Apart from all being widely successful, Steve Jobs, Sir Richard Branson, J.K Rowling and Mark Zuckerberg all have another thing in common: not one of them completed any form of higher education.
If your high school was anything like mine, you had it drilled into you from the get-go that getting good marks in the HSC to get a good entry score into University should be the underlying basis of all your living and breathing actions.
Looking back now and after seeing so many of my classmates going on to create successful careers without having attended uni, I laugh at how ridiculous it all was. While I personally chose to go down the university path, I will admit that there have been times where I questioned that choice, especially since having a degree in today’s society no longer comes with the guarantee that you’re going to secure a high paying, successful job in the future.
With only 68.8% of graduates finding employment after graduating last year, as well as the fact that tuition fees are increasing and the average debt upon leaving is set to rise to$50,000, I really don't blame you for wanting to consider a different path.
So now you’ve made that decision that you're not going to uni, your only issue you’re now facing is telling your parents the good news right?
While i’m sure that you’d rather sit on this and pretend it wasn't an issue, the sooner you bite the bullet and have the conversation with your parents, the quicker you can start your journey onto your dream career. Before you sit down with your parents it’s best to take into consideration some of the points below:
1. Write out a plan
I can guarantee you that the first question your parents are going to ask you is; “Well what are you going to do instead?” If you even slightly stutter when you reply, it’s game over.
You need to go into this conversation with so much confidence you make it impossible for your parents to say no.
This means working out exactly what you want to do and the steps you need to take in order to successfully get there.
If you’re creative make a powerpoint and jazz it up with fancy statistics and flow charts (feel free to use my opener too), use anything you can think of that’s going to help out your case.
2. Show them you’re serious
So you’ve told them your plan, now it’s time to show them that you’re serious about following it through.
If it’s your dream to work in a trade, then start enquiring to see if there are any apprenticeships around. Or, if you’re wanting to go into business, see if there are any entry level jobs going and apply. Even offering to intern at a company to gain experience is better than not having a job at all. Internships can often lead to job opportunities, so it’s best to give it your all and learn as much as possible.
If you’ve managed to go that one step further and actually get yourself a job or an apprenticeship already, then it sort of makes it that little bit harder for them to be outright opposed. It also shows them that you’re serious about your plan.
3. Be prepared to make your decision, even if it isn't what they want.
At the end of the day, your parents always ultimately want the best for you. That’s why they might not be fully on board with your decision to begin with. To them, going to university and getting a successful job is seen as a safe option. So unless they’ve done it themselves, seeing you venturing out into a career that isn't so black and white, is concerning for them.
If they aren't on board straight away, the best thing that you can do is to be confident in your decision and continue to work hard. Eventually, they’ll see that you’re serious and dedicated to the career you’re pursuing.
If that still doesn't do the trick, maybe you should ask them to pay the $50,000 for the university course they so desperately want you to take and see how quickly they change their minds!
If the thought of potentially disappointing your parents is the reason why you’re avoiding any discussions about your post-high school plans with your parents, you have to remember that they aren't the ones who have to turn up everyday, sit through a bunch of pointless lectures and submit assignments containing information you know won’t remember.
As Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”.
WORDS BY LAUREN SUTTIE