Money & Career
by Austin Price
The image of college as a diploma-dispensing machine and of diplomas as a voucher to be redeemed for a cushy job no longer holds true—if, in fact, it ever did. Students today are keenly aware that major generational shifts in the working world have brought with them a number of major cultural shifts in work, and that a successful career must be built on a foundation greater than a transcript full of As. According to Nigel Dessau, the origins of a successful career rest in large part with passion and the purpose derived from that passion. And college, in many ways, is the perfect place to start exploring that. “Purpose isn’t something you always know about. It’s something that becomes clearer in time,” explains Dessau, author of Become a 21st Century Executive and creator of the popular The 3 Minute Mentor web-series. While students may be tempted to dig deeper into a subject they’re already passionate about, Dessau stresses that there is a danger to this. “It’s good to know as much as you can about your subject,” he says, “but you have to expand your breadth of knowledge—it’s within breadth that you find something new.”
This is the main reason that many colleges stress a core curriculum, but the problem with most of these core classes is that they’re often remedial classes that demand little from the student, according to Dessau. Instead of coasting, Dessau recommends pinpointing and specifically challenging the skills you lack. “Whatever you major in, minor in things that give you the strongest breadth.” Even if you’re pursuing degree in one of the many STEM majors—majors for which there will always be a demand—there are other skills neither technical nor academic that every student might benefit from. “The two things that differentiate people who succeed in building 21st century jobs from those who don’t are very good verbal communication skills and analytical skills. More and more we are judged very quickly on what we say,” Dessau says. To that end, he recommends taking classes in communications and philosophy and joining a debate society or the local chapter of Toastmasters.
Be a part of the economic boom in SWLA. Wondering which career path is right for you? Feeling stuck at your current job? There’s more than one road to career success, whether you’re just entering the workforce or feel it’s time for a change. You can learn a new skill and earn a good living. Southwest Louisiana is growing and the need for skilled workers is too. Get the training you need now so you’ll be ready for new career opportunities. Learn more at www.allianceswla.org.
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Thrive Magazine for Better Living
October 2015 Issue of Thrive