In this article, we bust 3 of the most common myths from Career Advisors, and tell you how to get “unstuck” when pursuing your path to success.
So, let’s get right to it:
Myth #1 – You Have a “Career” to Pursue
This is probably the biggest myth, and the hardest to reconcile with the reality we face each day. The fact is the notion of a “career” is so 20th century, that it’s 19th century. The figures in our research on job transition and career change clearly show the notion of a career doesn’t reflect the reality. As far back as 1979, people reported having more than 11 jobs in their lifetime. The truth is, each person carves his or her own path to success.
You can take advantage of this fact and put your best talents to work when transitioning to a new job, and contrary to popular belief, you can also increase your earnings in the process. Adapting your skills to meet the demands of businesses, you’ll have immediate opportunities.
When you only try to advance your so-called “career” by getting the next promotion, you can quickly get stuck in a rut. More importantly, you can get caught with rug pulled out from underneath you. With a constant knowledge of your best attributes and the organizations that need them, you can dispense with a career and focus on doing what you love, and getting paid for it. Even when sudden changes happen, you’ll be well-prepared, and even welcome what’s next around the corner.
Myth #2 – You’ve Got to Have “Passion”
If you hear career advisors talk about passion, or connecting all those warm and fuzzy feelings to improve your life, thank them cordially, and then walk right out the door. Yes, you’ve got to love what you do, there’s no arguing that. However, career advisors should not – nor should you – place your job security and long-term prospects on passion alone. Even artists must have a plan that links their particular talents to the needs of their audience.
Pursuing your path to success is no different. Knowing what you love to do is not enough. You’ve got to follow a practical course that maps your talents onto the needs of an organization, just like a musician playing to the crowd. By identifying the intersection of your skills, what’s meaningful to you, and what matters for organizations, you’ll find yourself exactly where you need to be and heading in the right direction.
On the other hand, you can follow your passion without a practical course and easily get lost. We’ve all had friends who pursued a “passion project” only to their own detriment. Perhaps it’s happened to you, and certainly, don’t let career advisors talk you down that path.
Once again, that passion project may just transform the world, but without knowing how exactly you’re going to do that, and who exactly is going to care, you’ll quickly be adrift. Having a foundation that reflects your skills and what people need in the world allows you to earnestly pursue your passions with two feet on the ground.
Myth #3 – You Can Do “Anything”
Sorry, your name wasn’t called in the last NBA draft, and you didn’t make it through the first round in Wimbledon, or see the checkered flags on the F1 circuit. Some of the worst career advice is “you can do anything you put your mind to,” which often equates to, “you can run into as many brick walls as you like, have fun!” Now, we might not all be able to dunk a basketball, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities to make extraordinary contributions.
When we try to pursue opportunities outside of our skillset, we may fair ok at best, and at worse we can fail. On the other hand, with a clear understanding of what talents we have, we can identify precisely where we can make the largest impact. Maybe your name wasn’t called in the NBA draft, though your talent for voice over work and passion for sports scored you the opportunity to announce the names – perfecting the pause right before to keep the audience at home on the edge of their seats.
The point is, you can do amazing things, when you know where you shine the best. To give another example, perhaps you never climb Mount Everest, but instead use your talents at fundraising and organizing people to develop a non-profit that protects the base of the mountain in the Himalayas from damage due to tourist traffic. That would allow others to enjoy it for generations to come, a great impact indeed!
We hope busting these three myths from career advisors helps you see your opportunities more clearly. The truth is, there are no “career paths,” you’ve got to carve your own path to success. You can follow your passions, but you must take a practical approach. Identify what it is that you do best, and align it with something that organizations or people vitally need. When you are imbued with the confidence of knowing your talents, you’ll know exactly where you can make the biggest impact on the world.Identify what it is that you do best, and align it with something that organizations or people vitally need. Click To Tweet