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Last Updated on by Noni May
From a young age, we’re told how important qualifications are. If we want to get anywhere in life, we have to get our heads down and learn the facts. Otherwise, we’re doomed to a life of working jobs we don’t enjoy. It’s enough to send fear into any young heart, and it’s a sentiment many of us take forward to our later lives.
But, these threats aren’t always sufficient to seal the deal. For some individuals, academic life just doesn’t work out. Despite their best efforts, they fail to thrive in classroom environments, and their written work doesn’t cut it in the high-score stakes. And, you could argue that it’s not right to punish them for that. Everyone learns in different ways, and they’re typically the people who like to go out there and get it. Who has time to stick their head in a book when there’s life to live?
Far from lacking intelligence, people like this are more likely to go out and start something. They may not know the facts and figures, but they have a drive which you’d fail to find in many academics. Yet, there’s no denying that there’s good reason so much import is put on qualifying while young. Society values grades above all and life is much easier if you have a certificate stating your worth.
But, does that mean non-academics stand little chance of going far? Not at all. Your skill set can take you to the moon and back, irrelevant of how well your education went. All you need to do is find a different route to success. Traditional paths may lead to dead ends, but there are back streets and alleys galore for you to explore.
When starting your own business, not having qualifications does come with setbacks. Most notably, qualifications give you instant respect. People are more likely to sit up and take note of what you’re doing if you have a long line of letters before your name. And, you need them to take note when you’re getting off the ground. But not having those qualifications should never be enough to stop you. You have something that academia can’t give – the drive to get out there we mentioned above. And, that alone qualifies you to start a business.
For proof that success is possible without qualifications, look to figures like Apple’s co-founder, Steve Jobs. While it’s hard to believe, he dropped out of college after just six months. And he still managed to move on and become the world’s 110th richest person. Nice going, right? It goes to show what you can achieve with the right idea.
In truth, going it alone could be the best route when you don’t have qualifications. You won’t have to worry about filling out that resume when you are your own boss. You already know where your skills are. You don’t have to convince yourself that you can do it because you already know! All you need to do is convince your clients. To help you on your journey, we’re going look at a few non-academic routes you could go down to reach success.
You are going to have to work harder to earn respect than someone who went to Harvard. That’s just the way it goes. Aside from proving someone’s qualified for the job, a respectable degree shows staying power and determination. In the early stages, no one knows who you are. And, from the face of things, they have nothing to recommend your services.
So, how can you gain their respect? As simple as it sounds, acting professional at all times will take you a long way here. If you impress the right people with your behavior, they’ll be much more willing to take you seriously. It’s also important to build a portfolio. This, in a way, will replace qualifications. If you can prove that you do good work worth paying for, they’ll soon forget that you don’t have a certificate saying as much.
Not all learning takes part in the classroom. In a lot of ways, experience is even more valuable for preparing you for the job. You could, after all, sit and read every business book ever written, but until you go out and make mistakes, you won’t know how to avoid them. So, don’t hesitate to get started. Keep yourself open to opportunity. An internship could be a good idea before you go it alone. This is experience of the best kind and will ensure you know what goes into the real running of a business. Going out there and getting what you want is what you’re good at, remember. So, make sure to do it here.
We couldn’t write this list without mentioning that there are limits on what you can do in some fields without qualifications. While there are back ways to the majority of businesses, the main road is the only one if you want to go down, say, a medical route. Doctors, psychologists, and surgeons need qualifications. We do, after all, put our lives in their hands. There’s a lot to learn, and no way around it.
The good news is, you don’t have to rule out such options if you hate the classroom. If psychology interests you, why not consider a PsyD degree instead of a PhD? What is a PsyD degree?It’s effectively the same as a Ph.D. regarding the doors it opens. But, instead of focusing on research, the qualification focuses on practical experience. Hence, you can escape the claustrophobic classroom.
If you want to open your own doctor’s surgery, you will need to do some studying. But, you could always accept a practical placement and spend half your time out in the field. This will lessen the time you spend studying and will help to keep you from going crazy. Not to mention that this option provides you with the valuable experience mentioned above.
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