I’m graduating from high school and don’t know what to do with my life. I’m not very good at book learning, so college isn’t for me. I’d rather go on a hike than sit inside and study! How can I find a job where I don’t have to sit at a desk all day? But I don’t really have any special talents. Is it possible to be successful without a college degree??
Albert Einstein said, “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” Everyone has an aptitude for and interest in something! If you haven’t already, make an appointment with your school guidance counselor. He or she can conduct some career tests and based on the results, point you toward appropriate vocational schools or community college certificate programs. Check out this Main Street article for ideas on outdoor careers that may suit your personality. Another great resource for adventurous grads is CoolWorks.com, a site that lists seasonal jobs in and near national and state parks and resort areas.
I spotted an inspirational graphic, “10 Things That Require Zero Talent” on LinkedIn recently; it’s a good reminder of those “soft skills” that contribute to success that don’t relate to occupational expertise or educational degrees. I’ve written about many of them:
- Being on time. Check out my post, Snoozer or Loser, for tips on punctuality.
- Work ethic. If your parents didn’t instill a strong sense of job performance values, do it yourself with these pointers.
- Effort. Remember what it was like on Day One of Your New Job. Expend that kind of enthusiastic effort each and every day.
- Body language. There’s no need to discard your Body Language Consciousness after the interview. It’s a skill that can improve your everyday work life.
- Energy. Remain Alert All Day and don’t let Energy Vampires drain you.
- Attitude. Here are the Top 10 Attitudes Employers Look For.
- Passion. Targeting a Job that aligns with your passion makes it easy to get up each morning.
- Being coachable. Being open to advice, ideas, and instruction from a mentor, whether seasoned or youthful, is key not only for those just entering the job market, but employees at every stage of their careers.
- Doing extra. Going above and beyond is bound to earn some Compliments at Work.
- Being prepared. From Interviews to Exit Strategies, advance planning pays off.
Readers: Can you give an example of how one of these “zero talent” qualities helped you advance on the job?
Do you have a job-related question? Ask Anita.
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