Busting Some Common Career Myths
Before we start our job search, let us spend a few minutes discussing a few common career myths. These beliefs are treacherous pitfalls, restricting your choices and limiting your aspirations. Avoid them, as you don’t want to build your career on such a shaky foundation.
Career Myth #1: “There is only one perfect career field for me.”
Yes, there are people who have chosen to follow a single track in their career. But the majority of us feel the urge to explore more. Every day, we find out about new opportunities that are tempting and right there within our reach. Why wouldn’t we reach for them? According to a Deloitte Report, careers are being and will continue to be reimagined. Workers are taking “tours of duty,” portfolios of assignments involving different skills. What this tells us is that the conventional “one and done” education and career model is dead—for both companies and individuals. Employers have a growing need for people with diverse skillsets and knowledge and interest in several areas.
So, you don’t have to stick to just one area. Go and acquire your bag of different experiences. Explore and learn. Don’t be afraid to experiment, even if it means making mistakes—what if you do change your mind in the middle of your career lifecycle? No problem, because here comes the second myth to be busted.
Career Myth #2: “My career choices need to last a lifetime.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. In the words of the poet: “The times, they are a-changing.”
We are not only used to change, we also love it. From our hair and phones to the places we live in, we are changing more often than ever before. It is therefore illogical to expect our careers to remain immune from change. The average person makes approximately five to seven significant career changes during their working life. The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report says that by 2020, more than a third of the desired core skillsets of most occupations will be comprised of skills that are not considered crucial today. Instead of getting stuck in one area, focus on continuous learning.
While constant, reckless change is not advisable, you should not feel burdened by the idea that one decision eliminates all other options forever.
Career Myth #3: “There are only a couple of industries I can work in.”
The IT industry is only for IT people, right?
Wrong. Each company employs a variety of functions. For example, if you go to Infobip’s careers page, you will see that though it’s an IT company, there are plenty of jobs that do not require IT skills. Choosing an industry shouldn’t be connected with choosing your position, but with choosing a work environment and culture you want to work in. If you have a finance degree and prefer a structured work environment and discipline, look for industries with that culture, such as banking or regulatory organizations. But if you prefer flexible, dynamic work environments, you could think of developing your finance career in the tech industry. The importance of choosing the right culture is often overlooked by candidates—more on this in a future session.
But before we do so, in our next lesson, we will cover how to discover what you want, search for it, and find it.
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