A single mistaken thought or misguided perception can send you down a career path that will be frustrating, inappropriate or just plain wrong for who you are. Here are 5 of the most common mistaken beliefs that derail people’s careers.
MYTH: “I’m going into it for the money”:
Sure, we all like making money – but a high salary can never substitute for authentic job satisfaction. Following the dollar rather than your passions can actually make you bitter, lower your productivity, pull you off track and rob you of the positive feelings and exuberance that comes from loving what you do.
MYTH: “I’ll get an advanced degree – then I’ll be set for life”:
If you’ve chosen a career direction and the degree supports your getting there – that’s great. But if you’re thinking “I’ll get the degree first, and decide later,” then that degree could end up as a very expensive postponing technique. Before you spend thousands of dollars and time going to school, you better be sure you are focused on an appropriate, well thought out goal.
MYTH: “Following job trends will lead to the right career”:
The job market fluctuates and moves in cycles. Pursuing a career based on current market trends or because an industry is “hot” can be dangerous, because economic shifts and other factors can reverse these trends. Career choice should be made from the inside out, not the outside in: It’s wiser to choose a career because you have a genuine interest and talent for it.
MYTH: “I want a glamorous career in a fashionable industry”:
What a job or industry looks like from the outside is often the very opposite of what it’s like from the inside. Glamorous industries are often fraught with long hours, internal politics, detailed drudgework and shallow values. It’s important to do your research, collect first hand information and understand the industry to ensure you have chosen the right career.
MYTH: “I hate my boss, I hate the office politics… I’ve got to change careers”:
Over-generalizing can lead to drastic moves. It’s important to isolate the problem and differentiate the issues from the assumptions. Being unhappy may cause you to over emphasize the negative without being aware of the positive. Often I’ve seen people become totally happy by making a slight shift or finding another job in the same industry. Not every problem requires huge shifts.
I’ve spent over 15 years helping people solve their career problems, identify the mistakes they’re making and implement effective career plans that lead to fulfillment and satisfaction. Often, it’s a matter of sweeping away mistaken perceptions about yourself or the workplace. I’d be happy to help you resolve your career issues. Nothing is more life transforming than a career that makes you happy.