I’ve written so much about college and how important school is after high school, but I may have exaggerated the importance a little. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t go to school. But there are other options, and not everyone can sit in a classroom listening to lectures, especially when those lectures cost you thousands of dollars every three to four months. School isn’t for everyone. But you can learn one of the trades and work blue-collar jobs.
Blue Collar Jobs
There is a stigma behind manual labor jobs, especially in families working in offices. Why would anyone want to work with their hands or outside in the heat? It’s so easy to look down on something when you aren’t interested in it. Things could make no sense to you, but it’s not your life.
People look down on some trades because they lack a college degree. The idea of college has been pushed down our throats so much that it seems crazy not to go thousands of dollars in debt for a piece of paper. In reality, people who have learned a trade are just as knowledgeable in their field of expertise. When the apocalypse comes, I would rather have a team of blue-collar workers than a team of businessmen or academics.
My Weird Anecdote
I have a friend who is the most high-energy, active person I know. He wakes at 4 a.m. every morning to work out like he’s the Rock or something. He works outside for eight hours in the South Florida heat and then goes to class right after if he isn’t training a client in the gym. I always wonder what he would be like if he didn’t have all these outlets for his never-ending energy. Probably the most unbearable person alive. But the point I’m trying to make is that some people are built to work with their hands. They thrive in the physicality of blue-collar jobs; otherwise, they would drown in the boredom of an office job just vibrating with energy in their office chair.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Working Blue Collar Jobs
Like most things in life, there is a pros and cons list for blue-collar jobs. However, ignorance isn’t always bliss, so knowing what you might be getting into will help better equip you to make decisions.
- You won’t take work home.
- A technical college is nowhere near the cost of a university.
- You will get on-the-job training.
- The job market is always in demand. Trade skills are dying out.
- You can make some really good money.
- The work and routine can be repetitive.
- Physical exhaustion due to some unfavorable work conditions.
- Social prejudice and stigma towards blue-collar workers.
- Depending on the job, it can be dangerous at times.
It’s Your Decision
At the end of the day, it’s your life, and you should do what you want. Parents could pressure you into going to college or studying something you couldn’t care less about, even if your life depended on it. Maybe you want to be a mechanic, but your family wants you to be a lawyer. I can only imagine the difficulty of saying no to family and living your dreams, but you should feel fulfilled in your life. Don’t let the pressures of others leave your future miserable. Blue-collar jobs are honest work with great pay and give you a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Live your life how you want, and don’t let anyone sway you from it.
P.S. Check out Mike Rowe’s (the host of Dirty Jobs) website for more information, to find a job, or apply for one of their scholarships.