It’s the holiday season, so for the most part, traditions are in full bloom. Thanksgiving itself just passed less than a week ago. How did you celebrate? Did you carry on the family traditions from when you were a child? Did your family enjoy the standard Thanksgiving meal; Turkey with plenty of sides; or did you opt out of the traditional meal, and create your own version of a Thanksgiving feast? For some of us, the thought of traditions brings on warm cozy feelings. For others, traditions can make you feel boxed in, like your choices are extremely limited. Maybe you’ve never felt this way where holidays are concerned, but what about in pursuit of a career?
It’s made clear to us from a pretty young age how important and how valuable a college degree is. A college degree is your ticket to success they tell us. A college degree gets you into the door, and speaks for itself that you clearly belong there. Without a college degree, your choices are slim. You definitely won’t be as successful as you could have been.
But what if you’re a woman like me. A woman who started having her children at an age when most of her peers were off in college; and then due to time, money, and a host of responsibilities, never made it to college. And now you find yourself older, with a dream and a passion, but no college degree. What does that mean for your future? Does it mean you forfeit your purpose, simply because you never obtained a college degree?
I would advocate that the answer is no. That sometimes, traditions can be overrated. Are college degrees beneficial and valuable, of course they are. Is a college degree mandatory for some career choices; certainly, and you would be wise to do some research and see if that is the case for your chosen path. But there are many women, who have found great success apart from the traditional route. And it’s important that you know that this is an option for you as well!
You may know of some of these women. Their rise to stardom has allowed them to become common household names. Names such as Rachel Ray, Beyoncé, Joyce Meyer, and Ellen DeGeneres, are a few amongst the famous women who have never obtained a college degree. And there’s also some names, that might not be quite as famous, but their success isn’t any lesser because of it:
- Anne Beiler was a stay at home mom before founding Auntie Anne’s pretzels.
- Allison Stratter, who never felt like college was for her, but attended for a short time, just to attempt it; dropped out and later when on to become cofounder and co-CEO of Blended Strategy Group, a marketing and branding agency.
- Debbi Fields quit community college, and with no business skills, launched Mrs. Fields Cookies.
These women, exemplify perfectly that there is more than one way to achieve success. They didn’t allow the lack of a college degree to hold them back, and neither should you.
The truth is, you are your ticket to success. Your hard work will get you in the door, and speak for itself that you clearly belong there. You are not boxed in, and your choices are plentiful. You just have to be open to them, and willing to look past the traditional route, so that you can forge a new one. A college degree is great if you choose and are able to obtain one. But if not, you are still capable of great success.