4 Career Planning Myths Debunked
Frustrated in your search for the “perfect” job?
Think all hope is lost because you don’t have a degree, the “right” major?
Feel like you’re too “ordinary” to take the next step in your career?
It’s time to change your mindset about career planning.
Planning the next step in your career is a challenging yet very important part of your long-term growth and advancement. Successful career planning takes healthy doses of introspection, career research, and persistence.
But too often, we see talented people stagnate in their careers because they buy into self-limiting misconceptions. So today, we’re grabbing a metaphorical sledgehammer – busting 4 of the top career planning myths, and providing sound information to help you plan big and achieve your dreams:
Myth #1: I can only succeed in a field related to my degree.
Can you become a surgeon without going to medical school? No, but that certainly doesn’t mean you can’t have a successful career in a field unrelated to your college major. In today’s rapidly changing workplace, employers factor in soft skills, relevant work experience, and culture fit when evaluating job candidates.
If you have relevant experience and knowledge, highlight it on your resume, cover letter, and professional social media profiles. When applying for a promotion or new job, use the tips in this post, “Should I Still Apply to a Job If I Don’t Meet All the Requirements,” to explain why you’re a great fit, even if your degree is in a different field.
Myth #2: I’m not connected to the right people to advance my career.
Networking is undeniably a valuable job search and career planning tool – but it’s not the be-all and end-all some make it out to be. Remember, networking is one part of a balanced career growth strategy, and you will naturally make connections as your career progresses. So, don’t let it stress you out too much.
Instead, create a plan for gradually expanding your sphere of influence:
- Read this earlier post on leveraging your alumni network.
- Introduce yourself to coworkers and managers both within and outside your department. Talk to them about your career plans and provide them with a copy of your resume.
- Grow your online connections directly or by requesting introductions.
- Attend virtual events related to your target industry or field of interest. Participate in conversations, ask questions, and follow up afterward with the people you meet.
Myth #3: There’s nothing special about me.
Think you aren’t “good enough” to take the next step in your career? Feel like everyone else is smarter or more deserving? Yes, talented people are competing for the dream job you want – but when doubts creep in, use these tips to boost your confidence:
- Inventory your strengths and weaknesses. What are you great at? What do you struggle with when it comes to your career? What are you passionate about? Consider your personality, values, preferences, and job skills.
- Then, turn your biggest weakness into a strength. If you’re timid, you’re also humble. If you consider yourself boring, you’re also likely very responsible and cautious. If you’re stubborn, that also means you’re persistent. Find a way to turn what you may consider a shortcoming into a desirable trait for the role you want.
- Get an outside perspective. If you have a hard time appreciating your unique strengths, ask trusted coworkers, supervisors, friends, and family members for their input. Make a list of the top traits they see in you and thread them into your resume. Refer to the list any time your confidence needs a boost.
- Turn a pink slip into a pot of gold. If your confidence is low because you’ve been laid off, find the silver lining. Use the time to educate yourself. Treat every job, even if it’s temporary, as a working interview. Perform at least five tasks each day that will put you one step closer to the job you want. Being intentional about getting your career plan back on track will boost your motivation and confidence.
Myth #4: Staffing firms can’t help advance my career.
“They don’t have any good jobs.” “Their fees are too expensive.” “Their jobs don’t pay well.” We hear statements like these all the time in our industry. Honestly, there are many myths and misconceptions about what employment agencies like PrideStaff do – mostly because job seekers don’t have sound information. In this video, we dispel four of the top misconceptions about temp agencies – and share the truth about what a staffing agency can do for your career.
Can’t find the opportunity you want?
PrideStaff can help you chart the right course. If you want to find a better job, broaden your job skills, explore a different career, or gain valuable work experience, temporary work with PrideStaff can help you achieve your career goals in 2021. While you’re on assignment, we can actively search for direct jobs that align with your career plan.