This is the train-wreck everyone loves to complains about.
Our schooling system never delivering on its promises, and we make a huge fuss over who ought to take responsibility for it, by pointing fingers in every conceivable direction, thinking that by attributing blame to the right person, the problem will magically disappear.
Make no mistake, I do the exact same thing.
But whining rarely helps, which is why I wrote an entire article dedicated to whining about it.
What I Found Troubling
I titled this post the way I did, because back in my company, I have seen people in top management positions, who had no business being there. They weren’t competent enough to handle the responsibilities those positions came with, and had a hard time communicating their intentions and expectations to their subordinates.
This affected the entire team’s performance, and they were always under scrutiny, but the managers somehow managed to keep their jobs despite being terrible at their work.
They were charlatans who knew what to say and how to behave to impress their superiors, while shifting the blame onto individual team members, instead of taking responsibility, which if they did, would cost them their job.
Everybody’s Driven to Work; Few to Succeed.
Most people who get jobs are not career driven, they are job driven. They do so to make ends meet, and that’s pretty much where it all ends.
But that’s not always a bad thing, since everyone starts out needing a job because they have nothing of value to provide, thanks to our brilliant educational system that endeavors tirelessly to brainwash us into pursuing more degrees instead of encouraging us to polish up our speaking skills and practical knowledge.
The problem is, people remain at that stage of dependency, instead of striking out on their own.
Sure, business isn’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. You don’t have to invest massive capital to start a business, and sometimes it’s free.
While your mediocre skills may be enough to get by at your day job, they won’t help you when you are out there on your own in the market.
This is not to say that having a job is dreadful, only that you ought to constantly look for any chance you get to scale up the corporate ladder. Most get complacent, and their skills atrophy, which makes their jobs dreadful.
So whether it be getting that promotion, developing websites, designing logos, creating Custom Macro Enabled Excel files(YT Excel for FreeLancers) or even data entry, the only experience that counts, is the one you gain by working diligently with the craft you have chosen to invest in.
You have to invest yourself into the craft, before the craft starts to mold you and your ability to become creative with it.
Your clients don’t care about your experience working at a day job, although it does serve as a good talking point. They only want to know whether you are competent enough to handle their requests and provide them with the solution they want.
What About Jobs?
Jobs aren’t bad, once you learn how the game is played.
It still sucks, since your masters will generously fill your plate with enough work to stuff you full of stress, while being absolutely reluctant when it comes to paying you adequately for your services.
Another thing that sucks about jobs, is the pay. I know I mentioned that earlier, but I want to bring that point back up, because I want you to know just how bad the pay is.
Your masters won’t just pile truckloads of work onto you, they will push some of their own work onto you, and expect you to work for the same pay.
But it’s easier, and sometimes makes sense to get a job first, learn the ins and outs of the business, before jumping ship and designing your own vessel, all the while hoping that the economic tides will work in your favour and keep you afloat.
But say you prefer staying at a job since its less stressful and more stable, how then do we avoid getting snared into such positions?
By pursuing higher degrees of course! But here’s the problem with that,
Getting a Master’s Degree Won’t Make You a “Master”
We pursue higher degrees in the hopes that it will raise our market value, and help us land a high paying job. But getting additional degrees won’t raise our market value – it inflates it, since the only features that improves your market value are the skills you cultivate from experience with a given craft, whether they be software, mechanics, or art, and your ability to disseminate that hard earned knowledge.
Colleges don’t teach those valuable skills, but instead provide us with the illusion of attaining them. They teach us how to become complete degenerates as well.
Passing out without a single backlog is impressive, but companies won’t hire you just because of that. They expect you to possess basic aptitude and speaking skills, two important features that are addressed by colleges only weeks before companies arrive for placements.
Consequences of Not Achieving Anything Worthwhile
Its only after we enter into the market that we realize just how worthless our degrees really are. That’s when the disillusion takes place, and renders our already low self-esteem, lower. Your grades, no matter how low or high, won’t get you very far.
I know learning programming languages will benefit me in the future, and if I become good enough, I could start freelancing. What I don’t know is whether I can actually accomplish that, because the market is very unpredictable. What works today, may not work tomorrow, what is a highly sought after today, could disappear in a flash tomorrow.
Flash games were all the rage back when I was in school, and I’d spend hours playing them on my desktop computer, and the only thing that could get me off it was my mother’s flying slippers.
New games used to pour in every single day, and I’d go crazy over each one. I even dreamed of becoming a game developer, but coding didn’t illicit any joy from me like it does today.
Then slowly, flash games started to phase out. I never thought I’d see the day where flash games would go extinct, but its happening, and this led me to the realization that, nothing is permanent.
You could be making bank with the tools you have invested years into, but tomorrow, that tool could either get replaced with a better functioning tool, or that field could go completely extinct.
What scares me most is investing in a skill that could become fossilized like Cobal has, rendering my investment utterly useless.
Also, it is very difficult to navigate through life when you have nothing of value to show. People won’t take you seriously, and in return, you won’t take yourself seriously. When that happens, you won’t take your finances seriously, and you won’t take your future seriously.
You will think of going back to college to pursue another worthless degree, hoping it will cast you in a more favourable light, essentially going back to square one.
So I Shouldn’t Pursue Higher Degrees?
A degree from well-established collages such as the IITs, IIMs or AIMS does make your resume glow for all the right reasons, but for the majority of us who got our degrees from private collages, people like us NEED more degrees, because the ones we have are redundant without the additional addons.
What we have now is a market saturated with people who are clueless as to how worthless their degrees are, and what to work on to improve their market value, which is why they stick to whatever job they find.
But at the end of the day experience is what counts, and experience is what gives you the confidence to compete in the market, since you know what your skills are worth.
If you are planning to pursue a degree, do so from a prestigious institute, or don’t even think about it.
Your intent is what matters, and if the intent is to make more money, then pursuing a degree should be the last thing on your mind. Developing the necessary skills to get ahead in the corporate warzone will reward you tremendously when you decide to start something on your own.
I repeat, if you want to earn more, then studying the business, its processes and how they all fit together should be your goal. Pursuing an MBA won’t help you with that, but pursuing your study will.
Focus on the craft and think of how you can apply it to your non-existent business. It all starts with a thought, and the more you focus on it, the less fearful you become of actualizing it.
If you can’t imagine yourself starting a business, you will never actualize it.
You have to imagine yourself starting the business, and become comfortable with the idea first. Your skills is what will take it forward, but a belief that you can handle a business all on your own is just as crucial.
In a way, you are faking it until you make it. You aren’t mindlessly pursuing one degree after another, thinking that will magically make you competent enough to handle a business all on your own, you are investing effort into the right areas.
So Should I Get a Degree Or What?!
That being said, degrees have superficial worth, and it does play a role in landing good jobs, but what makes you competent enough to handle those positions is the experience you gain from investing into the craft.
Getting a degree does impact your pay scale, but don’t expect that alone to get you very far.
Experience is what counts, not the 10 years you spent in one company, but the time you spent actually learning.
If you just finished your degree, don’t go for another one right away.
Get a job and work for a year or two. That experience will be very valuable, and you will learn a lot during that time, also it will look really good on your resume.
Personally, I’m very put off by the idea of spending another year or two in college. I know I won’t learn anything there, so I haven’t made up my mind yet. I probably won’t do it, but if I do, it’s only for the superficial bonus it will grant me.