How could you possibly launch a career in business in 1 year?
It seems impossible in a world where the degree is still supported by most. And if you just look at the “degree required” qualification on almost any job description, the prospects of a career in business can seem daunting.
But business is on the leading edge of a growing number of careers that don’t require a piece of paper to prove your skills.
In fact, I’d argue that it’s easier to get a job in business without relying on that degree. While others are expecting the paper to do the work for them, those without degrees are forced to innovate and find better, faster ways of signaling their expertise.
But don’t let my excitement about the opportunity deceive you into thinking you can build a great career without any work. Here’s what you do need if you’re going to break into the business world without a degree (these are non-negotiable):
- the ability to self-educate
- forward tilt
- time management
How to Get Started:
First, you have to learn the basic entry-level roles most companies have. Even tech startups need non-tech people helping them build the company!
There are 4 categories of business careers that allow you to get your foot in the door of the business world while giving you the most transferable skills: marketing, sales, customer success, and operations.
Marketing is the cool startup gig that appeals to many young people. This appeal also makes it one of the most competitive fields, so prepare to document your work effectively if you want to have an edge in the world of marketing. If you love data, creative brainstorms, and design, marketing could be a good fit for you.
If you’re interested in marketing:
- How to Start Your Marketing Career in 2020 With no Experience
- How I Landed a Remote Digital Marketing Job
- Want to Pursue Marketing? Here’s Your Career Roadmap
💡Pro tip: Marketing isn’t all about being creative. In fact, there is a lot more research and data analytics that goes on in marketing than most people think. So if you don’t enjoy diving into the details sometimes, marketing might not be for you!
Sales is not for the faint of heart. Here, you’ll be on the front lines of the company, guiding prospects on their journey to become customers. If you enjoy talking about things that are interesting to you and thinking on your feet, sales will be a perfect fit for you!
If you’re interested in sales:
- How to Start Your Sales Career in 2020 With no Experience
- Luke Ruffing from PandaDoc on how to Kick Ass in a Sales Role
- Want to Pursue Sales? Here’s Your Career Roadmap
💡 Pro tip: Almost anyone can enjoy sales at a company they are passionate about. Look for companies whose mission and culture you resonate with, and you’ll love your job!
Love helping people solve problems? Have a good dose of empathy? You’d probably be good at customer success! Customer success is more than just fixing problems that customers are having. It’s about creating the ultimate user experience for the people who use your company’s product. And that’s what makes customer success one of the most vital jobs at any company.
If you’re interested in Customer Success:
- How to Start Your Customer Success Career in 2020 With no Experience
- Why Customer Success is the Ultimate Launchpad for Your Career
- Want to Pursue Customer Service? Here’s Your Career Roadmap
💡 Pro Tip: Customer Success is the easiest of these worlds to break into. This is a great way to get your foot in the door of a company you really admire and want to work for.
Operations is the oil in the machine of any company. Without someone organizing systems and optimizing processes, it would be hard to run a company. So if you love problem solving and
If you’re interested in Operations:
- How to Start Your Operations Career in 2020 With no Experience
- How Creating a Body of Work Helped Bailey Win an Entry-Level Job in Operations
- Want to Pursue Operations? Here’s Your Career Roadmap
💡 Pro Tip: It’s important to be detail-oriented if you want to launch a career in Operations. Make sure you pay attention to the details of your emails, social profiles, and any other information you send over to potential employers.
Just pick one.
Secondly, if you’re interested in business, it might surprise you that exactly where you start doesn’t matter nearly as much as you think. In fact, the best business professionals have intersecting skillsets—a combination of the top hard and soft skills from multiple fields.
For example, someone who has worked in sales will make an excellent marketer 3-5 years down the road because of understanding how prospects think.
So even if you don’t know exactly what you want to do, don’t worry! Just start something interesting to you. You’ll get experience, build skills, and make money in the process!
Get that first job!
Thirdly, land an entry-level opportunity in one of the four roles I mentioned.
This process may take 2-3 months. It’s not just about sending your résumé to companies and hoping you fit their qualifications. If you’re hoping to land an opportunity you love, you are going to need to set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd.
You can do that by:
1. Learning and documenting software tools related to the role you’re interested in. “Document” is the most important word in the latter sentence. If you can’t show your knowledge of a tool, how can potential employers know that you understand that tool? Here’s a great example of a software tool documentation from Praxis grad Joey Wickham.
2. Building new skills that are valuable to your chosen role, and creating projects that document those skills. If you
3. Educating yourself about the roles and companies you’re interested in. You can’t get a great job if you don’t know what’s available. Start researching companies you’re interested in working for. Listen to podcasts about the roles you’re curious about. Subscribe to newsletters from experienced people in the field you want to go into. There’s valuable information all over if you start looking for it!
4. Creating a digital paper trail that documents your progress using social media. (This is otherwise known as building a personal brand.) Make sure that you are easy to research, and that your social media profiles reflect your progress in your chosen career! Create often. Write, make videos, and build projects on the things you’re learning
5. Taking control of your job hunt. Gone are the days of sending résumés to employers and hoping they notice. Why not take advantage of the technology we have today and make your job hunt process one-of-a-kind? Start by creating individual pitches for companies you’re excited about. Then email those pitches directly to hiring managers. After you’ve interviewed at company, create a quick project for the company and a 90-day plan for the value you’ll create there. This simple strategy has helped hundreds of Praxis participants and grads land their dream jobs.
Finally, put in the work.
This happens after you’ve landed that first job. Your work isn’t finished. In fact, you’ve just started. This job isn’t just a way to make money. It’s your education!
Here’s how to treat your job as your educational path:
1. Keep adding to your software stack (at least one tool per month.)
2. Say “yes” to as much as possible.
3. Focus on solving one problem at a time instead of learning everything in the abstract.
4. Document, document, document.
5. Take advantage of the professional connections that come your way.
(Or, just follow the 50 tips this podcast gives.)
6 months after you start that job, you’ll be much farther ahead than any of your friends who are still in their first year of business school.
When they’re halfway through school, you’ll have at least 2 years of experience and the professional connections that come with it.
When they’re graduating, you’ll have 4+ years of experience. They still have to pay off student loans. You’ve been making money. They still have to look for a job. You have experience and documentation of the things you’ve accomplished.
It’s actually that simple. The market is hungry for entry-level talent. No company actually cares about your degree as long as you can create value for them. In short, if you’re willing to take an apprentice’s approach and start from the bottom, you can launch your career in business in under one year.
Don’t want to do it alone?
I can understand if this seems like a lot of information that’s pretty simplified. That’s why many people choose college instead of a path of self education: at least college is a set track that you can follow without having to wade through the vast amount of information on the internet just to learn about business.
Don’t worry- you’re not the only one. Here at Praxis, our goal is to help people like you build careers they love quickly and without debt.
We’ve condensed the top skills and knowledge you need for a business career into a 6-month bootcamp. And you won’t just be learning information— we’ll teach you how to document what you know in a way that makes business owners excited to hire you. We’ll also help you land your first career opportunity at a startup.
If you’re excited about trailblazing your career this year, look no further. Schedule a call with our team today to find out if Praxis can help you reach your goals!