One of the biggest dilemma on our trip around the sun is the career choice. Why?

Here’s a narrative: When you were young, you dreamed about glitz and glamour while gushing over the idea of sitting next to Jennifer Lawrence at the Oscars. Fast forward to middle school, you aspire to become an architect and your coffee table was in shambles with all the blueprint designs and sketches you made. On a spur of time, you realized numbers and arithmetic is far from your league; squashing out the idea of becoming an architect from your bucket list. And the moment came in when college was right before your eyes. You gripped firmly on your high school toga; anxiety adrift on your baffled mind.

“What course should I take?” you uttered. You heard about how in-demand Engineering was. Rekindling on your artistic flame, you thought about Fine Arts and its prolific “Paris dream” industry. Suddenly, you remembered your family and friends. You relived the moment when your mother told you how lucrative Education course is. On the other hand, your friends took a leap and signed-up for Information Technology course form like determined soldiers. In a sudden swift of incaution, you rode on the wrong course bandwagon and since then, you contemplate on that decision; thinking about how your fate would have been different if you prepared for a strategic long-term career planning.

You could have been the next Mark Zuckerberg, rocking on your corporate suit inside an air-conditioned office. Or probably become the Einstein of Millennial generation while seeing your name and photos printed in various publications and snapped on television. Bitterly, you earned a Tourism degree, but your heart beats for sales and marketing. My sincerest solace to you, my friend.

Millions of folks all over the world share the same sentiment as you. You think gods and deities took forces together flipping your destiny in a not-so-favored demeanor. You can’t help but to agonized in fear on what the future holds for you.

As the years tripped down in an eventful chronicle, you finally conquered the “degree trap” you were in. Presently, you are strolling around the busy streets, overlooking the city heights and its people from all walks of life. On your right hand, is a printed CV, you’re about to set your foot in a corporate door, with a feigned reluctance and an uptight heart. “Will I able to pass this one?” you asked yourself.

It has always been like a recurring nightmare thinking about those memories of inferior decisions we made in the past. Sometimes, we feel like we just hit the rock bottom and we’re done. But no, there’s always a redemption; not unless if you’re bedridden or is tortured on literal traps just like how John Cramer from Jigsaw menaced his prey.

A college degree is an emblem of testimony of what you have obtained in the run. Truly education will serve as a reflection of your skills-set, knowledge, and competence; somehow influencing your career. However, expertise from your practice will not be applied on the job you are in, considering you fought for your desire to take a different career route.

Should your college degree dictate your career pursuit? The answer is NO, it shouldn’t.

At present time, getting a job that parallels to your diploma receipt has become out of style. Although many still pursue a career in line with their courses, a myriad number of graduates still prefer to take a wild leap of trajectory and choose a lucrative and practical job. Technological advancement has influenced this kind of mindset and it seems to be an unstoppable trend of this generation. Futuristic works and virtual concepts are revolutionized greatly — in number and by quality. Rocking a principal dream job in the corporate place has become much possible. The emergence of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) has frontline the employment because of its diversified sectors. Graduates who are petrified to take a step in their career can consider this industry which welcomes a manifold of skills set. Virtual staffing, for instance, has benefited innovative and enterprising job seekers to unprecedented heights.

If you think it’s impossible for you to take a 360-degree turn of career fashion, well, think again; of course, with an exception for those who aim to work as doctors and lawyers yet has limited practice and certification. The latter jobs require affiliated education and further training. In hindsight, college course is unlikely to have bearing on one’s success. It’s all about you and how you maneuver your abilities and take it to the higher ground. Certain industries yield better opportunities — income and culture wise — and your college degree or major does not need to be relevant to that work.

Notwithstanding to the aforementioned, if you have general abilities like soft-skills (e.g., critical thinking; problem-solving; time management; communication skills; etc.) or hard-skills (e.g., writing; programming; graphics designing; foreign language; etc.) acing for a diverse career pursuit is not possible. I can run off a list of outstanding and bankable career doors that would suit your interest, not your field. Your course will not define your status of employability. Success-wise, experimenting on the various industry will lead you to exciting and more lucrative jobs. But take note, this doesn’t mean you have to be a ‘fly by nights’ and flee from one job to another; you have to build your network, work ethics and experience to solidify the caliber.

Take the following insights with a grain and salt:

What does it take to become a successful professional? Getting a job from a prestigious company with your shiny black shoes tapping soundly the marble floor? Or planning and putting out a graphic design for the next ‘Avengers’ franchise and get it posted on billboards all over the metropolis? The veracity here is success in work is somehow subjective. If you’re working on a ‘certain job’ because you believed it illustrates the spirit of your college degree but you feel lethargic every single day about it, you have to rethink your situation if success will abound to your door soon. Is that job gives you the adrenaline rush of euphoria whenever you’re operating one? The bottom line here is about taking yourself into several seats and don’t let the college credential obstruct you from attaining a greener pasture. A door that truly defines your character and sense of genuine happiness. The world has a lot to offer and more vibrant outside the picture; look up, buddy.

How Can Soft Skills Save You from Pitfall?

Soft skills matter big time. It is the catalyst which maneuvers individuals to get the job; contrary to the theory that hard skills can easily outperform soft skills, no. Hard skills are only applied to certain specific industries requiring rigid tangible outputs while soft skills are imperative to every business, unless if the company prefers to work with robots. Soft skills can’t be learn inside the four walls of a university classroom. If you’ll work in a workplace, collaborations and collegial interactions will outset. If you can’t get along with your workmates, there must be a problem with your soft skills, then. Attitude and personality — the headlining soft skills you should acquire — are critical weapons you’ll need in dwelling along in the corporate workplace.

Now, if you have that burning passion inside your chest ready to conquer a tower little by little despite the course degree, soft skills will save you unanimously. The contextual and trivial knowledge we absorbed during the university days, admit it, most of us don’t really apply it in the real game. Memorialization of those historical names and special dates won’t give you the dream career on a silver plate, it is your willpower and skills that will get you to “that” place.

Soft skills can be developed gradually in the long run. If you’re thinking you lack from this department, start with a goal. If you feel you’ll just waste your four-year venture from the university, please don’t. You may not be hitting the road as a person your diploma is telling you, college still holds our bubbly to life-changing memories. College has exposed us to ‘stories’ and ‘culture’ which serves as the seed of soft skill enhancement. Don’t forget the arithmetic Monday dilemmas you had; it coined the critical thinking skills you’re gearing. The language, sophisticated vocabulary you harness during job interviews; those are pervasive by default.

Ultimately, these are just the mini-chunk of the red velvet cake. Your course diploma will not pave the golden brick to your career success. Whatever career path you’re about to walk in, gear on your passion and aim for the personal development. Strut on your unique brilliance and play the game wisely.