Don’t let these 5 career myths hold you back

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Changes in the business environment

  1. People can change careers six to seven times in their lifetime.
  2. Many won’t have one job their entire lives.
  3. Changes are faster because of technology and new business-models.
  4. We must be flexible because of these changes.
  5. Everyone should be lifelong learners.
  6. You will be in demand if you have a lot of skills.
  7. You should have knowledge in several areas.

Career myths are beliefs that are not true. Some may have been true before. But it will be dangerous to believe in them today.

  1. You only have one dream career

    Some think careers are like romantic relationships:

    • they believe that they have one soulmate.
    • they think that they will never be happy if they don’t find that one person.

    This belief is dangerous because:

    • You don’t see other possibilities when you focus on one thing.
    • You are changing. You learn new things. You build new skills and grow. This means that your passions, talents and needs can also change.
    • There can be many perfect jobs for you out there.
    • Don’t limit yourself to one.

  2. Career choices need to last a lifetime

    Some feel stuck in their job.

    • They have spent time and money building their career.
    • They don’t want to study again.

    If the business environment can change, careers and goals can also change.

    • Your work should make you happy.
    • If it does not make you happy, you can take up a new career.
    • Don’t get stuck in a job you don’t like.
    • You have choices.

  3. You can work only in your field

    Some look for jobs only within their field.

    • They look at the job title, not the skill requirements.
    • They complain that job opportunities are too few.

    When looking for a job, you should:

    • Study your job experience and skills.
    • Look at jobs by job skill requirement to widen your choices.
    • For example: If you are a professor, don’t look only for teaching jobs.
      • You have research skills and presentation skills.
      • You can have a job in research and development.
      • You can train people in HR.
    • You may have skills that are transferable.
    • You can be perfect for a job that is not in your field.

  4. The only way to move up is to get more degrees

    Employees get degrees to be promoted to higher positions in other countries.

    • They get a Master’s Degree or an MBA.
    • These are required for managerial positions.

    Education is important in Canada. But having experience and the right soft skills are more important.

    • Employers believe that technical skills can be taught.
    • Soft skills like patience, effective communication, problem-solving, or team work and collaboration are harder to teach on the job.
    • To be promoted:
      • Take a leadership training course
      • Improve your communication skills

  5. “I’m too old to start a new career”

    People now work in their 70s and 80s.

    • People live longer lives and have better health.
    • Many people have good careers beyond retirement.

    Many retirees find good second careers.

    • Some are happier about their second career than their old job.
    • Make lifelong learning a habit.
    • Age should not stop you when you are willing to learn.

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