Why Your Degree Doesn’t Dictate Your Career

In my business, I am constantly reminded of the pressure young people feel regarding their college degree and how that will dictate their future career. And it makes sense… when we go to high school, we’re told to do well so we can go to college. When we get to college, we are immediately (or almost immediately) expected to choose a major. We are expected to know what we’d like to do with our entire professional lives based on little to no life experience. 

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Austin Linney on his podcast, Construct Your Life with Austin Linney. We spoke a lot about the different shapes our careers can take, and some of the pitfalls people often fall into. gnn

When students graduate, they begin to work in the field they’ve received a degree in.

Generally, they are immediately strapped with student loans, and therefore have direct incentive to keep their current jobs and continue making consistent income… even if the job isn’t exciting or fulfilling to them. Many people get caught thinking, “The money is fine; I’m not unhappy, but I’m not really showing up excited for my day either…”

This is where so many people get stuck. This is where young people especially are made to feel enormous pressure to ensure that each decision and choice made out-of-the-gate is the right one, because it is believed to cement their future career path.

Here’s where I like to remind young people of something they maybe don’t realize yet: Nothing is permanent.

Each and every person is a work in progress and the major that someone chooses in college isn’t their career. I can’t tell you the number of people I’ve talked to that are now in their 40’s and have shuffled the deck countless times. I like to remind young people that their path to success is far too limited if they allow the pressure of the degree they graduated with or the first job they took to dictate their life’s work.

Check out my recent conversation with Austin Linney on majors & careers here:

More important than any job taken is what you learn about yourself in the process.

I urge any young person reading this to think not just about what career they’ll have, but instead what they’re interested in and who they’d like to see themselves become. When a person is flexible in where they’re going and can positively embrace the inevitable shifts that occur as they mature, they open themselves up to boundless growth and opportunity; the opportunity to live a life of their dreams. 

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