Ten Myths of choosing a Career

Owing to a growing knowledge economy and current trends in global labor market, the notion of ‘job’ has now been redefined as “career”. In lieu of this change, the job expectations of the individual are explained in terms of “career prospects”. Along with this shifted paradigm, the myths and reality associated with the career prospects have also gained adequate attention.

Many job seeking candidates and their parents are in confusion when it comes to choosing a career of their choice and there are many myths they believe are correct which undermine their choice for a productive and successful career. Say for instance, choosing between the right subject that promises a “hot job” and a subject in which the individual has excellent learning and understanding capabilities which will eventually lead him or her to a promising career.

Following are the ten most common myths of choosing a career

  1. Things are easy when it comes to choosing a Career: Job searching or choosing a career is not as easy as one thinks. It is a long way process involving in-depth analysis and searching of trends and opportunities suiting to one’s skills. Many students believe that once you register yourself with the placement cell of the college or university you are enrolled, and it is the “best” stage of your life with difficult things been complete and no more hassles now. However, the success of a career depends on how well an individual can correlate with the requirements of the job and how happy or content is that person from the job.

  2. I should be choosing a career only from the “hot” or “best” career options:Many parents and students believe that they should be making a career in the “hottest” or “best” fields in the industry without considering whether their educational credentials and expertise match with the requirements of the field. Many take up a course, which they believe will eventually get them employed in the “hottest” or the “best” industry as per growing market trends. But in truth, there are various options for aspiring candidates to build a career in not so “hot” fields. For example, many believe that “Engineering “ and “Medical “ are the hottest options for a successful career, where in reality there are many other fields like arts and language, humanities etc. where the students can prove their mettle and be successful.

  3. Since my close friend/relative became successful in a particular field, I should also be opting the same area to make a successful career: It is a general belief that if one person can make a successful career in a particular area, chances are that the others also can achieve the same. It is not necessary that even siblings may excel themselves in the same career field. In reality, the success and failure in career largely depends upon the skills and expertise of an individual in a particular field. The field which suits an individual may not be suited to another one with different capabilities and strengths.

  4. Money is all that Matters: Many people are of the opinion and belief that highly paid jobs are those that make the individuals go up the career ladder and make life easy. It is also a matter of pride to have a highly paid job. But apart from the remuneration offered, the job seeker must take into consideration the overall factors of job satisfaction, opportunities that the job offers for continuous learning, sustainable growth and development.

  5. If I choose a career of not my choice, I will be stuck in it for the whole of my life: Many believe that once a career is chosen, they may be stuck in it for the rest of their lives and there is no way of changing job or opting for another job in which the interest lies. There is always an option for any person to continuously search for other opportunities and fields in which he or she is interested in and change their career plan even while they are on a particular job. For example, one can pursue short term or long time courses along with maintaining their present job, so as to acquire additional skills in the area and try for a higher position in the same organization.

  6. A good counselor/adviser can point out the exact career I have to take up: A counselor or advisor (most of the times the advisor is a friend, relative or parent) is not the ultimate word for making a career decision. In case of college students, a career guidance and placement cell personnel can advice on various career options and show the right path towards making a successful career. But the ultimate decision maker has to be the individual itself who aptly judges their own capabilities and makes use of his or her decision making and thinking capacity for selecting a career of choice.

  7. I have a hobby but for making a living I have to look for a decent job, after all a hobby is a hobby and job is a job: In the fast moving and changing global scenario, a hobby does not remain a mere hobby nowadays. A little more time and attention spend on hobby can earn a decent living along with self satisfaction. For example, consider the hobbies like glass painting, flower arrangement etc. With flexible working times and working at one’s own place of interest (at home or setting up a small work space of your choice), hobbies provide a great way to build up a successful career.

  8. Any change in the career plan will make my acquired skills go waste: Most of the people believe that skills once acquired will go waste if they choose a different career option. Hence, most of them cling to a job in which they may not be interested. Never will the skills acquired go waste if we opt to change our jobs. Even if we are not presently making use of those skills, they may help us indirectly or at a later time in our career. Success of an individual in a changed work place depends largely on how well one can modify or transform the acquired skills to meet the requirements of a new job.

  9. I cannot learn a job or know about an organization without actually working in it: Many believe that they cannot learn a new thing without actually working on it. As learning is a continuous process which can be initiated at any time in an individual's lifetime, we need not wait until we have hands-on experience in a particular job. We can learn about a job or an organization by collecting information about it through various print and electronic media. It can be done by reading articles on the concerned subject and areas, browsing the internet for updated information and keeping an eye on the recent updates about the subject or organization.

  10. Every other person except me is aware of the opportunities and trends in the labor market: Many of those who have made successful careers have started from scratch, they were also not aware of all the opportunities and trends in the field. It was only through constant efforts that they have been able to achieve those heights. Keeping in touch with the recent updates in the preferred area and molding and expanding your knowledge base, to suit the requirements of the field are the foremost requirements to move up the success ladder.
Therefore, while making a career choice or choosing the correct stream for you is not an easy task. There are a number of more myths surrounding to different careers and at different stages of decision making. These were a few of them and just to make you know that choose wisely and look out for long term goals.
Success will be Yours.
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