Is My Lack Of Formal Education Holding Me Back?

After such a busy weekend, I started looking at what my next steps should be. After some research, I found articles saying that working across four different departments within an industry can boost your career as much as an MBA. Although I haven’t yet worked across four different departments in retail, I’m not far off from this, it’s really good news for me.

The thing I picked up most there was that all of that experience was almost equivalent to an MBA, which of course implies that an MBA will push you even further. Having not been to university myself, that option could be open to me, but to get a Master’s degree, you first have to get a Bachelor’s degree, and it looks like that is at least 5 years of work.

5 years before this happens!

Unfortunately, I don’t have a strong academic background and I don’t have a lot of free time, so going for a University degree right now isn’t something I feel like I can do. Looking for online fast-track options turns up lots of prerequisites I just don’t have.

So last night and this morning I was feeling pretty down about this, and it really tainted my vision of what my future might be like.

On my walk to work, without any other distractions from my thoughts, I let my mind wander and remembered something important about myself.

I’m a practical man focused on tangible benefits.

If there is an unconventional way for me to gain the same skills or wisdom as I would from the “normal” path, I can find it and follow it. That’s how I’ve developed my career to the point it’s at today. And if I am excluded from some role or company for my lack of traditional education, then that company is the one missing the opportunity, not me.

Not long after reaching this conclusion, I found this supporting quote from Blinkist on The Personal MBA; “Researchers from Stanford University and the University of Washington… Analyzing 40 years’ worth of data, they found that there is no correlation between long-term career success and possessing an MBA,”.

And another interesting thing hit me. Years ago I bought a course on Udemy, An Entire MBA in 1 Course, which I had not even begun! So here I am today, already pretty successful, without having gained much in the way of “proper” business knowledge.

This afternoon was the final reminder that I’m on the right path. As some of my readers will remember from my older posts, I recently switched jobs, just over a month ago in fact. In that time I’ve learned a lot of new things and every week I add a little more detail about what I’m doing to my LinkedIn profile, letting that network know who I am and what I can do. Today I got an email from a recruiter, specifically referencing my current role, current experience in the role and the company I’m working with. That’s some pretty strong validation right there!

So I’m going to carry on learning what I’m learning, I’m actually going to complete that MBA Udemy course for the skills and knowledge, and I’m going to worry less about what I can’t do and focus on what I can!

As the quote goes, whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.

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