Monday, March 2, 2009

Are These Career Myths Holding you Back!

There is really no one right way or one path to achieve the career happiness or the "career nirvana" many of us seek. All of us know that multiple factors affect the career decisions or life choices we make at any given time.

If we are exploring a career makeover during this recession or changing careers, we must explore and debunk any career myths or perceptions that might be holding us back. As Olivia Crosby says in her article for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Don't be a victim to your own misconceptions."

Take some time today to explore whether or not any of the following 10 career myths are affecting your current career choices? If you are saying any of these things to yourself, you should know these statements are not rooted in reality. If any of these 10 myths represent a barrier for you, now is the time to start working on them.

1. "There was only one perfect career path ideal for me. I missed my big opportunity several years ago, so it's over for me."

2. "I need to just find one career and stick with it for life. If I change my mind, people will think I am wishy-washy and indecisive."

3. "I have to stick to my college major to build my career. Why else would I spend all that time, if I don't want to work in that field?"

4. "Only experiences and competencies gained on the job are important to determining what I do next. No one really cares about my volunteer work."

5. "New training or education is only for young people. Seriously, I am too old to go back to school."

6. "I need to take career tests since they will tell me what to do."

7. "Work life balance is a big myth; I have to choose between being happy at work and having a family. There is no happy medium."

8. "I really should be looking for a "safe" industry where there is a lot of job security. This is just not the time to start a business."

9. "I can only be happy and make money in one of the hot jobs for the future. I need to get into Healthcare or Technology."

10. "I'm too old to change my career. Starting over would be silly."

Do you have a career myth to add?


Anonymous said...

Good reminders

Jackie Cameron said...

Good list. Thanks for sharing Marcia

Can I add

I need to be qualified to do that job so I won't apply ( what about qualifying ON the job?)

I have never been good at x,y,z and it is on the job specification so I won't apply ( the job spec is sometimes a wish list of skills)

My background is in something completely different - they won't take me seriously ( highlight the skills - not the role - in your application and see what happens)

Ecommerce Job ... Where are you? said...

#9 is just funny right about now. You really think something's "safe". Pfffft!

Anonymous said...

I hate to be cynical, but I think a big career myth is, "If I just work hard, I'll succeed." Sadly, this is not enough. You have to play politics if you work in the corporate world. That's why I don't work there anymore.

Beverly Mahone said...

I think #5 is a big one for older people. I'm a believer that you NEVER stop learning so age should never be a factor in your desire or passion to do something new and different.

Great post!

Bobby said...

Great tips! I think it's hard for new graduates to come to terms with the fact that they will probably not get their "ideal" job straight out of college. I try to think of it as each job taking you towards your ultimate career and teaching you new things along the way. Thanks for sharing!

Marcia said...

To Jackie,

I read somewhere once a long time ago that 80% of the people who get the job, have about 50% of the requirements. You are so right about being bold and going after jobs where you could learn on the job.

Marcia said...

Ecommerce Job,

Yes that concept of "safe" and "recession proof" jobs has quickly skated out the door.

Thanks for adding your voice.

Marcia said...


Great point! Many forget that new grads are going to add millions to the underemployed and unemployed workforce in a few months.

They won't necessarily show up in the unemployment numbers.

Marcia said...


Learning should definitely be lifelong. Older workers looking for work have to demonstrate this all the time in the interview to be successful!