Education and Career

I taught school for 30 years from Kindergarten to adults, in public school to Prep Academies.  I attended schools for 24 years earning two Master’s degrees. So, without apology I can honestly say, “been there, done that, bought the tee shirt.” Here is some Moore Stuff I learned about education.

School is about developing skills. That training could range from several weeks learning to become a good waiter to extensive higher education to become a teacher, a neurosurgeon, or a fighter jet pilot. Every school at every level is a vocational school.  Education is important and the more you have the more professional doors will open for you.  But higher education does not guarantee success, wealth or happiness. Schools are about getting a job and any company will pay you to sell the hours of your life for a wage or salary. From $10/hr. to $20 million a year, they will pay you for what they think you are worth.

Someone once said that a good education is not measured by the classes you took or what you learned, it is measured by what you remember and can apply to your daily life. I earned a degree in Music Education which did not teach me how to be a good musician or teacher. I didn’t become a decent musician or teacher until I left college and got a job teaching music. Schooling is like giving a person a garage full of tools, some blueprints, and their blessing that you can go out into the world and know how to build a house.  You learn how to build a house by building a house and using the right tools.

A job is like getting a gig, it pays some bills, is temporary with not much job security. You may love it and develop some loyalty but (as my father-in-law once told me) “you can marry a company, but a company will never marry you.” Even with a lot of hard-earned letters after your name you are still expendable. Find a way to own your career rather than it owning you.

A career is a vocation you build over a life time. You take what you have learned, continually expand on it and become an expert, a master of your profession. You keep reading, researching, networking, exploring, working harder than everyone else, become skilled in new technologies to always increase the value of your skills and experience. The best, most relevant education you will ever receive is what you teach yourself.

Finally, the most valuable education you will ever receive is knowing how to fail.  Yes, that is right, failure is a blessing not a curse. Of course it’s embarrassing and disappointing and it hurts and might even cost a lot of money. So what. Think of failure as tuition.  It is training to identify weakness in your skill set, to examine and revise procedures, to find and use new and better tools of your trade. Read the stories of highly successful people and you will discover most of them went through and learned from frequent and devastating failures. You only really fail if you quit.

Visualize what you where you want to go > put together a plan > identify the obstacles > get the training and experience you need > work your butt off > fail a bunch of times > keep working > become and expert > enjoy your success.

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