‘Create your own education’. I can remember when I received business coaching for the first time. It changed my entire life! My business coaches mentored me through the process of writing my very first book, mastering the art of public speaking, and taught me how to make a living and make an income. Those coaching and mentor relationships are worth more than the cost of my formal education ten-times over. School does not change lives. Mentorship does!
3. TAKE INSPIRED ACTION ON YOUR HUNCHES
I live by a mantra: There is at least one life-changing opportunity that comes along every single day. One that has the power to change our lives and put us on the path to our greatest potential, but we are just not trained to recognize them because we are not clear on what we want. When we get clear then we become like a magnet for attracting the things we desire. When we are thirsty for opportunities, we will look for them. We will hunt them down, “feel it” when they are near and recognize them when they appear.
This is how you get unstuck. This is how you recalibrate your inner compass and start becoming a human magnet for opportunities that you did not know existed.
DON’T WAIT ON THE PROOF
Just get started. Oftentimes, we have a bad habit of wanting the entire picture, the proof, the guarantee, safety button and built-in security to reveal itself before we are willing to take a risk beyond the beaten path. Before we are willing to muster up the courage to get out there and explore what we are worth. If you’re stuck and you’re waiting for the perfect scenario or for all of the stars to align before you leap then you will be stuck for the rest of your life. Ask yourself this: If grad school were not an option, what else would you do to obtain the dream life that you desire?
I have learned that success is a journey that requires faith for your life to change or get better. And that is inspired action in the direction of your dreams with no guarantees. It requires risk. It requires diligent action on inspired hunches and risks taken in the direction of your dreams when the stakes are high and there are no guarantees.
And what I know for sure is that the entire picture is never revealed to you all at once. It unfolds one page at a time, but requires for you to take the first steps.
4. JOIN THE CONVERSATION AND LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW
Learning can take place anywhere and from anyone who has been where you have not. What were your moments where you created your own education? Or a time where mentorship, coaching advice or non-traditional learning paid off or worked out in your favor?