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Go to school, get good grades, attend university, all so you can get the “good job”! Yeah… whatever!

Even before COVID-19 took 2020 off the rails, the current employment landscape no longer requires the traditional four year college degree to be successful. And let’s face it, going to college isn’t for everyone. It’s still possible to land a successful career path without spending the time and money to get a four-year undergrad degree. 

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), during the period between January and October of 2019, 66.2% of the 3.2 million 16 to 24-year-olds who graduated high school were enrolled in a college or university. That’s a fairly large number, but only a little more than half. Which means the remaining ones who weren’t enrolled in higher education is also a large number. 

If the whole idea of chasing an advanced degree for another four years isn’t your bag, then have a look at these alternatives.

Get a job

OK… let’ s get the obvious one out of the wayt. A significant number of career tracks don’t require any kind of degree at all—and many of them pay quite well. And since you don’t have to spend a penny on higher education for them, they’re even more attractive. Just a few of the options that you may not have considered: physical trainer, loan officer, insurance sales are all options straight out of high school. That’s not to say you won’t need some training or certification, none of which will take four years, and you’ll likely get paid to do it!

Seek out an apprenticeship or fellowship. 

Getting paid to get entry level real-world experience is perhaps the biggest appeal of getting a fellowship or apprenticeship position. They are an excellent way to kick start launching your career path. At a minimum, they’ll give you an idea of what working that field will look like if you decide to pursue it long term. Two resources that can help get you started are the U.S. Department of Labor website, apprenticeship.gov where you can learn more about apprenticeship programs for a wide range of occupations. Another option is profellow.com, which is a database of more than 1,300 fellowships from around the world. 

Volunteering

There are a myriad of options to volunteer, no further away than a quick web search. Most nearly any organization that you’re a good fit with will be glad to have you. While you’re volunteering, not only will you get the emotional satisfaction of giving back to the community, you might even discover some hidden talents you never knew you had. 

Enroll in community college

Here’s an idea… it’s possible to land a position with a six-figure salary with a two-year associate’s degree from a community college. Now that your interest is piqued…it’s true! A two-year degree and training at the Federal Aviation Administration academy can lead you to a position as an air traffic controller. The median wage for them is about $120,000 according to info from the BLS. A solid position for a short-term investment, that won’t break the bank in college tuition. 

Monetize a hobby

Something you’re already passionate about, a hobby or something you’re interested in to an even deeper level, can turn into a full-time money making career for you. This has become quite popular as the Internet has opened up so many opportunities.It has also served to level the playing field for a lot of people like artists, musicians, and photographers. You could even take to the level of launching an actual company.

Join the military

Statistics from Military.com show about 180,000 american young people enlist for active duty in the U.S. military each year. The bare minimum requirements are a high school diploma or equivalency (GED) and passing a physical examination. There are also a wide range of career options in the military beyond the obvious combat related positions, everything to support them is also available. Finance, supply and logistics, medical, equipment maintenance and logistics…the list goes on and on. All of these fields are available in all six branches of the military, the Marine Corps, Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Space Force. 

Go to a trade school

You’re not really into the whole suit-and-tie, carrying a brief case idea? Blue-collar jobs are a great alternative to the traditional college route. A trade school can be a great option to enter a solid, professional track. Electricians, plumbers, HVAC technicians, industrial inspectors or a long list of other options can be reached within a year and allow you to get started quickly. 

Take a gap year

Actually deciding to take some time off before entering the workforce can make you more attractive to a potential employer. Gaining the street and life experience from traveling the world and learning about other cultures can be a powerful asset. Check for yourself at the American Gap Association. They’re a non-profit that researches the impact and before of young people taking a gap year. An overwhelming number who did report that they acquired skills to help them succeed in their chosen field, made a significant impact or helped them decide what field they wanted to pursue.

If you need some help looking for some work options, check our search engine

Thanking your interviewer could make the difference.

So…you’ve applied! You submitted your resume and got the call! Now you just need to pass the interview and get the job! Taking a moment for an extra step AFTER the interview could just be the missing link. Many officers and senior enlisted do this interview tip…it can get you hired!

Putting in the time to thank an interviewer after a job interview with a thank you letter, note, or email is not just good interview etiquette, it also strengthens your interest in the position.

Sending a thank you note can provide you an edge over other candidates who may disregard to do so. In fact recruiters love getting thank-you notes, but only report receiving them 24% of the time.

What Your Thank You Note Accomplishes

Your thank you note can be a space to deal with any concerns or issues that turned up during the interview. Too, you can consider your thank you letter a follow-up sales pitch. In it, you can restate why you desire the job, summarize your credentials, share how you might make contributions to the organization, and so on. It’s an opportunity to remind job interviewers why you’re the very best prospect for the job.

Your thank you letter is also the best opportunity to talk about anything of significance that you didn’t address as completely as you would have liked throughout the job interview.

Keep in mind, though that your thank you keep in mind should be quick and to the point. A number of short paragraphs are plenty. Remember it’s not how much you write, it’s just doing it that makes interviewers rave about this single action!

If you’re not exactly sure how to compose a letter thanking your interviewer, put in the time to evaluate some sample thank you letters, thank you notes, and thank you email messages. This single interview tip can get you hired.

Usage Key Facts From the Interview in Your Thank You

There are a couple of crucial facts you’ll require to remove from your interview, so you can get your thank you letter right.

First and most significantly, you’ll need to understand who interviewed you. What was her name and how is it properly spelled? Does she pass a more formal name on her company card? What was her title? This is where exchanging organization cards is handy.

If you don’t have service cards or for some reason that exchange didn’t happen, inspect the business directory or website to obtain this info. The information might also be available from e-mails sent out prior to the interview.

Others might have entered the interview room briefly or joined you for a tour of the office or facility. It is good to exchange business cards with them too. You can mention them in your note to your primary interviewer. Depending upon the length of time you invested with them, you may want to send out those individuals a thank you note also.

It never hurts to be top of mind for multiple people at the company with which you are interviewing. You never ever truly know who will lobby for you to be the leading choice. Be sure they have your contact details on your card and send them a thank you letter if you feel it is suitable. At any rate this interview tip is a winner.

You might also wish to take a mental note of what you liked best about the workplace, and any pastimes or interests you shared with the recruiter. These can make good additions to personalize your thank you note, and maximize the effect of this interview tip.

What’s the Best Option: Sending Email, A Printed Note, or Handwritten Card?

In bygone days, only a composed card or letter would do. However these days an e-mail is appropriate as a thank you for a job interview. But remember not to be too informal– use formal titles and proper salutation and signature.

A typed and signed letter is also excellent and even a handwritten card might be a great touch depending on the job interviewer and the type of job you requested.

No matter how you make up and send your note, make sure to proofread it, and look for any spelling mistakes or typos. A simple mistake might be a big strike against you.

The best part about using an e-mail is speed and precision of delivery. While any type of interaction can go astray, if you have actually already exchanged e-mails you can be sure your thank you note will be received by the job interviewer. A printed note or card can be more individual in touch however might take longer to reach the interviewer, especially in a larger business with a huge mailroom where pieces of mail exchange lots of hands.

When to Send Your Message

But while email can be sent out immediately, it’s best to wait for at least half a work day before sending it. If your interview took place in the afternoon, send it out the next early morning. If your interview was in the morning, send your note near the end of the workday.

Here’s a quick recap:

ALWAYS SEND INTERVIEWERS A THANK YOU NOTE.

It’s good manners, and likewise a chance to make the case for your candidacy yet once again. And of course interviewers rave about this single interview tip!

KEEP YOUR NOTE SHORT.

Do not let your message drag on. Keeping it to one or two points in addition to revealing your appreciation to the job interviewer.

GET A BUSINESS CARDS DURING YOUR INTERVIEW.

That method, you’ll have contact info easily offered.

PROOFREAD CAREFULLY.

Read your note numerous times to avoid spelling mistakes and typos.

 

Check our Career Search Engine for positions you haven’t thought of, And, our blog for more tips and timely information to help you succeed!