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Beyond money, beyond income, beyond opportunities – becoming self-made starts with choosing yourself”. – Nely Galan

It’s hard to believe in something, especially when that ‘something’ is yourself. Creating a successful outcome takes effort. And this time of year you might fall into the trap of thinking that you don’t have enough left in the tank to get you through until graduation.

Evolving from amateur to expert is never going to take a simple step. There is a process involved, many processes in-fact, which make up the tapestry that is your learning outcome. If you don’t trust yourself and the learning process it will negatively impact on your future, not to mention let yourself down.

Here is a little dose of honesty for you. I don’t like telling this story because even though I got back on the right path I am still ashamed that I gave up on myself. In 2008 I was three years into my study. I’ll be honest, I found studying in my early twenties a chore. I had an okay part-time job and didn’t like spending my spare time learning.

I had the five year career plan. When it suited me I was totally ambitious and sure of my career goals (you know like when your parents ask you what your plans are). However, I was at a point in my life where I was above learning and all the effort required. So I quit. Yes, I am the example of what not to do. Who quits with six months of study to go? Me. That’s who.

As time passed, friends graduated and started impressive sounding careers. And I was left behind. Every job interview I sat through, when the dreaded education question popped up, my confidence shrunk a little more. It reminded me of how short sighted I was at 22 years old. Now when I look back at that smug young woman who thought she didn’t need ‘a piece of paper’ to prove her worth, I want to scream at her.

After years of avoidance I finally re-enrolled in my course and spent four years balancing fulltime work and part-time study until I reached graduation day. It was way harder than being a fulltime student but I was proud that I had finished.

Over the years I have questioned the real reason I quit. I knew I was struggling but I never reached out to my teachers for help. I found excuses not to study which was easy to do because I was looking for them. I didn’t trust the process, learning is hard for everyone, and even experts start out as beginners.

Being qualified provides you with more than a shiny certificate to confirm you turned up to TAFE and submitted your assignments. Your qualification is your badge of honour. It will give you confidence in your career; it demonstrates to future employers that you are driven (trust me this is a big one) and ensures you have appropriate job skills.

So if you’re struggling with your course, speak up. Don’t let your fears, laziness or excuses derail your career goals. Remember you enrolled for a reason.

Good luck!

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