Career Myths: Part 2 (6-10)

Myth 6: Most Students Know Their Career Goals

Being undecided is normal. Most of the college students do not to have a clear idea of what to major in or do for a career. Studies indicate that 30 % of the students are unsure about their intended major and 65-70% will change their major at least once during their college career.

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Some students know what they getting into (engineering, medicine, etc.) and so they have a reasonably clear career goal in front of them.

    • Those who take engineering will become engineers and those who take medicine will become doctors. But they will probably make up their mind about specialization only after a couple years in the college
    • A few students may actually stick with their original goals they had before entering the college
    • Majority of college students change their minds about their main subjects and careers several times before they graduate.
    • As you study the subject and gain more knowledge about the careers and the subject you have taken, you may feel there is a mismatch between your aspiration and your educational background.

Exploring options will help you make an informed decision. Hence it is very necessary to have career counsellors in school level so that the children are aware of the various career options they have instead of thinking only in terms becoming a doctor, engineer, scientist, lecturer, or a pilot. Early counselling will also help the students (and even the parents) in taking a proper decision and a focused direction to work towards.

 Myth 7: Wait For The Right Career

If you wait, you will probably find yourself waiting. You need to put in effort and try to get into a job. You will benefit from a career plan—it is a careful and well thought about process after thorough consideration of different occupations. It is unlikely that you will just come across the occupation that will perfectly match your skills and interests. The more information you gather about the occupations you are considering, the more likely it is you will make a wise career decision.

Though some things beyond your control will influence your life, you must take an active role to determine your own fate. If you look around you and check those people who are unhappy in their careers, you will find that most of them just fell into something without careful planning. Many occupations have the potential to satisfy your career goals. Once you clearly define what you are looking for in a career, you will find a number of areas that match these criteria. After selecting the field of your choice, you have to select a suitable job.

Example: You may narrow down your search to IT sector or software field and then you can choose among dozens of occupations in this field—software developer, system analyst, user interface expert, quality testing, usability testing, database controller, data warehousing, network administration, etc.

As you explore each option further, you can compare what they offer in terms of advantages and disadvantages. For instance, of you choose to be a software developer, you should choose and area of specific interest—embedded software engineering, C++ programming, etc.

Myth 8: Assessments Will Tell You What Career Is Right For You

Assessments take a sample of certain kinds of attitudes and draw conclusions based on the sample. Test results can be confounded by many things; cultural differences, unrepresentative samples, and unintentionally biased items, to name a few. The truth is, no career assessment can tell you what careers are best for you.

    • They can give you an insight about how the interests and values that you already have are related to different types of careers, and where people with similar likes and dislikes can work
    • Assessment can provide you with additional information that may help you in the career planning process. Then, it is up you to explore careers further and decide if they are a good match for you.
    • No counsellor can tell you tell you what career is best for you or what to do with your life.
    • They can only help you identify your interests, skills, personality, work values, and show you the possible paths you can choose from. Then, they provide you with guidance and assist you in deciding your career direction and help facilitate your decision.

You know yourself the best. Use assessments with caution and get the test results examined by a career counsellor, keeping in mind your experience, skills, interests, and knowledge.

Myth 9: Recruiters Have Your Best Interests at Heart

Head-hunters and recruiters get paid by the companies that hire them to fill their open positions. So, recruiters are not interested in getting you a job.

    • They are only interested in getting the money from the organization. So, they will not market you to companies (for their open positions)
    • They only try to fit someone into a position with the companies that employ their services.
    • They are not really concerned if you will get a good job in the given organization.

It is also not necessary that their loyalties are with their client companies or that the organizations they deal with should get good employees.

Myth 10: Accept the First Job Offer You Get

Most of the time, job hunting is not very easy. You just can’t predict what is going to happen.

    • You may get a job at the very first attempt
    • You may not get an interview even after sending out numerous resumes
    • You may have to attend a number of interviews for one job
    • Sometimes you may be so sure that you will get the job but don’t
    • You may interview for positions and you are sure you will get an offer and no offer ever comes
    • There will be times when you get multiple interviews and get multiple offers as well.
    • There are times when you may be in dire need of a job. Under such circumstances, the tendency is to take up the first offer you get even if that is not what you want to do.

However stupid it may sound to be, if you are strong enough to wait for the right job, wait and do not grab the very first offer that comes through. As long as you are not going to lose your house or suffer other financial or emotional consequences, wait for the job offer that best  fits the direction you want to move in. Take up the job offer only if you are sure that the job profile and job choice is right for you. Don’t base your decision on compensation as it may not always be the right criteria. Chances are you may regret such decisions.

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