Career Myths: Part 4 (16-20)

Myth 16: IT Is an Ideal Field

We all are different individuals with different tastes, perspectives, values, personalities, and ideas. So, we perceive things differently—what may be fun to you may be boring to me. Many come into IT industry because of the stimulating opportunities and monitory rewards. Considering the different kinds of opportunities in the IT field, there is certainly

room for everyone with some interest or the other. Some areas will obviously appear more challenging and exciting to you than others. This again reinforces the view that knowing what the job entails is key to making wise career moves. What makes IT interesting to different people may be one or more of the following reasons:

  • It pays well.
  • It provides an opportunity to visit many countries without spending money yourself.
  • Make a niche for yourself in a short time.
  • Allow you to work on the cutting edge technology with the latest products and programs.
  • For individuals who are fascinated by certain technologies and like being a part of the organization, spending the whole day in front of a computer and working with such intellectual technology, isn’t work but play.
  • Constant change and the unpredictability of IT is major attraction. People with this frame of mind see life-long learning as life long excitement.

But are the first three reasons compelling enough to take up a career in IT? A career in the IT field gives you various opportunities, but it also brings in a lot of stress and pressure in your life. Now-a-days we hear about young IT professionals committing suicide because they are not able to perform well at work or because of stress at work. Is it worthwhile? You work to live, not live to work. So, why take away your life for work?

Myth 17: Change Jobs Often to Increase Your Value

Gone are the days when people entered an organization and took pride in retiring from there after 30-35 years of service. Now, it is the era of job-hoppers, those who hop, skip, and jump from one job to another. It is common to find candidates who had multiple jobs with short stays one year or even less.

Ever since the invasion of multinational companies started in India, employees feel that there is no logical progression within any one company anymore. To get ahead in the rat race, gain newer skill sets, and get a better compensation, people often make multiple moves in jobs or careers.

The million dollar question is, does it help increase your worth and/or value? No! It does not. Try to avoid short stints under 3 years. The reason is, by the time you settle yourself, get the required skills, and make a name for yourself, you decide to move on. So, you do not add much value to the team and to the organization. With down-sizing in the parent companies, increasing costs in India, the parent companies are more concerned about aittration. They have begin to wonder if it is really worth hiring candidates in India to spend time and money on their training, only to be geared to recruit a replacement.

Myth 18: Women Cannot Balance Career and Family

Wrong! Women can find time for both a great career and maintain a happy family. Balancing a career and a family is difficult and is a never-ending process, but it is not impossible. Women can carve out more family time by balancing time, being organized, and streamlining the household tasks. In short, planning and organizing helps.

Prioritization, organization, and delegation are key to achieving the balance that allows a woman to enjoy a rich family life while also gaining fulfillment from her career.

—Laura Betterly, CEO of In Touch Media Group, Inc.

    • As far as the women balance both perfectly, people at work and at home are happy, with her respective roles. Problem arises when
    • Women decide to run away from the household duties because they feel they are a class apart by being working women.
    • The husbands refuse to help and support them stating that house hold work is not for the men—it’s a woman’s job
    • Women find that they are not getting any help and support and try to do lesser activities (specially at home) to make their life easier.
    • They start carrying their problems to work and don’t focus on their roles and responsibilities.

If the husbands want a working wife, they have to lend a helping hand. They have to be considerate of the fact that their wives also have work pressures and work related tensions. Childcare centers, tele-commuting, and flexible work hours help, but most women depend on some creative mechanism for organizing and planning their time that works for them. You just need to know how to do the balancing act. Do not give undue importance to one over the other. In any case a balancing act requires careful planning, setting priorities, time management, and fiexibility.

Myth 19: Accomplishments Speak for Themselves

The saying that your accomplishments speak for themselves and that you will be rewarded accordingly is almost a myth. You need to work hard to accomplish something and stand out from the others. But don’t depend on just your work to speak out your accomplishments. You have to communicate and make sure your boss knows what you have accomplished. They should be aware of the problems you faced and how you overcame them to contribute towards the project and the team. Only then will you be rewarded for your true worth. Else you will be taken for granted.

Self promotion is actually the art of branding and bragging. This is how you stand out from the crowd and keep your accomplishments in your boss’s mind when it comes to raises, promotions, and succession planning, or when your company is trying to decide who stays and who goes during mergers, management shifts, and down-sizing.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re seeking advancement in your current position, ready to change an established career, or just starting out—you have to be ever mindful of cultivating your own personal brand and promoting it. If your boss does not take the effort to motivate your or appreciate your performance in public, you have to speak out and blow your own trumpet. Only take care not to blow it very hard.

Myth 20: It is Difficult to Get a Job If You Are Overage

It is and it is not! When hiring experienced candidates, age is definitely not considered. When hiring someone without relevant experience, age sometimes becomes a selection criteria. The reasons are:

    • After other experience, the expectations of the candidate is much more than a person who is relatively younger and inexperienced. Most of the times, organizations are ready to take in people with no related experience in junior positions and might offer a salary relative to their relevant experience and skills. Those seeking a job may not be able to accept the fact that after being experienced, they are considered to be on the same level as the trainees.

 In such a situation, ask yourself if you possess the skills required for this job? Do you have the relevant experience? Why should the organization pay you for the skills and the experience you don’t possess? This will give you an answer why you are recruited at an entry level.

    •  Most of the time candidates beyond 45-50 years of age find it difficult to get a change in career because they probably lack the skills, education, and experience that the employer seek. If you are looking for employment in an industry or an area that focuses more on youth, then will surely be difficult for you to find a new job.

 You need to be flexible and mature in terms of understanding and accepting your limitations. If you are comfortable working with youngsters, in a junior position, for a lesser salary (probably), and if you are confident of using the skills of your prior working experience to your advantage, age doesn’t really matter. On a personal perspective, age limit is more of a mental state than physical. If you are eager to learn and grow in the team starting from the basics, age is not a constraint. For that matter, age is not a barrier in any field if you are mentally and physically fit for the job/work.

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