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Want a Six-Figure Income Without Getting a College Degree of Any Kind? Here Is How

Copyright © 2021
by Ed Bagley

As someone who has acquired 6,100+ high-end clients who are interested in jobs and careers, I paid attention when I read a story about six-figure incomes based on information from the Unites States Bureau of Labor Statistics indicating that physician jobs dominate the list of the nation’s highest-paying positions, holding the Top 10 most lucrative jobs that are “equal to or greater than $208,000 in annual income”.

They include psychiatrists, oral or maxillofacial surgeons, obstetricians and gynecologists, general internal medicine physicians, surgeons, anesthesiologists, prosthodontists, orthodontists, physicians and ophthalmologists, and family medicine physicians.

Next in line were chief executives, nurse anesthetists, and dentists at $183,000 in annual income.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is interested in keeping these kind of salary statistics for demographic and political purposes (political districts gain more representation in the U. S. Congress when the population increases).

It is a funny thing about statistics: politicians and propagandists can easily use statistics to prove a point they want to make, but seldom does it represent the complete story about what really happened or what it really represents. There is generally a backstory that is too often unseen and unknown to the reader or observer, which, when given the light of day, can offer a totally different impression.

For example, it is easy to show statistically that a person with a bachelor’s degree will generally earn more income over their adult working life than a person with only a high school degree or no specific professional training that would lead to a license or certification in an occupation or industry that could generate more annual income.

Seldom are we told about any exceptions to the statistics given. Most workers would be ecstatic to earn $183,000 in annual income with a full benefit package worth $45,000 that would give them a total compensation package of $228,000, or more than a quarter million dollars.

My clients generally are professionals (that is, there are a pro at what they do, whatever that may be), generally earn $60,000 to $140,000 in annual income, and are either in management or supervision or want to be.

As a creator of high-end professional resume products, about 30% of my clients do not have an associate degree or no degree at all, and the income of some clients with no degree may attract your attention.

For instance, during 35+ years as a high-end resume writer,
I have a client with no high school degree and not even a GED equivalent that is generating $500,000+ in annual income.

I have three of them, and another generating $650,000 in annual income and another generating $700,000 in income, all of whom have no high school degree and no GED equivalent. I ask my prospective clients, what occupation or industry do you think they are in?

Their responses generally include IT (information technology because it can pay well in our economy), licensed or certified positions (attorney, accountant or educator, for example), or self-employed. All of these are good answers, but they are all wrong. Only 1 out of 100 clients ever gets it right.

All my clients without a high school degree or GED equivalent that earn higher annual incomes ($100,000 to $500,00 to $700,00 and more) are in sales, not as salaried employees but working on a commission basis, being paid a commission percentage on the amount of income they produce for a company or organization.

As you continue to walk down the work road of life, understand that sales is the second highest paid profession on planet Earth. It is probable that only 5% or less of the adult working population is involved in direct sales, that is because 97% (perhaps an exaggeration) of people would not be caught dead selling.

Most people would never be in sales because they can’t stand rejection, they view rejection as failure, or they think too many salespeople are not honest or are in it for their own gain, rather than serving the needs of the buyer or the general public.

That is why people in sales, especially people who are good at selling, make a lot more money than managers, supervisors or worker bees. We live in a capitalist system that rewards salespeople for producing income for companies or organizations, this is a merit system that rewards production; this system is made for workers who have ambition, work hard and improve their employability by acquiring degrees, licenses or certifications so their skills and experience become more lucrative.

Men can make excellent money ($100,000) with only a high school degree in an number of occupations.

Women can also make excellent money with only a high school degree, but they tend to do it generally in three ways:

1) They own their own business, usually a small business that is very profitable. Some research organizations report that there are more small business owners making $100,000+ than in any other job or occupation.

2) They work in commissioned sales rather than salaried sales. A sharp woman can many times outsell a man because of the dynamics between the sexes. A sharp woman calling on a male client many times gets more time and attention than a male calling on the same client.

3) They work in a financially-related position, such as a stockbroker, mortgage banker, mortgage broker, loan officer or chief financial officer.

Here is some information you can use if you are a high school graduate and have zero interest in getting a bachelor’s degree at this point in your work career: go into sales if you have any people skills or personality.

Sales is the second highest paid profession in the world, and it does not usually require a college degree. There are some corporate sales jobs that do require a degree, but there are many more opportunities available if you can generate sales production.

There is not a single business in America that cannot benefit from more sales, and almost every business will pay for sales production.

Here is some even better news: If you are selling and producing big time and the owner or company is too cheap to compensate you at the level you should be compensated at ($100,000+++), dump the owner or company and sell for someone else.

A far better idea would be to start your own business, go into competition directly against the cheap owner or company that would not pay you, and wipe them off the map.

There really is no reason you should be working for someone else anyway. Working in your own business can be an outstanding deal. You call your own shots. You will not fire yourself, lay yourself off, or deny yourself promotions, fat bonuses for production, outstanding benefit packages, and a lot of time off to enjoy your money and family.

The 9 examples listed above have 7 positions that amount to no more than hired help, that includes the Chief Executive position. Only the Dentist and Lawyer positions might be either self-employed or hired help.

All nine examples cited by the Bureau of Labor Statistics have more stress than anyone needs and are labor intensive. Even the Dentist and Lawyer positions, which might be self-employed, require them to report to work or not get paid. If a Mac truck runs over them, their income stops in a heartbeat.

Has anyone ever heard of income-producing investments when these job opportunities come up? Income producing assets allow you to take possession of your own time while your investment throws off the income to fund your lifestyle without working a job.

It might be fancy to have any of those nine jobs with status and making $100,000 a year. Some people would rather make $250,000 a year and not have a job, have a boss, and deal with the stress.

Here is a rare career path: Own the business, company or organization and hire the six-figure people in the examples above to work for you. When they generate $1 million in annual company income to be paid $100,000 in compensation, there are owners who would gladly pay the above examples of their $100,000 wage when you the owner could make $250,000 free and clear and essentially not work.

Who needs status and aggravation when you have money?

Resumes and Jobs

Recruiter Suggests “Dumbing Down” Your Resume So You Will Be Less of a Threat Getting Hired in a Recession Economy – Is This a Good Idea?

Copyright © 2010 Ed Bagley

An article by Katie Johnston Chase appeared in The Boston Globe on June 22, 2010. It talks about “dumbing down” your resume to get hired. I could not disagree more with this tactic, and will explain why.

But first, here is the article by Katie Johnston Chase:

After hearing from several potential employers that he was overqualified, high-tech salesman Joe Collins of Medfield worked with a recruiter to come up with two resumes. One emphasized revenue gains and the number of people he oversaw as a manager; the other omitted those details, concentrating instead on his hands-on sales experience.

Collins, 55, figured that someone looking to fill a routine sales job might review his more high-powered management experience and assume: “He’s only going to hang around until he finds something else.”

As the tight job market forces the unemployed to apply for lower-level positions, more job seekers are “dumbing down” credentials, wiping graduate degrees and high-level experience off their resumes, recruiters say.

Applicants say the idea is to get hiring managers to at least look at their resumes, instead of figuring someone with extra qualifications will demand a bigger salary or leave for a higher-level opportunity once the economy turns around.

But too much background doctoring can be risky. Wakefield recruiter Bruce Allen, who has had more clients ask about altering their resumes during the economic downturn, stopped short of calling it unethical, but he said leaving off degrees and experience may come back to haunt job seekers. It’s hard to hide skills in an interview, he said. Background checks and the Internet can also quickly reveal what job seekers leave out.

“It’s less about ethics and more about what kind of quicksand are you about to step into,” said Allen, of Point B Search, who helped Collins craft his resumes.

Modifying a resume to fit a specific opening is nothing new, but when jobs are scarce, recruiters say, applicants are more willing to undersell themselves. Stephen Ford, of the career consulting firm OI Partners in Concord, sees this resume customization — not mentioning that you managed a $1 million budget if the company you’re applying to has a half-a-million-dollar budget, as he counseled one job seeker — as a way to broaden a job seeker’s appeal.

“I think we see it in each deep recession,” Ford said.

Former Web analyst Nicholas Carroll, who was laid off from his consulting job for IBM in 2008, is such a believer in dumbing down resumes that he dedicated a section of his 2009 e-book, “The Layoff Survival Plan,” to it.

In the section titled “How to Downgrade Your Resume for a Tight Job Market,” Carroll recommends taking titles down one peg, from director to manager, from manager to specialist.

Carroll removed his bachelor’s degree in technology management after he lost a job as a website developer during the dot.com collapse of the late ’90s in order not to appear overqualified for blue-collar work, and he didn’t stop there.

During an interview for a management position at Econo Lube `N Tune, “I deliberately hesitated a quarter second before every answer,” he said, and at one point decided to fake a “faint look of panic.”

The morning after the interview, he said, he was offered the job. “Somebody finds out you know that much more than they do, they get nervous,” Carroll said.

That’s true, says Robert Akerlof, a post-doctoral associate at the MIT Sloan School of Management, who is working on a theory about how it can be difficult to maintain authority over overqualified workers if they think a job, or a boss, is beneath them.

Dumbing down a resume is a way for job seekers to show that they are going to be respectful, said Akerlof, citing the “20 percent rule,” which states that bosses should be 20 percent smarter than their employees.

“I think it’s not so much that you’re lying about what your resume is, it’s that you’re trying to convey an appropriate attitude,” he said.

Recruiters also say they are seeing more older workers who delete the year they graduated from college, along with details about their early job experiences — both of which can date them.

But a job seeker who left the first 10 years off his resume didn’t get far with the Burlington public relations firm Davies Murphy Group. “In my book it automatically disqualifies the candidate because it shows a comfortableness with dishonesty,” said principal Andy Murphy.

People are so focused on getting back into the workforce that they are setting aside not just complete work histories, but their egos, to go after the kind of position they may have had years before.

Unemployed Denver science educator Nancy Hansen removed her master’s degree in ecology and her two Fulbright scholarships from her resume to send a message to a potential employer: “I don’t want you to think that because I have a great resume I’m above doing the work that is here.”

Hansen is still not getting many callbacks from the museums and schools she has been applying to, but at least she’s not hearing the dreaded “overqualified” word anymore. If she is asked about her education or work experience in an interview, she said, she will tell the truth.

That’s what Adrienne Rodney did after sending in a master’s-degree-free resume for an executive assistant position. Convinced that her graduate degree from Boston University was hurting her chances of getting the publishing and public relations jobs she was applying for, she stopped including it.

When she came clean about the omitted degree to her potential boss, Brooke Allen — who runs the website NoShortageofWork.com, about unconventional paths to employment — Allen told Rodney that he had left his MBA from New York University off his resume years before.

Much discussion, and a job offer for Rodney, soon followed.

End of Katie Johnston Chase’s Article

Start of Ed Bagley’s Reaction:

When resume writing clients of mine approach me about “dumbing down” their resume to help them get a job in a down economy, I discourage such foolishness, and here are some reasons why:

1) It is very bad form for anyone who wants to get ahead in this world to apologize for being educated, literate, ambitious or productive.

Just because the world is full of mediocre minds and mental termites (many of whom take up space and do nothing more than enough to keep their job) does not mean you should be sucking up to them at their level of thought power, education, literacy, productivity and accomplishment.

You can temporarily lower your level of employment expectations, but do not lower yourself or your qualifications in the process.

Take a lesser job and salary if you must to survive until the economy turns around, but stand your ground when it comes to your qualifications.

Do not dumb down your resume by taking off your degrees, job titles, productivity and accomplishments.

You can tell me that they will not hire you because they feel you are a threat to their position.

You can tell me that they will not hire you because they are afraid you will leave for a better position when the economy turns around.

You can tell me that they said your are overqualified for the position.

None of these comments from potential interviewers or decision-makers amounts to a hill of beans.

If no one has every told you before, I need to tell you now – when someone says you are overqualified, that is simply the most polite way they have of saying they do not want to hire you.

It could mean they do not want to hire you because you are a threat, or because you may leave at the first opportunity for a better job, or any other reason, including the way you part your hair, the color of your eyes, or the sound of your voice. It flat does not matter.

You simply need to move on to another interview for another opportunity. Think this through for a moment.

If they think you might leave because you are a threat, what makes you think they will not undermine your effort and production if you are hired?

If they think you might leave because you will find a better opportunity, is it not clear then that you will be penalized for trying to better yourself? What kind of a person or boss would hold you back from becoming a better person, or trying to find a better, more productive way to support your family and yourself?

I will tell you what kind of a person would think and feel this way toward you. A loser, that’s who. What person in their right mind wants to work for, or with, a loser? Losers will always drag you down before they would ever think of lifting you up, that is why they are losers.

Winners do not think like losers. Winners do not talk like losers. Winners do not act like losers.

What would a winner’s reaction be if you came to him or her acting like you were educated, literate, ambitious or productive? They would read you resume, interview you and act appropriately – that is, make you a job offer.

Why? You must be kidding to ask such a question.

For openers, when you are educated, literate, ambitious and productive, they may not have to spend a dime to train you to do a job at a much lower level than you are accustomed.

You will likely be a high achiever and performer, saving them time and effort in monitoring your work habits.

They will be able to give you projects and assignments, and they will not micro-manage you in the process; they will be moving on to another challenge to make them and the department – including you – look better than your competitors to the higher ups.

You will likely make your boss look good, increasing his chances of an earlier promotion. And what do you think your boss will do when he is promoted? That’s right, take you to a higher position with him; he would be nuts not to, especially if he knows how valuable you have been to him under his charge.

Should you be offered a better position than the company you are working for can match, you boss will not be all that upset if you leave. Why? Because you may leapfrog over his position, turn around, and bring your boss with you. After all, he was smart enough to hire you.

2) Acting and playing dumb to take a job that pays significantly less than you were making is hardly an intelligent career move unless you want to devalue yourself and what you have to offer, and move backwards at the same time.

When you interview with someone for a lesser position, and you know that person is not even making half or one-third of what you were making in your prior position, do not let the interviewer make you feel like a lesser person by sitting there and listening to that baloney.

Be polite, be patient and then be gone. Life is short. You do not need to work for losers who want to tear you down while trying to build themselves up at your expense.

I fully recognize that in life there is no vacuum for followers, the vacuum is for leaders. Followers do not, and cannot lead if their life depended upon it. When a follower sees a leader, he will follow and become a good team player; he knows his place and will be happy as a follower.

Leaders do not enjoy any such comfort. Leaders are not comfortable unless they are leading. And yes, leaders were once followers before they became leaders; they just did not make a career out of being a follower.

There is nothing wrong with being a follower. As Shakespeare said, “Act well your part, therein all honor lies.”

Smart bosses and smart people in the hiring business know they are always money ahead hiring a smart, educated, literate, productive and ambitious person. People who fear competition are losers and will never get ahead in this world, unless, of course, their daddy owns the company and their daddy would let an idiot run the company.

Most winners in this world got where they are at by lifting themselves up by their bootstraps by the honest sweat of their brow – all they needed to become successful was an opportunity, not a handout.

And, this is important, when they were denied an opportunity, they created their own opportunity. Some people have a job; other people create a job with a business – in other words, they do not have a job, they own a job.

When you have your own business, you are not going to fire yourself or lay yourself off. If you want more income, you raise your prices, and operate only in the market that will pay your prices. Who says you have to serve everyone? You just have to serve someone in a special market segment to be successful in America.

One final comment – have some pride and backbone in who you are, and what you have to offer. Do not allow two-bit interviewers and snot-nosed personnel types to push you around mentally or emotionally, they haven’t lived long enough to earn that right. Let people know real quick that you are a person of substance and, if they cannot handle it, find someone who can.

Life is short. Idiocy is rampant. Success is elusive. You must reach out and grab success by the hand, and do not let loose of it until you bring it to you. You can do it. Anything you can conceive and believe, you can achieve. Create desire, develop belief, and get on with it.

Here’s Just One
Happy Client:

Susan found out what excellent presentation can do

From Susan:
“When I first walked into your office I was scared and apprehensive.
I knew I had to make a career change, but didn’t know how. I also thought all resume services were the same and expensive. After meeting with you, seeing your work and meeting with other career services,
I decided you were the best for the best price.

“The response I received to your well-prepared resume was literally overwhelming. I had responses from practically every company I sent a resume to. I had one woman call and say, ‘Although you’re not really qualified for this position, I wanted to meet with you because your resume is so impressive’. I decided not to meet with her because, after hearing more about the position, I didn’t want it. I ended up taking a position with a pharmaceutical company, something
I’ve wanted to do since graduating from college.

“Not only was I able to change careers but
I also did not have to take less salary or perks. This leads me to conclude that my resume was written expertly to open doors and show how my previous experience could cross over to another career. Lastly, Ed is an understanding and compassionate man who helped me define my goals. The extras above and beyond the resume helped immensely, and
I am looking forward to the partnership I can expect in managing my career choices! Thanks again.”

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