All of us want to advance in our careers. The idea of stagnation is not appealing! It is part of the status quo that most of us hold dear. But truth be said, some of us fall into depression and throw away our personal happiness and fulfillment for career advancement!
A career is supposed to be something that you love, not something you would stress over. So, to help you get into the right mindset about your career progression, here are a list of the top 7 career advancement myths that most often mislead us and get us into a negative spiral.
First Myth: You completed a degree in college and now need to get an advanced degree like a Masters or Doctorate. That must be the sure shot way to career advancement!
Believe it or not, experience rings louder than your degrees! If companies prefer people with experiences, why not join volunteer groups that work in related fields? Pursue different avenues to get the same set of experiences. This not only adds weight on your resume but also adds to your credibility and self-confidence.
Second Myth: A career coach will tell you which career to transition into.
That is too much responsibility to put on a career coach’s shoulder, don’t you think? Career coaches are there to help you decide for yourself, they don’t decide for you.Transitioning to a new career may be one way to progress in your career. No one, including a career coach can prescribe the right career to transition into. Career coaches can help facilitate and guide you in identifying your strengths, passions and patterns, but you shoulder the ultimate responsibility of figuring out what career to transition into.
Third Myth: More money = career advancement.
Using money as a motivation to advance one’s career is a shaky ground to stand on. There are working people who get paid high six figure salaries but they hate their jobs! There are people who work hard and get paid lesser, but they love their jobs. Career advancement does not depend on how much money you earn. It depends on how you feel at the end of each day doing what you do!
Fourth Myth: You need to continue in the same line of work you started your career in and do it for the rest of your life.
This is why some people are afraid to get jobs that are not totally related to their degrees. College students working odd jobs not related to their majors, while studying to pay for their tuition fees are not throwing away their dream careers, are they? Many of us start of flipping burgers or repairing cars and the like. But we DO go on to do bigger things, things that utilize our capabilities and fulfill us. Career advancement is not always about staying the same line of work.
Fifth Myth: For career advancement, choose a career that is trending.
The hottest career in the market(as of Jan 2017) is that of a data scientist! It supposedly pays well and there are tons of courses to get the skills required to get on that career path. An IT developer client of mine is considering moving into this field as a way to advance in her career. But dealing with data is not for everyone. If you do not have a natural aptitude for it, it will eventually burn you out or cause frustration! The latest career trend may not be your cup of tea!
Sixth Myth: Climbing the family tree – Your parents are MD’s, so you ought to be one, too!
While this may be great for some families, it does not work for everyone. Treading down a career path further and further, just because your parents did so is not the ideal way to advance your career. Firstly, you career has to resonate with you as a person and your strengths and interests. Secondly, advances in your career have to align with the needs of your industry and your passion.
Seventh Myth: If it is about career advancement, don’t take risks. You don’t know what’s going to happen in the future.
This myth holds back many because of the fear of the unknown. Wouldn’t it be great to know you can take risks and learn from failure or lavish in success? Having a plan of action and a back up plan may give you the dose of confidence you need. Many strategies for career advancement do come with risks! Remember, no risk, no gain!
Advancing in your career should not be depressing and frustrating. Career advancement is about moving the needle in your career forward. Moving the needle can take many shapes and forms. Don’t let the world define what it should like for you!