Many people end up in a career that does not give them the satisfaction they crave simply because they have been fed career planning myths since the time they were young. In an era where misconceptions gain traction among the population through social media, unverified news reports, and fake self-help gurus, it can be hard separating fact from fiction. Here is your guide to what is real and what is myth in the world of career planning.
Once I Choose My Career, it is Set in Stone
Choosing a career is not something you do once then spend the rest of your life working in that field. It is never too late to start a new career, and if something isn’t working out for you, don’t be afraid to change it up.
For inspiration, look no further than Spider-Man creator, Stan Lee, fashion designer Vera Wang, and KFC founder, Harland (Colonel) Sanders. Stan Lee wrote his first comic age 39. Vera Wang didn’t enter the fashion industry before her 40th birthday. Colonel Sanders didn’t launch his fried chicken franchise until he was 62.
Earning a Lot of Money Will Make Me Happy in My Career
Wrong. Your salary is just one factor for career happiness. In fact, research indicates that once employees earn $75,000 a year, any extra pay beyond that didn’t increase their happiness at all. As long as we have enough money to pay the bills, our happiness levels are dictated by factors other than our paycheck.
I Need to Study Something Related to My Field of Work
Any major at university can bring you any career. If you want to work in tech, you can get there with a liberal arts degree providing you have the relevant skills. Study what you love, while picking up skills that will be transferable to your ultimate career goals.
I Can Only Apply to Jobs Where I Meet All the Requirements
The job application says it needs someone with a master’s degree in advertising. You majored in marketing and have 5 years of work experience in the field, should you apply? Absolutely.
Employers will often adjust the requirements based on the quality of the applications they receive. If you build an effective resume and can sell your skill set and experience in an interview, there is no reason why you would be excluded from jobs where you meet most but not all of the requirements.
What I am Good At is What I Like to Do
It is far simpler to deduce what you are good at than what you like to do. You can see tangible results which show you are good at something. Or people tell you all the time.
Working out what you actually enjoy doing is far more difficult. Choosing a career is about balancing the two. You may be an excellent accountant, but if the thought of crunching numbers all day makes you want to scream, it isn’t the right career for you. Finding your ideal career is a journey about finding what you are good at and what you like to do. It takes time and patience.
I Hate My Job but I Can’t Quit Before I Have Worked There for 2 Years
During the interview, the job sounded ideal. You were told you would work 9-5, receive plenty of bonuses and rewards when you hit your targets (which everyone does), and have the flexibility to work from home occasionally.
But you are now ten months into your new job. The hours are more like 7-9 and there has been no mention of bonuses from anyone in the office because the targets are unobtainable. Now you feel like you can’t leave because it will look bad on a resume.
You can leave. In the past, hiring managers may have been cautious about hiring someone with several short stints in jobs on their resume. Now, it is quite common for people to do a number of different jobs early in their careers. Providing you can explain why the job wasn’t for you without sounding like you are badmouthing the organization, it will not hold you back.
I Work the Longest Hours at the Office, I Will Get Promoted Soon
This is a commonly believed myth among newcomers to the workforce. Your boss wants to see results, not you struggling to keep your eyes open at work. Spend the time developing an efficient and dynamic way of working so that you maximise the time spent at the office. This will get results. Not staring at your screen after everyone else has gone home.