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Choosing to Succeed – Career

Google’s dictionary defines a career as: An occupation or profession, especially one requiring special training, undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress. 

Selecting a career path is one of the most important decisions you will ever make.  

For years American youths have been encouraged to pursue a degree from a college or university. It can provide a solid basis for a career if your family has the means to pay for it and you choose an academic discipline which is actually marketable. Many who don’t have the financial means are encouraged to borrow in order to pay for the ever-increasing tuition costs. This has led to some shocking statistics, in the United States:

  • $1.77 trillion in total student loan debt (Including federal and private loans)
  • $28,950 owed per borrower on average
  • 55% of students from public, four-year institutions had student loans
  • 57% of students from private, nonprofit, four-year institutions took on educational debt

Younger people hold a large part of student loan debt. Borrowers aged 34 and younger carry over $610 billion in student loans. The majority of people in this age group owe between $10,000 and $40,000, whether or not they graduated.

However, this debt is often carried well into middle-age and beyond. Borrowers ages 35 to 49 owe more than $622 billion in student loans. This group has the highest number who owe more than $100,000. 

Even retirees are still bearing this loan burden. There are 2.4 million borrowers aged 62 or older that owe $98 billion in student loans.

In addition to the burden of debt, a degree does not guarantee a job or a successful career. The unfortunate truth is that many with degrees are unable to utilize their education in the real world or end up over-investing in their education for low-paying career choices. 

While societal pressure to earn a 4-year degree (or more) has been increasing, other career options have been pushed to the side. Trade schools, for example, offer great career opportunities for success and entrepreneurship without the weight of enormous debt. It’s time for the narrative to change. Not only do trade schools help students land a job faster, the costs are significantly less. 

There is truth in the saying used by philosophers and the wise: “Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” Enjoying your occupation can bring joy and fulfillment, especially if you provide value to others in the process. 

If you have the desire to create beauty and make your clients feel beautiful, a salon career may be an excellent choice. In a recent survey, 81% of people said the connection they have with their hairstylist is the main reason they choose to go to a given salon. Being a cosmetologist is more than just cutting and coloring hair. It’s about finding your passion, sharing the gift of beauty and building relationships. 

The Salon Professional Academy – Nashville is one of the most innovative schools in the nation. It has the curriculum and culture to provide students with the technical and business skillsets that translate into earning power much greater than average beauty schools. 

Many years ago, as a beauty supply salesman, I called on a wide range of salons over a large geographical area. One of them was in a small town in southern Oklahoma. At this “always busy salon,” I learned a valuable lesson about relationships. After spending the night in a motel, I called on this shop first because it opened very early. The owner/operator was an active, elderly woman in her eighties. It appeared most of her clientele were in the same age group. Even at 6:30 a.m., she had multiple clients going, doing wet sets, perms and haircuts. 

We always had a lively conversation as she ordered supplies and continued working on her patrons. One day I asked her, if there was ever a time when she wasn’t busy or when business had been slow. She laughed and said no, then told me about conditions during the Great Depression when she was a young hairdresser. 

She said everyone had an extremely difficult time making ends meet. They were forced to give up most everything except the essentials of life, with one exception. Her clients continued to make their hair appointments. Her salon was the one place where they could still feel hope and beauty during a very dark period. For their sake, she lowered her prices as much as possible and they never stopped coming. The bond between them was remarkable. 

If your choice is a career as a salon professional, you could not pick a better place to learn, grow and achieve excellence. May you find happiness on your journey and may all your dreams come true. They will when you understand you have the power to choose to succeed.   

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