8 Common Career Myths That Could Be Holding You Back

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There are secrets of success that young professionals and executives should heed as they rise in their careers. Yet, some principles that ambitious up-and-comers routinely follow may not be so wise, In fact quite often these principles may steer one’s career down the wrong path. They are basically career myths or fallacies with no supporting anchor.

Here are four common career myths you must debunk in order to navigate your career path successfully:

#1. Get an MBA and you will make lots of money
Truth is an MBA is not a guarantee that the money will start rolling in. Besides there are many jobs out there that pay handsomely yet they don’t require one with an MBA.

Pursuing a career SOLELY for its monetary worth can set you up for disappointment in your work life.

It’s better to find a balance among what you like to do, what you can do and the level of income you want to earn.

#2: You can get it all done by age 35.
Devote years up to age 35 not to furious job movement, but to finding out what you are good at — and how to make a career of it.

Not only are the later years in one’s career the time at which earnings peak, but they are also when executives exert the most influence, lead teams, departments, and organizations, and spearhead major strategic initiatives.

When you rise to the top, make sure you are up to the challenge.

Subscribing to this career myth puts unnecessary pressure on individuals who strive to live this ideal prior to hitting age 35. Failure to achieve casts them in the pit of unnecessary depression.

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#3. There is ONE PERFECT job for you out there, and you better find it to SUCCEED.
Certainly the most common career myth which many job seekers and employees have believed. Some career coaches have made it worse for their clients by emphasizing the fallacy.

If it were true, then the process of finding that precious job would be akin to looking for a needle in haystacks.

The truth is that there are many perfect jobs for you out there. It all depends on where you are in life and the goals you want to achieve.

What you may consider a perfect job today may take a turn for the worse due to factors beyond your control.

What might not look like a perfect job may equally turn out to be the best career decision you ever made especially when the market forces come together to favour such a job.

To resist wallowing in this career myth, you have to be constantly looking. Your career will likely be a continuum of learning, changing interests, and changing circumstances, not a perfect goal to be reached.

So stay alert to opportunities that might come when you least expect.

#4: It’s all about the money.
Not so. Few of us will ever be able to make — or spend — enough money to compensate for a career or life fundamentally out of sync with our interests and motivations. Let those be drivers.

In most cases, those who do what they love are also those who are well compensated for it.

Subscribing to this career myth makes one fall in the money worship and money chasing trap at all costs which could end in misery.

#5. You should choose your job based on your CURRENT job skills
When you choose a job basically because of what you can already do you will get dissatisfied very fast. This career myth can only be actualised in the lives of candidates who luck ambition.

Anyone interested in adventurously walking their career journey will always look out for things they have never done before to attempt them and learn new skills in the course of it.

You should look for a career path that will position you for training, learning new things, and advancement.

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#6: You’ll be consistently rewarded for the excellence of your job performance.
Unfortunately, consistent excellence will not drive consistent reward.

Be aware of the need to also consistently market the value of your performance,Keep track of your successes large and small, and share them, tactfully, during performance appraisals, salary negotiations, or other appropriate moments.

Living by the tenets of this career myth leads to one feeling let down r betrayed by their employers whenever they fail to receive a reward they consider to be commensurate to their great performance.

Unnecessary job hopping with no personal satisfaction could be the end result.

#7. Once you’re settled in a career path, you’re stuck forever.
The truth is no one can automatically get stuck unless they choose to. You need to look at what you’re willing to do to get unstuck.

Upon realizing that you are hitting a dead career end with little room to grow, then it’s important to take action.

While there can be financial constraints that may keep you from switching careers quickly, taking classes or being willing to make less money for some time to get on the career path you want shouldn’t hold you back.

If you’re a good candidate, smart, and presentable, you need to take those steps now to get yourself on the path you want.

#8. When you do what you LOVE, money will FOLLOW you.
Sounds like a motivational soundtrack. The truth is this happens but rarely courtesy of lots of lean time and luck.

All your career dreams are valid but you also need to an angle of being realistic to them. It is true you love doing certain thing, but what is their monetization capacity and worth in the real world?

A better bet is to find ways to combine what you love with your work, or to identify a career that allows you the means to follow your passion in your free time.

Being aware of the career myths that can hold you back will help you avoid falling for them. Being realistic about your career path and what you want from it will help set you up for success throughout your working life.

 

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Stephen Ogolla is a HR Consultant (with IHRM professional membership) He has a forte in Talent Management and Capacity development. He is also a youth life mentor, motivational speaker and corporate MC. He has worked with a leading global professional services firm in Office administration & Procurement, Learning & Education and Human Resource Management Email: Stephen.ogolla@gmail.com