Chris Shupe is the founder of the CareerHacker Data Analyst Mentorship program. Growing up in San Jose, California, and now residing in central Florida, he attended college for four years studying economics.
Chris’s vision was that of the classic American teenager: a fulfilling career that pays well, providing security through financial stability with promotions and additional benefits as the years progress. He dedicated four years to formal higher education, as was expected for kids of his generation. However, the desired career didn’t come to fruition, which proved very frustrating for Chris.
Reflecting upon his choices, Chris soon realized that he hadn’t done anything wrong, but rather that the old college model imposed on him by society was out of date and no longer worked. Teachers were implanting the vision of college, indoctrinating the path as the “only way”, and overhyping the odds of success afterwards, which most inexperienced teenagers naively accept.
Some see success, but every year more and more college graduates wind up regretting their decisions when their lives don’t pan out how the school system implies they would. Chris Shupe is one of those graduates, but he isn’t one to cry over spilt milk. Chris became a waiter’s assistant after graduating college with no luck in finding even an entry-level full time job.
The employment market just wasn’t terribly impressed with his college degree. At this point, Chris was in debt for a degree that apparently wasn’t worth much. Chris began working with spreadsheets and databases on his own, and started picking up data analytics skills. His newfound knowledge in data secured Chris a full time office job with the Nielsen company for $38,000.
He says his data skills actually weren’t necessary for the job, but they helped him stand out among the other applicants. Just 11 months later, Chris advanced to a new company earning $70,000 per year as a data analyst. A few years after that he transitioned to an even higher paying position that was fully remote, and used the opportunity to travel to and live in countries around the world, including Colombia, Brazil, Canada, the UK, Spain, Switzerland, and Hungary.
Chris is now the founder of the CareerHacker Data Analyst Mentorship. He and his team take people searching for new careers or unhappy with their current employment, whether due to lack of pay, fulfillment or freedom and help them become data analysts.
Chris believes data analysis is a great career path due to its market economics: demand for the position is high and supply is low. This means companies are willing to offer high salaries and great benefits, and there are plenty of job opportunities available.
We caught up with Chris to get his best tips for career success. Here are his 5 best tips in his own words:
1) Get crystal clear on what you want in a career.
Most people know what they DON’T want, but few people ever really take the time to get clear on what they DO want. Many of us have a vague idea of “something better” that we’d like to reach in the future. Maybe we want a better salary, more meaningful work, more freedom, or financial independence.
Those things are all great, but they’re vague. Ask yourself: what salary would you be happy with? What does “freedom” mean specifically for you?” Etc. Many people are afraid to get specific about what they want because they’re afraid they will fail to get it. Which is fair enough, but the problem is it’s pretty hard to get somewhere if you don’t specify where you want to go.
2) Use your resources.
It’s easy to make excuses to avoid doing what it takes to reach your goals. “I don’t know how to do this.” “I don’t have any experience in this.” “I don’t have a degree in this.” Turn those unhelpful excuses into helpful questions. “How can I learn how to do this?” “How can I practice this so I gain experience?” “Do I even need a degree, or can I learn by myself or with a mentor?”
3) Find a mentor.
Whatever it is you’d like to accomplish, chances are other people have already achieved it. Look for someone who’s done what you’d like to do, and ask that person to help you. You can find mentorship programs online in just about every area you can imagine. They tend to be a little pricey, since you’re asking people who are already successful to share their time, but the payoff from having a good mentor is usually many times the asking price.
4) Stay focused.
If you’re trying to make a big jump in your career, you will almost definitely run into obstacles. When they run into obstacles, most people either give up and go back to what they’re comfortable with, or they jump ship and try something completely different instead. Resist these temptations. Commit to your goal and your process for getting there, keep moving forward every day, and find a way around the obstacle whenever an obstacle comes up. If you do this consistently, then success is inevitable.
5) Have faith.
A lot of people think motivation is something that “happens” to people. That some people are motivated, and other people are lazy. Few people ever ask, “why?”. The most significant reason, in my experience, is faith. People who have faith that they can and will accomplish their goals, do. Their faith gives them the energy they need to follow the process until they find success.
On the other hand, people who doubt that they will have success have a hard time. Maybe they doubt that success is possible, they doubt their process, they doubt their mentors, or they even doubt themselves. Doubt is what creates laziness. If you doubt that your hard work will pay off, then why put in the hard work in the first place? If you want to have the motivation necessary to reach your goals, shut out all the voices of doubt and think thoughts of faith over and over again until it’s your usual way of thinking. This is the key to infinite energy and motivation.
These tidbits helped Chris Shupe secure a $70,000 per year data analyst career within 12 months of teaching himself basic data skills and are propelling his coaching business today. If you’re looking to connect with Chris, you can do so here:
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