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Crafting your career: navigating success without college

December 21, 2023 by Louisiana FCU

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Feeling stuck in your career? Working in a job that seems to be leading nowhere? Dreaming of a career shift but unsure where to start? You're not alone.

Many of us have experienced these sentiments, and the good news is that there's a pathway to progress that doesn't always require a traditional college degree. In fact, investing in yourself and honing your skills can be the key to breaking free from a career plateau. 

Let's explore how you can take the next steps in your career without going to (or back to) college:


Why should I invest my time in this?

Investing in your personal and job skills goes beyond regular school. It's a long-term plan that brings benefits to your life in different ways:

Boost your job value.

In the job world, being adaptable is super important. When you learn new things and get better at what you do, you become someone companies really want. They like people who can handle changes, learn new tech stuff, and come up with cool ideas. Staying good at what you do makes you not just a good fit for today's jobs but also for the ones that will come up in the future. #stayrelevant

Create new career opportunities.

Getting better at your skills doesn't just help you with your current job. It can open doors to other kinds of opportunities, too. You might move up in your current job, switch to a different career, or even start your own business. Learning new things makes you flexible and lets you explore more opportunities that match what you love and want to achieve. Can someone say, 'dream job'?!

Adapt to change.

The world is always changing, with new tech and different ways of living and working. Learning new skills and investing in yourself helps you to adapt and deal with these changes.


Opportunities beyond college

College isn't the only path to success. Opportunities are everywhere:

  • Apprenticeships: Some jobs offer on-the-job training, letting you earn while you learn. It's a hands-on way to gain valuable experience.

  • Certifications: Get certified in specific skills. Many employers value these certifications as much as a degree!

  • Networking: Connect with people in your field. Attend events, join online groups, and build relationships that can lead to exciting career paths. You might find job opportunities through the people you know.


Give me the resources to make this happen!

Like what you've read so far? It gets better. We've compiled a list of free resources available to Louisiana residents. Check 'em out!

Louisiana Workforce Commission offers various programs, workshops, and training sessions aimed at helping people acquire the skills that are in-demand.

Tech Ready Louisiana is a free learning opportunity for Louisiana residents. This tool offers over 5,000 courses (offered online and self-paced) that provide training for skills in high demand. The training courses range from Microsoft Office to IT and healthcare industries. 

Louisiana Public Library offers more than books and the occasional late fees- it hosts a wide range of resources available to children, teens, and adults in Louisiana. The library has resources to help you get better at the digital stuff. From workshops to online materials, it's a great place to improve your digital skills. So, dust off that library card buried in your wallet (or request a free one) and get to it!


Investing in yourself also means investing in your finances.

While investing in your education and skill advancement, it's crucial to set realistic financial goals. Here are some tips to help you do that:

  1. Budget Wisely: Make a budget that includes both your money goals and things you want to learn. Figure out what's most important to you. If there's a course you really want to take that costs $500, make sure you plan for it in your budget so you're not stressed about money.

  2. Explore Affordable Learning Options: Look for ways to learn without spending too much. Besides the free resources we talked about, check out workshops, online courses, and community programs that match what you're interested in and what you want to do in your career.

  3. Monitor Your Progress: Check in on your money and learning goals regularly. Adjust your plan if you need to, so you're staying on the right track and keeping things balanced.

Your journey to success is unique. By using local resources, thinking carefully about your goals, and exploring the diverse opportunities beyond college, you can invest in yourself and achieve what you want. It's time to take control of your career path!


Relevant article: Build your nest egg: Best ways to invest for retirement

Looking for how you can continue to advance your relationship with money? Take the Money Mindset Quiz and enjoy tons of free resources to help jumpstart your journey to financial freedom.

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