How LinkedIn Can Help Your Job Search & Connect You With Recruiters

How LinkedIn Can Help Your Job Search Employment Recruiters
How LinkedIn Can Help Your Job Search Employment Recruiters

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Gone are the days of crawling through Craigslist to get a job. One of my first jobs was in 2013 and I found it off Craigslist. When I told my colleagues, their minds were blown that I could find such a good office position off Craigslist. (It really was an amazing opportunity). Turns out LinkedIn wasn’t the only website that can help with your job search, Craigslist was the OG. Prior to that, I reached out to employment recruiters but no luck.

LinkedIn was founded in 2002 but I don’t think it took off until 2010/2012 when the whole social media buzz of Facebook and Twitter were just taking off. I remember my best friend told me about it when I was in college and she was like, “why wouldn’t you want to sign up for LinkedIn, recruiters are on there and people can look you up in a professional setting, not on Facebook.” It made sense. So I signed up.

It didn’t really do much for me in the early years. I didn’t have much experience but decided to keep it because why not, it’s good to have your name out there in case someone is looking for someone with your talent. At the time, I thought employment recruiters would give me a chance, despite having little to no experience.

I got my first big break in 2016 from LinkedIn, I realized it really can help with your job search. I was working as broker but was also working exclusively as a leasing agent for a high end luxury building on the Upper East Side. I was lucky enough to be put on that project by asking our director for it and letting him know I had relevant experience. BUT, that opportunity was coming to an end and I really needed to figure out my next hustle because I still wasn’t making much money doing rental deals.

A recruiter found me on there and reached out. It seemed like fate, actually. Hubby had just lost his job and we were scrambling to figure things out, then out of nowhere this recruiter messages me, “Hi, are you looking for a new opportunity?” (Angel voices as the heaven opens up). Hell yeah, I’m looking for work. Work that pays better!

Well it sorted itself out. I was able to crush the interview and get the position. The reality is, if I didn’t keep up my LinkedIn profile, I would have never gotten the job I have now. And since then I’ve gotten a ton of job offers/inquiries from recruiters. It seems like the job market keeps calling to me.

Looking back, LinkedIn has grown so much over the years and now is a breeding ground for people looking to start businesses and make real connections.

So how do you leverage LinkedIn so that it can hales with your job search and that you’re getting the best opportunity for the best employment?

1. Perfect Profile Picture
Ok, so this is a bit of a double edge sword, but you won’t get anywhere on LinkedIn without a decent profile picture. So try not to be ugly! Just kidding. Honestly, you’ll do well with a professional picture, one that looks like you but also says, “I’ll be accountable and professional at all times.”

The other side of this double edge sword is that LinkedIn has a way of promoting lookism because of its importance of a good profile picture. For those not familiar, lookism is the prejudice or discrimination based on physical appearance and especially physical appearance believed to fall short of societal notions of beauty.

If you’re really good looking, finding a job will be easier because of this tactic but, if you’re not, you’re going to have to work so much harder to make it a good impression.

Either way, having a decent profile picture can really help you as opposed to not having one at all.

2. Your Resume Simplified
When I first started on LinkedIn, I made the fatal mistake of doing too much with what I was posting as my experience. I thought, “Yes, here’s my chance to be creative and come up with a cute and funny stories about work that show off my personality.”

No. Full Stop.

What you don’t want to do is to give employment recruiters any reason to not reach out to you. Too quirky or misread and misunderstood bios can do that to you. Someone might professionally stalk you and comb through your LinkedIn, while others might just gloss over it; but either way a recruiter might decide to pass just based off the tone of your profile.

In this case, less is more. Because you also want to leave some room for some mystery. Think of it as similar to a dating site, they shouldn’t be able to know everything about you from first glance. The employment recruiters should want to see your full resume and request it.

I would recommend just making it as simple as possible with the position, company and years you were there. A LinkedIn can help with your job search, but it’s not a substitute for a resume.

3. Switch On “Open To Recruiters”
At one point, I was seriously looking for work and in my headline I wrote “Open to new adventures in real estate.” That was kind of an obvious way of saying I was open to finding new work, but it was effective. I was able to get in contact with the recruiter who would eventually find me my current job.

Now that I’m still employed I can’t be quite as obvious that I’m looking for opportunities. A great tool that LinkedIn has is that you can “quietly” let recruiters know you are open for opportunities by switching on the “open to recruiters” feature. Then only people labeled as recruiters (paid for LinkedIn Premium) will be able to see your profile as “open to recruiters.” This gives the green light for them to reach out to you and send you job opportunities as they come up.

4. Pay For LinkedIn Premium While You Search For Work
I’ve paid for LinkedIn premium when I’ve been looking for a job. Mainly because I was nosey and wanted to know who was looking at my profile while I could search other people’s profile anonymously. That’s one feature that I found useful.

But you also get a little gold LinkedIn icon that shows other people that you’re a LinkedIn premium member, that’s another way you can show interested employment recruiters and job posters that you’re open to change. Maybe it was just luck, but both times I paid for LinkedIn Premium membership I was able to get recruiters to reach out to me. LinkedIn premium also allows you to message people you have yet to connect with. This could be great if you’re trying to break into an industry and just need to reach the right people or would like to thank your interviewer personally.

The good thing is that you can opt in and opt out of the payment plan so it’s not a yearlong subscription. It’s $29 a month to join. I was offered one month free, so you know I’m going to cancel before my free month is up. Right now I’m not so serious about finding new work so I don’t need it. I have found it to be a pretty useful tool for the most part.

5.Patience
And most of all, you need patience to use LinkedIn to find work. It takes a bit of savyness, some luck and a lot of grit to use LinkedIn effectively. But in my opinion, LinkedIn will definitely make your search faster and easier to connect with employers and recruiters. I wouldn’t expect the website to work miracles and find you the perfect job when you have no experience but it will definitely help you find entry level work. And as you grow in experience, LinkedIn will continue to give back to you professionally and open up more opportunities.

Best of luck on your job search!

If you liked “How LinkedIn Can Help Your Job Search & Connect You With Employment Recruiters” check out my other posts!

Is There Such Thing As A Perfect Job?

How to Job Hop Successfully

My Job is Killing Me: What To Do When Morale Is Low

How To Build Your Self Esteem & Self Confidence

build self confidence and self esteem
build self confidence and self esteem

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Self esteem. Most people don’t know how to build their self esteem and self confidence. And it’s tough, self esteem is kind of an abstract concept. Most people feel like they know what it is but they really don’t. It’s one of those ideals people constantly chase like- purpose, meaning, life, and goodness. Self esteem is probably the most valuable thing you can have and yet so many people don’t posses it.

So what is self esteem? And how do you build your self esteem?

Self esteem, by my definition, is a sense of confidence and belief in oneself that you are a person of value; a person worthy of respect and dignity. That you are a capable and independent person no matter what.

Let’s break down the concept further. What is esteem? What does it mean to hold someone in high esteem? Well, you’ll probably really respect that person, you won’t doubt them in moments when they give you advice and you might even want to be a bit like them. Self esteem is exactly that, but towards yourself.

A lot of people throw around that phrase but don’t really have it in themselves. Often times it’s confused with ego. But self esteem is different than ego. Ego is a version of ourselves that we imagine. Our sense of self. You can have an ego and no self esteem. You can also have self esteem and no ego. You can have both. But they are separate. Like I said, ego is the version of ourselves we imagine and self esteem is the complete respect and belief in oneself.

So what do you need to do in order to build a high self esteem? It’s not as easy as you think:

1) Avoid toxic people
This seems like a given but somehow toxic people tend to slither into our lives. They love to leech off the good energy of people with high self esteem and confidence. Usually in the form of a romantic interest. When you have high self esteem you tend to repel toxic partners (because you know better than to engage them) but when it’s low, the toxics will come in droves. It makes sense to avoid someone who devalues you, doesn’t respect you, pokes at your insecurities and overall is incompatible. Yet so many men and women end up with partners that thrive on keeping their lovers down and out.

By ending relationships that hurt how you see yourself, you are taking the next step to confidence and happiness. Because it’s impossible to be happy when someone you love is hurting you. It just doesn’t work if you want to build your self confidence.

2) Avoid situations that are emotionally harmful

This sort of ties in to topic # 1, if you’re avoiding toxic people you’re essentially avoiding situations that are harmful. But that’s not enough, there are tons of different situations you’ll need to avoid in order to maintain your sense of who you are and your value.

Somehow we’re also drawn to situations that seem either too good to be true or just give us too much hope. Disappointment is a huge reason why people lose their self-esteem. It could be something as easy as wanting a guy/girl to like you and finding out he wants your friend or standing next to your supermodel sister and feeling like the most monstrous person in the world when you’re actually really cute or dating a known player but still hoping you can change him. Or studying with the smartest kid in class, only to be left feeling dumb because you take too long to do the work. These sort of small not so serious situations will peck at your self-esteem and keep you from feeling as confident as you should be.

There’s also the issue with drama. I wish people were logical but we aren’t. We’re drawn to drama because it gives us a thrill or some sort of validation. It’s so important to avoid all drama and disappointment as much as possible and not put yourself in these emotionally charged situations because at the end of it all, the conflict will cause negativity towards yourself.

Think about the last big argument you got into…it wasn’t long until you started doubting yourself and wondering why you’re going through such a hard time. You started to question who you are and your value. The truth is, you can’t always avoid drama but, at the very least, you don’t have to seek it out.

3) Remember your strength

Sometimes when I’m feeling like life is impossible and too hard, I look back at what I’ve accomplished. I think of all the really hard shit I’ve gone through like my battle with achalasia or my unplanned pregnancy or the mold that infested our house. You see, I went through all that and it was stressful but I got through it.

Chances are there are challenges you’ve had to go through too. Remembering those obstacles in your life and drawing on that strength you had to get through them is a huge tool.

Looking at your past moments of perseverance and applying that to your future is one way to build your self esteem. Why shouldn’t you believe in yourself now when you’ve proven yourself capable time and time again? This is an easy way to build your confidence. It’s not really a fake it until you make it sort of self-esteem but more about giving yourself the credit you deserve.

4) Be your own cheerleader
It’s not always going to work out that someone will be rooting you on. In reality, there might be people in your life who are actively trying to tear you down.

Life is rarely perfect in that way and in these times you’ll need to know how to be your own cheerleader and believe in yourself when no one else does.

There was a girl in my high school that was always so negative. She had no knowledge on how to build self confidence. Every conversation I had with her was dreary and self-deprecating. She always complained about how nobody liked her, she was ugly, the teacher didn’t help her, her parents suck, etc. I tried to cheer her up and get her to think about the positives in her life but it never worked. After a while it was too draining and I had to distance myself. It just seemed like she enjoyed her own misery.

The point is to not expect others to lift you up but to do it on your own, even if you have to fake your own happiness for a little while. Self esteem isn’t something that can be built overnight but is something that’s built over time as you start to see yourself as worthy.

That friend, she had terrible self esteem and even though I was a friend who always was positive, it never helped. She needed to see all the positives in herself, for herself.

5) Accept who you are
Don’t be an apple wishing it was a pear, and don’t be a pear wishing it was an apple.

We all have things we wish we could change about ourselves but some of those things are unchangeable.

When I was younger, I used to wish I had lighter skin. Can you really change the color of your skin? Not unless you’re Michael Jackson.

My skin is the color of light milk chocolate and it’s a very nice complexion, but I lived in a neighborhood that was white and Italian so I wanted a fair complexion instead. Over time I learned to really love my skin, it hardly wrinkles and never gets sunburn. Imagine if I dwelled over my darker skin color, how unhappy I would have been?

For things you can’t change, you need to learn to live with it and love it. Your quirks, your imperfections, all of it. Accepting these things about yourself and even loving them will give you the mental room to feel positive about who you are and what you’re all about.

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I think the main point here is that most people aren’t born with a ton of self esteem. I would describe it more like a muscle you need to flex to strengthen.

What benefits are there to build self confidence? Tons, actually! You can finally do all those things you wanted to do in your life but were uncertain you could accomplish. You can ask that cute guy/girl out and not feel like their approval means everything and you can start living on your own terms and no longer feel chained to your insecurities. A person with high self esteem has the ultimate freedom.

So take it one step at a time, little by little your self esteem with find you.

If you like “How To Build Your Self Esteem & Self Confidence” Check Out My Other Posts!

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How To Be Successful & Be Happy

Is There Such Thing As A Perfect Job?

work culture & perfect job
work culture & perfect job

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It’s pretty much the biggest question I’ve asked my self: is there such thing as a perfect job? But I guess the answer is similar to “Is there such a thing as a perfect partner?” For me, a perfect job would be 3 blocks from my house, not stressful, a great work culture, have a great or easy schedule, pay me a sh*t-ton of money or at least a livable amount and have cool colleagues who are also my best friend.

Is that really achievable?

Possibly… maybe for the top 1% of people. It also depends on how much schooling you put in. I always thought that a $100k college price-tag only made sense for people who were going to make $250K and up, like doctors and elite lawyers. My sister is an MD and only works 32 hours a week and pretty much has it easy in that regard. I would hope that if you spent a hefty amount on college, you could at least get it back in a cushy job.

I spent much of my early 20s searching aimlessly for it. My first job after college was as a purchaser for this really sketchy beauty/perfume/wholesale goods distributor. I made $2000 a month, not much to work with but I got by. What I really wanted was experience and a way to figure out my true interest. As you might have guessed, it was NOT my perfect job.

It was a COMPLETE shit show of a job. Basically, just a rich middle eastern guy opening up his shop in NYC with no idea on how to run a business in America. There was no training, compensation was shit, and the job just didn’t make sense. AT ALL. At 22 years old I was supposed to call big brand companies and convince them to sell their products to us as a brick and mortar store (which we were not) then we would resell the products wholesale to other countries. At the times, I wasn’t sure if I was doing something illegal, after all we were lying to these companies saying we were selling in the US when we weren’t.

But I did learn a lot of lessons about work culture and what to expect in a job:

Some jobs are bullshit. Like, where no one knows what they’re doing or how they’ll accomplish company goals and employees are just scrapping along. This was that bullshit job.
Not all companies are well managed or care for their employees. I had absolutely no benefits or much time off. There was no goals or standards set. It was just,”do this,” “do that,” “get this done.”
Bad jobs are just so much better when you’re working with a friend. After a while the work culture just got too stressful and I brought in my friend to work with me. It was fun, even if the job wasn’t perfect.

I ended up getting my real estate license shortly after. I realized that the employment aspect of having to work for someone else, for example being told what to do and not having control over the ideas or the direction of the company, really got under my skin.

I ended up working as a junior real estate agent after that.

But this job ended up having another set of problems. I was essentially an entrepreneur as a real estate salesperson but I had no idea how to get clients or close them or even how to manage my day since it was unstructured. Because I was unexperienced, I had to take an apprenticeship as a junior agent under a more experienced agent. This was a great stepping stone but I basically worked for free for a few months. The commission structure was predatory and I was making a slice out of a slice of someone’s pie.

Here I learned:

-When it comes to money, people are sharks, they are relentless, they will throw you under the bus, and do whatever it takes to save a few dollars. It amazed me that these clients who made a six figure income and more could be so stingy with their time and money. I could literally lose a deal (my little commission) over a $100 misunderstanding.
-That finding a mentor is hard. As a junior agent, my mentor was only concerned about making money for himself, not necessarily about helping me grow professionally.
-That being self employed makes you a slave to the clients who can demand you provide your services to them at odd hours, reduce your rate and determine your schedule. I was showing apartments in the evening after their work hours and on weekends. I had to move my schedule around constantly. Clients would try to pit agents against each other over fee costs. Long-term it kind of sucked.

After that I became pregnant and needed to take some time off. That’s a whole different story, but after giving birth I had to quickly get back to work in order to avoid financial ruin.

This next job was a godsend. It was near perfect. It paid well (more than it should). It was a luxury experience, the office was beautiful and had water, candies, snacks and coffee for us. My colleagues were great and promoted a positive work culture. I was just the receptionist but the job was easy, pleasant and without major responsibilities. My favorite job ever! And my colleagues were awesome, we really were able to work well together and build a long term friendship. Life was good. But this was a contract position so it was a project that had an end date.

Here I learned:

That good jobs where you are happy and not being preyed on exist.
That the job landscape can change. When the contract ended, I was out of a job and had to figure out “what’s next.” And to be honest, I never found such a high paying job with low stress again after that. It was a unicorn.

After, I decided to be a real estate agent again. But on my own, without a mentor and without being someone’s junior agent. I ended up joining a brokerage I liked and starting my business. I was successful at the end of 2 years with referral business and finally knowing how to be my own boss.

But then my husband lost his job and another more stable employment opportunity came up.

But in those 2 years working for myself and building a business, I learned:

-Working for yourself is awesome if you’re successful but it still has its financial challenges. Money would be tight one month and flow the next. It was so inconsistent and hard to budget. There were no benefits like PTO or even insurance. I was 100% on my own for those things. Clients were still shitty at times and there was no recourse for when I was treated badly.
-Your job doesn’t always flow with your life. In the end, I had to walk away from opportunities because after my husband lost his job I needed to take something more stable with benefits. Because of life changes I had to cut my potential. Who knows, I might have been the next millionaire broker, but I never got the chance.

Finally, I settled to where I am now, a corporate company. 10 years in the professional workforce, I’ve kind of come to the conclusion that the perfect job doesn’t exist, not for me and probably not for anyone. Right now, I’ve been going through some problems of not liking my coworkers, toxic corporate culture, dealing with an unfair sales environment (most of them are), and a terrible long commute.

And yet, 10 years ago this would have been my dream job. I’m paid a livable wage, an array of benefits at low cost, a job that’s somewhat “luxury” with the kind of clientele I service and steady hours. And yet I’m still not 100% happy.

Now I’ve learned to work with what you’ve got but, at the same time, aspire for something more. The truth is if I settled on my job and that bad work culture, I would have been stuck at that sketchy office as a purchaser.

So I take it for what it is. I’m finally somewhere I can stay for a while, and though it’s not the perfect job, it’s the perfect job for right now.

Check out my other posts!

How to Job Hop Successfully

Why Corporate America Is A Necessary Evil

How To Interview Well: Tips & Tricks For The Perfect Interview

How To Stop Being Petty & Learn To Be Happier

How To Stop Being Petty & Learn To Be Happier
How To Stop Being Petty & Learn To Be Happier

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I’ve been guilty of it, subtly putting someone down, nitpicking flaws, needing to have the last word as a futile effort to be “right.” It’s true, I have moments where I’m the asshole and most of the time I don’t mean to be…it just sort of happens. But I’m working on it. I really want to learn how to stop being so petty and learn to be happier.

According to Urban Dictionary (my main source of definitions for modern day lingo), petty means:

1)making things, events, or actions normal people dismiss as trivial or insignificant into excuses to be upset, uncooperative, childish, or stubborn.
2)A person who habitually overreacts.
3)A person who is purposefully childish with the intent of illiciting a reaction.
4)An immature over reaction in retaliation of an undesired outcome.

You get the picture, basically an asshole. Most of the time, I don’t mean to be this way, it’s usually a response to other people’s asshole behavior.

I think most of us are petty in our own ways. At work I often find myself absorbing other people’s negativity and then giving it back in petty, unwarranted comments. Life is so stressful, sometimes my capacity for stress bubbles over in pettiness. I need to really learn how to be happier and not so petty.

Here are some of the ways that pettiness can show itself:

1) Needing to get the last word

Have you ever spoken to someone or gotten into an argument and the other person always had a biting comment back? You might correct them or clarify politely and you’re met with a derisive unnecessary comment that really didn’t do much but get under your skin. With people who are petty in this way, you can almost always guarantee that there’s a biting comment around the corner, usually it’s something to put you down or or point fingers at you for some wrong doing. It looks like this:

“Marsha, can you please wash the dishes tonight. I feel so tired.”
“Of course I’ll do the dishes Jenna, it’s not like I have anything better to do than to clean up after you.”

Of course Marsha, is being a petty b*tch about washing dishes. She could have either said “yes” or “no, sorry I can’t,” but she had to give this underhanded comment that was totally unnecessary.

3) Nitpicking

Nitpicking is an obvious one, and kind of piggybacks on needing to get the last word. It’s a way of picking at someone’s flaws until they have nothing left but bareboned insecurity. People who have experienced nitpicking tend to feel very insecure around the person being petty, it often feels like they’re walking on eggshells.

I used to have a friend, honestly she was more of a frenemy, she would always make fun of little things “jokingly.” It was pervasive from what I wore, to how I ate, to what I said. She always said it in front of other people so they could get in on the “joke.” Little things like, “why are you wearing that, it’s too hot, you never know how to dress for the weather,” or “you eat too slow, everyone always has to wait on you,” or “look how forgetful Alex is”, she always needs to be reminded of when the test is.” After a while those kind of comments tend to strip you bare and leave you feeling like you’re nothing. It’s so much harder to learn to be happier, when someone is reminding you of all the ways you suck.

3) Superiority complex
I’ve seen this happen at work more so than anywhere else. Especially with bosses or more seasoned colleagues. Somehow the status of being more seasoned or a manager makes people petty as f*ck. These people are always reminding you that you are beneath them. Whether that’s objectively true or not, it doesn’t matter.

People who suffer from this type of pettiness rely on belittling you so that they always feel in control. They NEED you to feel like you’re beneath them so they can feel superior.

5. Stubbornness
I’ve been very guilty of this one. I can be intensely stubborn. ESPECIALLY when I feel like I want to have something my way. If I’m not getting my way, then I’ll go out of my way to be stubborn over the smallest thing just to give the other person some hell. Sure, I could compromise and meet in the middle, but then I’d have no leverage for what I really want. By being extra stubborn, in some ways, it gives me some wiggle room to negotiate something else. A “tit for tat” kind of deal.

This is actually a VERY immature way of negotiating and handling disagreements but who said I was mature? Being overly stubborn is a way that some petty people (me) passively can get what they want or get their revenge.

Here are the ways you can stop being petty:

1) Be the bigger person

Pride is a hard thing to swallow and at the root of all pettiness is a sense of pride. Pettiness finds a way to “one up” someone. By being a person that is above all that, it just proves you’re an emotionally mature person that doesn’t stoop to other people’s pettiness.

Trust me, I know how satisfying pettiness can be, especially when someone is being rude to you first. At the end of the day, holding your head up high and not lowering yourself to other petty peoples’ level will give you a sense of self confidence, assurance and petty-free pride.

2) Meditate

Sometimes you just need to take a step back from the situation. Meditation, prayer or whatever you want to call it on a daily basis will help calm your nerves and give you perspective on what’s important in life- and it’s definitely not pettiness. Life is about how to learn to be happier with yourself.

Next time someone gets under your skin, you’ll be able to have the calm clarity that it’s just not worth it and let their annoying-ness roll right off.

Even if you’re in the heat of the moment and someone is being totally obnoxious, it doesn’t hurt to take a few moments to breathe before giving a petty comeback. In those few seconds, you might be able to come to the conclusion that your petty comeback doesn’t do sh*t to resolve to conflict and actually adds fuel to the fire.

So take a moment, not everyone deserves your reaction, so stop being so petty.

3) Talk out your issues

Other times people might just get on your nerves and not even KNOW it, and if you don’t speak up but just jump to pettiness, you’re going to give the wrong impression. This is the way many communication issues arise. Someone says something rude and annoying, they’re unknowingly doing it and you just get triggered.

The key here is to talk it out. Mention that the behavior that triggers you is not ok and why you feel that way. Really make an effort to explain yourself. Some people will understand and stop triggering you and stop unknowingly annoying you. Others will scoff and say, “Oh, stop being so sensitive. It was only a joke.”

To those scoffing assholes, bring on the pettiness. It’s ok, as long as you gave them the warning not to trigger you. *wink*

4)Avoid your triggers

And if all else fails and you can’t get those annoying rude people to leave you alone despite telling them, you should probably just avoid them. That’s probably the easiest way on how to stop being petty and learn to be happier. Most of the time pettiness brings negativity into your life so half the time it’s not worth the effort.

Avoid the assholes and the people who are rude and crass. Avoid people who don’t respect boundaries and are just trying to get a rise out of you.

I’m a true believer in karma and bringing positive people into your life through positivity. So avoiding and cutting out people who don’t treat you the way you deserve and only bring out your ugly side sounds like a plan.

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If you like “How To Stop Being Petty & Learn To Be Happier” Check out these other posts:

How To Be Successful & Be Happy

How To Care Less & Not Care About What People Think

The Power Of Positivity: Live The Good Life

Should You Go To College? Is A Good College Degree Enough?

Should you go to college? good college degree
Should you go to college? good college degree

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Ten years ago, no one would have asked this question of “should you go to college?,” the idea of not getting a college education seemed ludicrous. But recently, many disadvantages of going to college have come to light and it has everyone questioning, “is it really necessary? And a good college degree worth the money?”

I graduated high school in 2007, when prosperity was flowing and the economy booming. As young high school graduates we were all excited to start our college careers. My last year of high school was devoted to college applications, college tours and college nights where we would be courted by local universities. It all seemed so exciting. Here I was, about to embark on this new adventure. I imagined that my college would literally hand me a job after and that I’d be pretty much set for life after that. Honestly, I don’t know why I made that assumption, maybe it was all the statistics the colleges threw at me, but I really did believe that.

And I think a majority of us believed it, 90% of my class went on to get a higher education and the rest either joined the military or picked up a trade.

I didn’t have much debt after undergrad, it was law school that put me WAYY under. It was the one year I took but couldn’t finish. But we all make mistakes. Whether you go to college or not is a personal and financial decision that only YOU can consider and answer.

Here are my thoughts on why you should go to college:

Your parents are footing a majority of the bill. Or you have a scholarship equal to 50% or more.

College is freaking expensive. A lot of private universities cost $30K annually or more, not including housing, food and books. Certain schools will give really good scholarships if you’re in the top 20% of your class. If you were blessed enough to get a partial (50% or better) or full scholarship, I’d say that the benefits of the college degree beats the cost. If your parents are able to cover at least 50% of the costs then I’d say go for it as well.

Most white collar jobs want a college graduate and even if you get a degree in basketweaving, most basic positions require a degree. And if you’re able to get a degree cheap from either your parent’s support or from a scholarship, I’d say the risk is minimized enough to guarantee reward.

You got into a really good college program

At my university there were certain programs that were really competitive. It was the pharmacy and physician’s assistant programs but at some universities it might be nursing, finance or mathematics.

If you get into a reputable program in a high paying field it might be worth taking on the loans as long as you have a plan to pay it back. Don’t go taking out huge loans for a degree in the arts or humanitarian sciences. That’s just a joke.

You plan to make sacrifices to pay for your schooling

It’s not for everyone but even a high cost school can be manageable if you make some lifestyle changes.

I read somewhere that there was this guy that was able to come out of his Ivy League university education with only 10K in debt. You know what he did? He made a home out of his van and lived there, then he showered at the school gym. He also worked weekends to make ends meet.

Now most likely you don’t have to go so far, but little changes like going to a community college and then transferring out to a better school or living with your parents from 18-22 years of age can really save you a lot of money.

Here are reasons you should not go to college

You Just Want To Party

Some people from my high school went to party schools. They studied humanities or liberal arts but what they really majored in was how to party. I don’t know about you but $30K annually is a LOT of money to just party. I actually partied a bit during my college years but I also took my education seriously. There were some friends of mine who took their party hard college career very seriously.

A lot of people believe that the sorority/fraternity party experience is an essential part of college. Puking on the lawn, wild sexy nights with hot students, and drugs and alcohol are a huge part of that culture. I remember being brainwashed about the importance of partying in college. Movies like Van Wilder, American Pie and Road Trip were some of my favorite movies that supported that belief, but some of us took the college partying lifestyle to heart. The truth is, $30K is WAYYYYY too much to spend to just get wasted. And if you think you can drink like a rockstar AND get good grades, you’re just kidding yourself.

You don’t want to go or don’t know what you want to do with your life

I always thought it was crazy and kind of sick that our society expects 18 year olds to decide what they want to do with the rest of their lives. I remember being in my junior and senior year of high school and everyone asking me, “What are you going to major in?” It’s like how the hell am I supposed to know? How am I supposed to decide on a major when I have literally NO real life experience? At times it felt like I was taking a stab in the dark. One month I’d be sold on psychology, next journalism, then legal studies.

My advice to young adults graduating high school today is if you don’t know what you want to do and have no clue, take a year off. Don’t go to college. Try your hand at different industries. Figure it out.

You don’t have to go to college right away. You can take a year to decipher your interests. That would be better than taking another year at college because you can’t decide on a major and finding yourself wasting money on prerequisites that you didn’t need for a major that you thought you wanted.

I had an old roommate, she graduated in teaching and then decided to transfer to another private school in the city ($$$) and dorm in the city ($$$$) for another degree in liberal arts (????). Well guess what! Now she has two low paying degrees and tons and tons of loans tied to her. She’s a slave to her degrees now.

So think about what you want to do, don’t just float around taking loans hoping against the odds you can pay them off easily with lackluster degrees.

You aren’t good at school

The truth is that there are a lot of people who just aren’t good at school. Like, it’s just not for them for whatever reason, whether it’s not having the motivation to study, not knowing what you’re supposed to do or not wanting to get into debt.

That’s totally fine. I don’t think our society values people who choose not to get a college degree enough. Actually there a ton of things you can do without a college degree.

-Join the military: here you can learn different trades or build a military career that is equivalent or better than a college degree

-learn a trade: plumbing, cosmetology, cooking, electrician, bookkeeping, hvac technician, mechanic etc. A lot of these are really well paying and if you’re able to get a jump on a trade early and without debt, chances are you’ll be just as well off as someone who went to college.

You’re a hustler

Become an entrepreneur. If you think of how much in loans you need to take out for college as well as the high interest rate and then you put that money towards a business endeavor and put as many hours into it as you would college, I guarantee you’ll have a successful
business at the end of 4 years.

Of course this isn’t for everyone but if you have a motivated and competitive personality, college isn’t the only option for you. Most people consider a business as a gamble, since it can fail, but isn’t college a gamble too? Especially since you’re not guaranteed a great job at the end… think about that.
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So there you have it, all the reasons you should or shouldn’t go to college. Hopefully you can take my advice to heart. I wish I had someone in my life who could kind of shake me and help me make these kind of decisions about my education, career and finances, because going to college on a loan is a big deal.

Unfortunately my guidance counselor didn’t do shit for me at the time. They were more motivated to get as many kids into college, since that determined the school’s success rate, than finding the right path for students. And my parents were just as brainwashed as me into believing that college was worth it no matter what the cost.

So hopefully you can take this advice and use it to better yourself, figure out your path and make the best financial decision about your career, happiness and life.

If you like “Should You Go To College? Is A Good College Degree Enough,” check out my other posts

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