Monday, October 21, 2013

10 Myths About Careers

There are many myths about careers so let's knock some of them out of the water!

  1. It is easy to choose a career.  The fact is that it should not be easy to choose a career at all.  You should put time and effort into your career choice.  There are several steps involved including learning about who you are and what skills you have.  You should consider several occupations that might suit your personality and skills and explore them before you make a decision.
  2. I can go to a career counselor and let them tell me the best career for me.  The truth is that only you can decide what career is best for you.  A career counselor might be able to help you in the process of deciding on a career and give you options but ultimately, you are the one that needs to put thought into it to make the best decision for you.
  3. My hobbies can't make money.  You never know.  I know many people who have turned hobbies into careers.  People who like writing can become full time writers.  People who love to work with Word and Excel and who know bookkeeping can become virtual assistants.  In fact, know what  you like to do for a hobby can lead you to your perfect career!
  4. "Best Careers" lists are the best place to find a good career.  You'll find many "best careers" lists online and in  magazines like Macleans and in career oriented newspapers or newsletters.  It certainly doesn't hurt to look at lists like these but just because a career that you are considering is not on the list does not mean that you should strike it off of yours.  Sometimes the best careers are the ones that are on no one's list because there is no competition for them!
  5. I need a career that earns lots of money to be happy.  Money earning potential is likely part of your considerations but don't make it the main consideration.  If you're only thinking about the money you can earn in a career you might pick one that is not suited to you.  Enjoying your job is more important.
  6. I have to pick the right career the first time because it is the career I'll have for the rest of my life.  First, this puts a lot of pressure on you!  Who can make a decision like that when they are in their 20s, 30s or even 40s?  Second, most people end up working in two or three different careers through the course of their life so know that you are likely going to change and changing careers is not that big of a deal these days.
  7. My skills will go to waste if I change careers.  Not necessarily.  Many of the skills that you develop in one career will be transferable to others careers.  Some skills like document use, reading, communications, and computers skills are well suited for almost any career.  It is just a matter of showing them off in the right light.
  8. If one of my friends or family members has been happy in a certain career I likely will be, too.  Unless you have the exact same personality and come from the same background and enjoy doing the same things, this is very unlikely to be true.  Career choice is a very personal thing.  By all means, ask them what they like about the career and what kind of duties and responsibilities they have but don't assume that just because they say, "I love my job" means that you will love it, too!
  9. Once I've picked a career field everything else will follow.  If only it were that easy!  Once you've picked a career you'll need an action plan that will guide your through your career training and into finding employment and then working your way up the ladder.  Progress is one of the keys to a great career.
  10. I can't find out much about jobs until I try them on.  There are many ways to explore a career to find out if it is a good fit for you.  With the Internet you can find out a lot about your career interest.  Social networking can help you connect with those who already work in the field you are interested and interviewing people who hold positions in that field can help you learn even more.


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