Career and Life Myths
A Myth can best be defined as a traditional story that explains a practice or belief; an unfounded or false belief. Throughout our lives we are subjected to numerous myths.
The 3 Most Common Myths
Follow Your Passion: Do what you love and the money will follow. How many of us are actually doing what we thought we would be doing back when we were children? How many of us are actually doing what we studied in college? With the exception of those that went to law school, med school or received specialized degrees – accounting, engineering, teaching. I would venture to say that at least 80% of us are earning a living in ways we never expected nor studied.
According to the Princeton Review, there are 22 million artists in North America who call themselves professional artists. Of the 22 million professional artists, only 0.5% earns more than $50,000 per year from their art. Just one of many examples that most passions don’t line up well with paying careers.
While follow your passion is a myth, the reality can be that you become passionate about what you’re doing. Your position, career, company provides you with a sense of accomplishment, impact, autonomy, respect or usefulness. Don’t follow your passion, rather let it follow you.
Network, Network, Network: You can’t find a job today without face to face networking. Sadly, this is one of the biggest and most dangerous myths today. So many people believe this to be true that they spend the majority of their time networking and forget they need to look for or get a job. Everywhere you look – the internet, books, TV, conversations with headhunters, etc., it’s all about networking.
Let’s remember some of the realities I’ve mentioned in previous posts. Majority of workers today are disengaged. There is no such thing as work life balance. While a myth, most people are expected to multitask. Need I go on? How can networking be effective, honest and meaningful under these realities? Let’s get back to building relationships versus networking.
Career Plan: What is your 5 year plan? Where do you want to be in 5 years? Even if you have a plan or know where you want to be in 5 years, there is one thing you can plan on – very little will go as planned. Not only have many successful and well known individuals had failures, many did not have a long range plans. Instead of a career plan, focus on the following:
- Experiences are more important than experience
- Recognize everything is always changing
- Appreciate uncertainty
- You never know who knows who
2 Important Realities
Believe in Yourself, Especially When No One Else Does
Constant Curiosity + Adaptability = Success
What myths have you been told that you believe? What myths have you told others? Share one of your realities with us.