Every year, millions of people make the decision to enter the job market, or to re-evaluate their professional lives and change careers. You could be weighing these options right now, and we don’t have to tell you that these are exciting and important decisions. And because they’re so important, we want to help you identify 7 key myths and misconceptions we’ve all somehow picked up along the way.
Whether they are the result of false assumptions, poor advice, limited information, perception biases, or even just inspirational platitudes, these myths and misconceptions are everywhere you turn. And what’s worse, they can derail your career search, and sap your motivation. While some are easy to dismiss, others are tricky not to buy into.
At Palette Skills we’ve done some heavy lifting for you, so you can identify some top career myths and misconceptions that might be holding you back!
Myth 1: There’s one ideal job for me
If you’re like most people, you will probably have several jobs and careers in your lifetime. It makes sense, because our job preferences change and evolve over time along with our experience, skills, interests, values, and priorities. What we thought was the perfect job today may not seem ideal tomorrow. So, yes—you could sweat blood to find that single, perfect career and fulfill some elusive professional fantasy. But the truth is that there’s no such thing as a perfect job. There are, however, plenty of great jobs and occupations that will fulfill you, and meet your needs right now. So keep your options open.
Myth 2: Passion will pay the bills
It can be tough to choose between passion and practicality. But unfortunately, passion alone doesn’t put the roof over your head—at least not for most people. It may seem like a bit of a dream crusher, but remember this doesn’t mean the same thing as giving up on your passion! It just means that you have to be smart about finding a place where you can live and thrive at the same time. If the market is willing and able to pay for what you’re offering, and you have a solid plan in place, doing something you enjoy for a living isn’t the worst idea in the world. And here’s another takeaway: getting paid to do what you really love takes time, and what you love will change over time. So choosing a career that’s both fulfilling and pays your bills is a great place to begin.
Myth 3: My college degree determines all my future career prospects
When it comes to deciding on a career, your academic background is just one piece of the puzzle. Of course, employers will take note of your major. However, they will also focus on your previous work experience, talents, co-curricular activities, and a core set of soft skills. This means you aren’t locked into a specific career path because of your Psych degree, and that degree doesn’t have to determine what you do for the rest of your life.
In fact, the research says that most people find jobs outside their major field within ten years of graduating. And as we’ve seen, changing careers is normal!
Myth 4: A piece of paper cannot decide my future
On the other hand, some people believe that academic credentials are unnecessary, and that simply isn’t true. While your degree isn’t the only path to success, it plays an essential role. With the right credentials, you are more likely to find a lucrative career and experience greater job satisfaction. Ultimately, skill training and development makes you a more valuable candidate, and offers you opportunities for better employment.
Myth 5: I need match all job requirements to apply
This is one of the most common career myths and misconceptions! It’s best to think of job posting requirements as a wish list, rather than as a set of absolute musts. Employers outline what they think of as a perfect candidate, and then adjust to meet the reality of the talent supply. Few—if any—candidates will match up exactly to an employer’s job posting. And right now? The job market is definitely in your favour. So if you meet the main skill requirements and a have winning track record to boot, don’t hesitate!
Myth 6: Working in a small town is better than working in a big city
Don’t be so quick to believe that it is easier to start a career in a smaller town than in a metro city. Metropolitan areas in Canada have higher concentrations of jobs, solid remuneration, and great opportunities to grow. The reality is that if you’re talented, have experience and a solid resume, you can stand out anywhere.
And if you are thinking about long-distance moving to Canada without a job lined up for you, you need to start your search early. It’s better to have a position waiting for you than risk spending money you don’t really have on a place to live and other expenses. Getting a job rarely happens overnight.
Myth 7: I need to have a steady income
There’s no question that a steady full-time job provides a sense of security. That’s why many people choose to stay in comfortable jobs, even if they don’t enjoy what they do! Stepping out of your comfort zone or starting from scratch is scary. On the other hand, if you’re ambitious for change and growth, you’ll need to take a few risks. It’s not easy to reinvent yourself, but it’s also difficult to be dissatisfied with where you’re at, even if it pays the bills. Taking advantage of opportunities for professional growth doesn’t translate into a smooth upward arc of income. You’ll need to build new networks, and build new skills throughout your life. But the rewards are exciting, because in addition to landing a higher salary in the long run, you’ll probably be doing something that you really enjoy. And that’s invaluable!