Do you think you know everything about choosing a career? Many people think
they know the right way to go about picking an occupation, but they often wind
up choosing a career that is unsatisfying. Here are ten myths of choosing a
career along with resources that can help you make an informed decision.
1. Choosing a career is simple
Actually, choosing a career is an involved process and you should give it
the time it deserves.
Career planning is a multi-step process that involves learning enough about
yourself and the occupations which you are considering in order to make an
2. A career counselor can tell me what occupation to
A career counselor, or any other career development professional, can't
tell you what career is best for you. He or she can provide you with guidance in
choosing a career and can help facilitate your decision.
3. I can't make a living from my hobby
Says who? When choosing a career, it makes perfect sense to choose one that
is related to what you enjoy doing in your spare time, if you so desire. In
addition people tend to become very skilled in their hobbies, even though most
of the skill is gained informally.
4. I should choose a career from a "Best Careers" list
Every year, especially during milestone years, for example the beginning of
a new decade, there are numerous articles and books that list what "the experts"
predict will be "hot jobs." It can't hurt to look at those lists to see if any
of the careers on it appeal to you, but you shouldn't use the list to dictate
While the predictions are often based on valid data, sometimes things
change. Way too often what is hot this year won't be hot a few years from now.
In addition, you need to take into account your interests, values, and skills
when choosing a career. Just because the outlook for an occupation is good, it
doesn't mean that occupation is right for you.
5. Making a lot of money will make me happy
While salary is important, it isn't the only factor you should look at when
choosing a career. Countless surveys have shown that money doesn't necessarily
lead to job satisfaction. For many people enjoying what they do at work is much
more important. However, you should consider earnings, among other things, when
evaluating an occupation.
6. Once I choose a career I'll be stuck in it forever
Not true. If you are unsatisfied in your career for any reason, you can
always change it. You'll be in good company. Many people change careers several
times over the course of their lifetimes.
7. If I change careers my skills will go to waste
Your skills are yours to keep. You can take them from one job to another.
You may not use them in the exact same way, but they won't go to waste.
8. If my best friend (or sister, uncle, or neighbor) is happy in a
particular field, I will be too
Everyone is different and what works for one person won't necessarily work
for another, even if that other person is someone with whom you have a lot in
common. If someone you know has a career that interests you, look into it, but
be aware of the fact that it may not necessarily be a good fit for you.
9. All I have to do is pick an occupation... Things will fall into
place after that
Choosing an career is a great start, but there's a lot more to do after
that. A Career Action Plan is a road map that takes you from choosing a career
to becoming employed in that occupation to reaching your long-term career
10. There's very little I can do to learn about an occupation
without actually working in it
While first hand experience is great, there are other ways to explore an
occupation. You can read about it either in print resources or online. You can
also interview those working in that field.