As I've mentioned several times before, within 5 to 10 years 70% of students no longer work in a field related to their major, a stat no one's talking about. (One of the many reasons I get so miffed at the myth that education is the end-all and cure-all to the American Dream and, ugh! "job security" a phrase that should be stricken from everyone's vocabulary today.) But even if people hear the stat mentioned above, some will say "Well, at least they have a degree. Something to fall back on."

Is it really?

Let's explore this issue . . . and more.

First and foremost, the majority of students don't know themselves well enough to find a major that is conducive to their goals. And even before I can finish that statement, another issue crops up: goals. Most students don't have them, or if they do, they are not clearly defined and not based on knowing who they are well-enough and where they should be applying their efforts. Bottom line, personal understanding is incomplete and has, in most cases, rarely been addressed in school or at home prior to college. And the age-old adage that "Well, they're young, they need time" is a myth. The reason "they need time" is that no one's really sat down with them long enough and well-enough to help them understand what their strengths are (talents, abilities, gifts, etc.) And if it's not done soon, it's amazing how quickly five to ten years can pass in a short life that now spans seventy-five years on average. But just like the aging process the passage of time speeds up as one gets older, so there is no time like the present to get going, but back to the topic at hand.

And another issue is getting what family, friends, society, big money and prestige says out of their heads, clear them of distractions and focus first and foremost on what it is that they bring to this planet innately that they do best or better than most and then focus on it and nurture it. The only reason they don't know what they want or need to do is because it hasn't been nurtured and focused on solely outside of any and all distraction. At times that "distraction" may be that their gift lies outside the accepted social norm or what family, society, or others see as acceptable. If Janie wants to be a writer and daddy says "No go" or Joey wants to be a teacher and mommy says "Not enough money in it," well, herein the problem begins and most students start down a path that costs them years and years and ends up actually leaving $100s of thousands of dollars on the table. Not a pretty picture.

And if the issue is money in chosing a career, which oftentimes it is, that shouldn't be a concern. One can make good money at doing most anything. What most people lack are success and intuitive, creative thinking skills that will put anyone over the top when it comes to earnings. Unfortunately, most are not wiling enough to do the sweat and work and endure the pain of failure required to be successful. And that's the greatest reason why only %5 are wealthy. There's plenty of money and opportunity out there. You just have to tap into the success mindset to reap the rewards.

Back to the topic at hand.

So, what usually happens is that students are shooting at an unknown target and hitting and missing all over the place but to little avail. And because the path is not clearly defined because the self is not clearly known more mishap occurs. Students graduate not knowing the first thing about whether or not they'll like the job, the day to day, month to month, year to year, decade to decade reality and drudgery of doing something that they are ill-prepared to deal with. Most graduates have no clue as to what it's like doing something that is not for them day after day, year after year. I'll tell you, if you don't absolutely love what you do (meaning, fining that gift or talent you excel at that brings such utter joy and life satisfaction and acting upon it), you will not do it. I don't care how much money or prestige you think you can muster from the job / career.

Case in point, I used to work in the computer field where good money can be made. I was pretty good at it, but I didn't love it. I have a logical / puzzle solving mind that allowed me a certain modicum of success; however, because it wasn't what I was put here to do, after a few years I ran out of steam, about five years to be exact (that number sound familiar?). When I moved from Boston to California finally doing what I love, using my gifts (writing, humor, performing, etc.) , I needed a job to help me through the rough times as a I got re-started. At one point I had an opportunity to work third shift as a technical supervisor in the computer field. Guess what? You'd have to put a gun to my head to make me do anything that was related to the field (sound familiar?).

I actually had nightmares of sitting in an office with nothing to do, a true indicator that by being in the computer field my subconscious, my intuitive understanding--gut instinct, if you will--was telling me what to do and where to go. And I went the way of the "told" and over the last twenty years have achieved great success-emotional, intellectual and spiritual satisfaction that can't be imagined but is best experienced.

So, bottom line, there's a lot to be addressed. But first and foremost you need someone who knows the ropes-not just someone with book experience but who has gone to the school of hard knocks and knows firsthand-to help you know "you" before you even begin to seek a career path. And even as you move along, it is critical to have that someone there in the formative months or years as you develop a greater and greater personal understanding.

Here's to your greater even greatest success.

Author's Bio: 

Jeff is CEO of working with students and parents using the proprietary Success, Design and Preparation system creating a plan to ensure being of the 30% of college grads who don't waste 10 to 15 years or leave 100s of thousands of dollars on the table.

Previous to owning Inner Projection, Jeff worked as a computer programmer and in tech. support, but hated it enough to move from his home in Connecticut to do stand up comedy in Boston where he worked with such comics as Bill Burr, Dan Cook, and Billy Martin and wrote for people like Mz. Michagan who needed material for her ventriloquism act. He then moved to Los Angeles to do more stand up, but found being a college professor more fulfilling. He's married with 3 children.