Debunking Career Myths

A lot of people out there think that they know how to go about in picking their own careers, but end up in a job they hate and wish they could get out of fast. It has a lot to do with the decisions that they made before. They think that if they follow a tried and tested method, they can easily follow successful people and also find a career that seems enjoyable for them. Here’s what you can do to break free from these types of rumors and land a job which makes you happy while you develop your career.

Choosing a Career is Simple

In reality, choosing a career is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your life. Careers are underplayed a lot of times by people who think that it is just a phase in their life and that they can simply change it in the future. You should definitely give your career a long and serious thought. Think that this is what you will be doing for the rest of your life to put it into perspective. Keep in mind that career planning is a multi-step process and it can’t be done overnight with just your own resources. You need to talk with other people so that you will know your options and you will also have the correct information before you decide.

I Can depend on a Career Counselor

For this part, it’s actually a bit of a yes and no. Yes, a career counselor can provide you with guidance in your career of interest and can help you facilitate your decision, but his job stops there. He doesn’t tell you what careers are best for you or what career field is the best for you. When you come to him, you should be ready to tell him about your interests and what field you are considering your career in. As we mentioned earlier, a career is a very important decision, so you should give it some thought before approaching others for help or guidance.

A Hobby is Useless in a Career

This myth is very understandable since when people look at their hobbies, they can’t make the connection between that and a career. For example, some people like surfing the internet or cooking simple meals, but they can’t think of how to make money from these hobbies so they give up or do something else which they think is more ‘productive.’ Keep in mind that people tend to become very skilled when they do their hobbies over time, even if their skill is trained in an informal way. For hobbies that relate to internet, how about a career related to programming? For cooking simple meals, it can lead to entrepreneurship or even a culinary career. Actually, your hobbies will serve as a very good basis for your career decisions in the future.

The “Best Careers” List is a Good Source

Every year, there are numerous articles or write-ups about what the best and worst jobs of last year were. It might even include some sort of forecast about the upcoming year and the hot jobs for that year. Of course, it helps to keep informed and read up about which job is doing well, and which job is being scrapped soon. However, you shouldn’t use a careers list to dictate your choice. It’s a good reminder that these predictions are based on valid data, but sometimes these data can change in a short amount of time. For example, what may be a ‘hot job’ this year could be scrapped totally within the next 3 or 4 years. As what we have been saying earlier, you should take into account your own interests, values, and skills when you choose a career. Just because an occupation’s outlook is good, doesn’t mean you have to force yourself to choose it.

Careers Making Money is Important

While salary is important, it should not be the only thing that drives you to choose that career. Picture this: you’ll be stuck at that desk for 8 hours a day doing the same thing over and over again for a few years. If you despise your job and only look forward to the salary, then chances are you’ll get bored and irritated easily with it. In the worst case scenario, it could even affect your family and social life. When you get older, enjoying what you do at work will be much more important. We’re not saying of course that salary should be ignored, it should be one of the things that you should seriously consider when evaluating an occupation, but it should not be the only reason why you pursue a specific career.

A Career is Forever

This myth actually causes people to act very cautiously in choosing a career. They are so carefull in some situations that they fail to decide in time and end up rushing in choosing a career instead. In the real world, if you are unsatisfied with your career for any reason, you can always change it. Part of this myth is that people think that they can’t take their skills from one job to another. However, you can always bring these skills to your next job – you won’t use them exactly the same way, but they won’t go to waste entirely.

In addition, career planning is an ongoing process. There will be times when you are offered a job position that fits you, but might be a little different than your current career. During these moments, you would usually re-think your career strategy and if the new job is worth transferring to. This situation is getting common nowadays and the normal employee will have 5 or 6 different types of job before he/she retires. You should also consider that there may be new jobs in the future that will suit you and your skill set so a change will definitely be inevitable.

A Major Will Lead to a Career

A lot of employers out there actually focus more on your work-related experiences and skills as compared to your major course. Unless you are really aiming for one special area that requires specific technical skills like an ICU nurse, then you can choose any major that interests you. Bear in mind that one major can lead to many different careers, in the same way that one career can be achieved through many different majors. If you ask those people employed in higher positions, you’d be surprised to hear that they are working in fields remotely related to their majors.

A career is one of the most important things you will ever have in your life. With that in mind, thinking about it is very important as well as getting to know more about yourself. It’s not wise to make your career dependent on career myths that may have worked with other people. Your situation and your traits are different from other people so you should take that into consideration when planning your career.