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To Stay Varied and Adaptable

Gabriel Sidwell
Gabriel Sidwell
6 min read
To Stay Varied and Adaptable
Photo by Scott Graham / Unsplash

Have you ever heard the saying “never put all of your eggs in one basket”? While this is usually said in reference to gambling on an individual or thing, you can easily apply this advice to your professional life. The public school system is often ridiculed for the lack of variety on the subjects they teach - especially concerning coursework that has little to no application in the real world. Indeed, one could argue there’s more practical value to classes like workshop or economics, versus pottery or that one fourth-level calculus class (why do I need to learn L'Hôpital's rule when I don’t even know how to do taxes yet, said the highschool senior).

When talking about your career and work-life, staying varied and adaptable becomes ten-times more important, arguably just as important as your degree. While you develop the core skills you need to succeed in your chosen career field through college; Practical skills, learned techniques, and unique knowledge drives your value as an employee or entrepreneur. Let’s talk about augmenting your core skills with extracurriculars, and share some examples from the medical field.

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Vibe of the Week: Ribs - The Crane Wives

The Value of Variety in Skills and Accreditation

If you were to look at any online job posting right now, I guarantee you that you would find several job listings from employers asking for candidates with a degree in a relevant field, in addition to multiple ‘required’ certifications related to the role. More often than not, these are certifications you have never heard of or come across.

The lone value of the degree has dropped substantially in the last couple of years. A societal drive to funnel aspiring young minds to college has gone on since the mid-80’s to 90s, and as a result, the number of graduates in the country have increased substantially (along with the average cost of tuition). With so many degree-holders entering the workforce, there’s a surplus of workers who can fulfill the requirements needed for more complicated jobs. This creates leeway for employers to reduce entry salary rates for new hires.

The average undergraduate degree now does not hold as much purchasing power as it once did. And with the rising cost of tuition across U.S. colleges, the average entry-level wage for jobs that require a 4-year-degree do not match the cost of obtaining that degree. The only current exception to this are opportunities that ask for a little something extra - and the difference can increase earnings from 40-50k per year to making 60-70k or more per year.

I speak of the certifications and extracurriculars mentioned above. Skills that go beyond what your core degree provides. A medical assistant who is also skilled in computer science can earn extra money developing software for their medical practice or hospital; Someone who works with medical devices that’s also an accredited medical writer can become a quality engineer for their company, who writes their compliance documents and researches government requirements.

Certain certification programs are not nearly as expensive as their college class counterparts, and the value you can get out of some certifications make them more than worth it. Do you feel stuck at your current wage tier? It might be worth looking into related certifications and credentials that’ll increase your overall value to potential employers. Requirements for these certifications will vary from state to state.

If you are not sure where to start in searching for appropriate certifications that will help you in your career, take a look at the following list for an idea on how to start:

List of Professional Certifications By Industry
Getting certified allows you to demonstrate competence, experience & dedication in your industry. Here’s a list of professional certifications by industry and cost of certfication.

Read More: 8 Leading Technical Writing Certifications (With Benefits)

Riddle of the Day

Only one color, but not one size. Stuck at the bottom, yet easily flies. Present in the sun, but not in the rain. Doing no harm and feeling no pain. What am I?
Keep reading for the riddle's answer below!

What We're Reading This Week

Television Writer on Fight With Studios, Networks: “We’re looking at the extinction of writing as a profession”

Television writer on fight with studios, networks: “We’re looking at the extinction of writing as a profession”
The WSWS recently spoke to a veteran television writer about the issues facing writers and the upcoming strike deadline. The writer chose to remain anonymous.

Popular streaming services have not been treating their television screenwriters respectfully. These companies and their lawyers are looking to scrimp the program development processes in efforts to save money (despite historically high profits). The Writer’s Guild of America is calling out these companies for their blatant greed and lack of respect for the creative process these writers bring to the table. A strike will occur on the first of May if no deal for due recompense is reached by then.

Write the World and Seventh Generation Announce Winners of the 2023 Climate Writing Awards

Write the World and Seventh Generation Announce Winners of the 2023 Climate Writing Awards
/PRNewswire/ -- Write the World, Inc. and green household products pioneer Seventh Generation today announced winners of the 2023 Climate Writing Awards for…

Write the World, Inc. and Seventh Generation have recently announced the winners of their Climate Writing Awards. This competition is specifically for students between the ages 13 to 19, with three categories in the competition: Poetry, Flash Fiction, and Advocacy Writing. Read on for the winners of Climate Writing Awards 2023, especially if you are an advocate for climate health.

Hustle Culture: Is This The End of Rise-And-Grind?

Hustle culture: Is this the end of rise-and-grind?
The #grindset mentality has long endured – but some people are finding hustle culture is losing its lustre.

The pandemic has made many people realize what they truly value in life. Between the rise of the Work Reform movement and increased awareness of poor modern day work conditions and toxic work environments, the average worker is coming to value work-life balances and are setting boundaries to improve overall quality of life.

Riddle of the Day: Answer

Click to View the Answer

A shadow!

Connect With The Penman

Want to find more ways to connect with the Penman? You can find me on social media! I am currently on Twitter and LinkedIn. Check out the icons at the top of the page for links to my social media accounts. You can find my day-to-day musings between newsletter releases there!


Gabriel Sidwell

Author & Owner of Penman Ventures™ ✒


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