Top 10 Career Path Myths
- Myth 1 - There is one perfect job for me.
Fact: Anyone can find a variety of fulfilling careers. After an individual has become interested in a particular career field, numerous different paths can be pursued. If someone is interested in working in education, they then can narrow their focus to a particular specialty, such as school administrator, teacher, etc., and weigh the pro and cons of each job.
Over time people's interests change. It's not uncommon for someone who graduated from college with a degree in economics later in life to find they've developed an interested in horticulture. The perfect job today, may not be the perfect job tomorrow.
- Myth 2 - My major is going to lead to my career.
Fact: Organizations that are hiring usually place more emphasis on previous work experience and job skills than specific majors. However, some companies, such as engineering firms, recruit and seek to hire individuals who have completed certain majors when it is essential for the performance of their job duties. Individuals in the workforce usually work in industries loosely related to the majors they studied in college. However, years after college, many professionals find themselves in careers and positions very unrelated to what they studied in college.
- Myth 3 - I will have only one career in my lifetime.
Fact: Most people undergo several career changes throughout the course of their working lives. This is not an uncommon occurrence. In fact, some people experience 5 career transitions during their lives. This can be attributed to economic changes or personal reasons. Since it is difficult to determine whether a career will be long term or not, you should find a career that interests you and assess it after working awhile.
- Myth 4 - Liberal Arts, Humanities and Science majors are usually unemployable after college.
Fact: Those who have completed science and liberal arts programs usually develop critical analysis, writing, and research skills. These skills can be applied a number of ways in different industries.
- Myth 5 - Most students know their major and career goals when they enter college.
Fact: This may be true for some, but most college students change their majors and career focuses many times during college. Most college students switch majors 3 to 5 times during college.
- Myth 6 - If I wait long enough, luck will eventually bring me to the right career.
Fact: It is beneficial to have a plan to reach your goals. Most people do not find the right career simply by luck. Those who thoroughly research careers that interest them and develop a plan to reach their career goals have a better chance than those who do not follow these steps to find the ideal career. Although everyone encounters circumstances they cannot control, those who plan and take steps to reach their goals are usually successful at reaching them and have better long-term outcomes.
- Myth 7 - Most people have a solid understanding of careers and the world-of-work and if I don't, then I am the only one who is confused!
Fact: Many people are not aware of all the responsibilities and duties associated with certain careers. Movies and television programs are usually the source of many of these misconceptions. For example, someone watching an exciting courtroom drama may get the impression that most lawyers spend all day in a courtroom. However, most lawyers spend very little time in courtrooms. When considering career options, gather accurate first-hand information before making decisions.
- Myth 8 - Career assessment tests will tell me what career is right for me.
Fact: Career assessments are useful in determining career interests, but these tests will not tell people which career is best for them. People answer a variety of questions during a career assessment to get a general idea of what type of career they should pursue. However, many factors cannot be accounted for on a career assessment. After completing an assessment, it is a good idea to critically analyze the results before pursuing a specific career path.
- Myth 9 - I should choose an occupation based on my strongest skills.
Fact: Your personal job skills should not be the only factor you consider while making career decisions. Other important factors that should be considered include interests, work environment, and earning potential. Choosing a career based solely on individual talents will not necessarily equate to career satisfaction.
- Myth 10 - The best place for me to start looking for an occupation is where employers are doing lots of hiring right now.
Fact: The economy and job market are always changing. New technology, retiring workers, and overseas job outsourcing are just a few of the factors driving this change. Increased or decreased demand for certain products and services can also lead to changes in the job market. This should serve as a caution for college students basing their choice in majors solely on job growth or decline since there could be many or few jobs available in certain industries after graduating. Job growth or decline should be one of many factors to evaluate when making a career decisions.
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