Success doesn’t require a bachelor’s degree.
But, with automation on the rise, it can feel like the chips are stacked against workers without one.
Fred Goff, founder and CEO of blue-collar-friendly job site Jobcase, told Business Insider that it is possible to achieve success in the future without a bachelor’s degree — you just have to know how.
Here are three of his best tips:
Goff said job hopping is one potential pitfall in the blue collar job market.
'If you look at your grandfather or mine, mine happened to push the broom in the factory when he was a teenager,' Goff said. 'He ended up running the factory when he was 50. Every time he moved jobs, there's like an employee jacket saying, 'Oh, he proved himself doing this' so he moves up.'
Today, Goff said most workers end up switching companies more often, but lack the ability to demonstrate the experience or skills they had built up in previous roles.
'Every time you move, you have to reprove yourself,' he said.
So it's especially crucial for blue collar workers to find a way to accumulate and leverage previous recommendations and praise.
Goff said he intended Jobcase to be an 'inside out' Facebook. He said blue collar workers attempting to switch industries or learn a new skill typically need connections beyond their friends and family.
'The reality is that you need help and connections from people you don't know,' he said. 'You need connections from someone in Portland, Oregon, who's a cosmetologist, you need someone who's working in a hospital in Chicago that used to work in a warehouse to put themselves through school.'
Beyond networking opportunities, it's important to build a support squad for your career.
Finding people who are empathetic and supportive of you and your goals can really bolster even the most frustrating job search. Goff said he is always heartened to see people encouraging one another on Jobcase.
Automation is on the rise. Over the years, changes in technology will only continue to impact the blue collar job market.
'You don't have to have a college degree to get the sense that the future is unpredictable,' he said. 'You don't have to have a college degree to get the sense that income inequality is growing.'
That's no reason to panic, but it's important to make yourself aware of changing trends within your industry, Goff told Business Insider.
'Honestly, I think we could have been having a similar conversation in principle using different words 100 years ago,' he said. A lot of times we fool ourselves, thinking these are new things. There's nothing new under the sun.'
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