Monday, October 15, 2012

College Success: Work Smarter, Not Harder

There's a lot of talk today about the value of a college degree. And with every person contributing to the conversation, it seems like there are twice as many opinions and conclusions. There are plenty of statistics and stories supporting both sides of the argument as well. So, what is a person supposed to do?

The problem is that most people are asking the wrong questions, such as: Is there value in a college degree? If you answer yes, then you immediately find yourself on a particular path that goes something like this:
  • Then, what degree should I pursue?
  • What college should I go to for that degree?
  • How am I going to afford it?
  • What scholarships do I qualify for?
  • How much will be left to pay?
  • How am I going to afford that?
  • What jobs are available that will allow me to maintain my class schedule?
  • How will I cover the financial gap?
  • Which loans do I take out?
  • Can I pay those back?
  • Will I get a good job right out of college when those loans come due?
The list is of questions is just as long and stressful for those who answer the question with a no.

But, look back at the original question: Is there value in a college degree? That is a very broad, general, impersonal question. Now look at the list of questions that followed. Those are personal questions. Each of them relates to the individual and his/her specific situation.

It takes a lot of hard work to achieve a general goal with your own specific situation. In fact, you may discover at the end of all of that hard work that you were aiming for the wrong goal. How disappointing it would be to work hard to climb your ladder of success only to discover at the top of it that it's leaning against the wrong wall! Instead of working harder to achieve a general goal, you need to be working smarter to achieve a specific, personalized goal. That's what college should be--the specific, personalized next step each person should or should not take based on their overall aim in life after taking their specific situation into account.

To do this, you must ask the right questions--specific, tangible, practical questions. This is the first in a series of articles that will attempt to help you ask the right questions as you sort out what you need to do as it relates to college. The goal is to help you figure out what you need to do to launch into the successful life you desire without spending more money or time than is necessary. It's not the easy way we're looking for; it's the smarter way. It's the way to work smarter, not harder!

The first step in working smarter is discovering how you are wired for success.

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Is there value in a college degree?

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