At GenTwenty we cover many topics related to career, college, grad school, and networking. Our knowledge about these materials is by no means an extensive, comprehensive study of the life of a twenty-something.
Rather, we share the lessons we’ve learned so far to better help struggling millennials out there learn from our mistakes, achievements, and the like. We don’t claim to know everything, but we do know enough to help you out. We also know the career myths circulating the minds of young professionals out there, and we want it to stop.
Career myths are negative looming thoughts preventing young professionals from becoming their best self and being as successful as they can be. Career myths make twenty-somethings think twice about grad school, career changes, the value of experience versus education, and much more.
In short, career myths often make us feel stuck out of fear of chasing a better job, because we’re too afraid to try.
At GenTwenty, we know better. We know career myths are just that — myths.
We want to assure you that the rumors you’ve heard are false, and rest easy because you have more power than you may have initially thought when it comes to careers and chasing your dreams. In fact, we’d like to debunk some of those myths for you right now!
Here are five of the more common career myths debunked:
1. Following your parents’ career path is best for you. Is it? Really? There are many, many things wrong with this myth.
So, your parents dream of you taking over the family business, whether it be a dentist’s office, family practice, insurance company, or what have you. Yes, the business carries your family name and legacy, but if it’s their dream, not your’s then why follow that path?
You’re a twenty-something living in 2016. You have every right to chase whatever career you want, as long as it comes from your heart. Do you, okay?
2. Once you secure a career you’re stuck in it for the rest of your life. Who says? I can personally speak from experience that this is 100% inaccurate.
I’ve watched my mother do just about everything under the sun. She worked in accounting, moved to owning her own nursery, then became a cosmetologist, decided to work in real estate soon after, then completely switched gears and became a schoolteacher.
At age 50 she earned her Master’s in Literacy and hasn’t looked back with regret once. She’s my inspiration to do anything I want whenever I want in life because it’s never too late.
Do you understand? It’s never too late to switch careers. You’re never stuck, so let’s debunk this myth!
3. A college degree will guarantee you a good job someday. Gosh, who hasn’t tried selling us this mythical illusion?
High school teachers, SAT coaches, parents, and college scouts persuade us to believe college solves every professional’s dilemma in finding work. While holding a college diploma does make most people more marketable in their job searches, there is absolutely zero truth to the myth that a college degree will guarantee anyone a good job someday.
You can’t put that amount of pressure on a piece of paper. The real world just doesn’t work that way.
4. Grad school will help increase your salary. Sure, in some cases this theory completely makes sense.
In order to work in medicine, law, finance, or sometimes education a graduate degree will increase your value to the company, and therefore they will pay you higher wages. Again, this is circumstantial. Not everyone makes more money and not everyone needs to go to grad school to earn the wages they’re comfortable with. You should go to grad school because you want to.
It should better your resume, make you more qualified for a career, and advance your skills and knowledge. Do not enroll in grad level classes because you feel pressured into it or don’t need the degree. Grad school isn’t for everyone, so consider your reasoning before making the commitment. The myth of grad school being the end all be all just isn’t true.
5. You must choose between having a career and having a family. How so?
Sure, the time required to nurture a family while meeting the demands of a career can be taxing for some, but if you’re prepared to pay equal attention to both, good for you! Maintaining a successful career and growing a family are definitely two full-time jobs, but making both ends successfully work together is possible. All you need is to do is plan carefully, establish priorities, manage your time fairly, and remain as flexible as possible.
Don’t give in to those who try to convince you otherwise. If family and work mean enough to you, you’ll find the ambition and time to dedicate to both.
Career myths can be frightening. While we want to remain positive and upbeat, it’s easy to get sucked into the vacuum of negativity swirling around these looming falsehoods. So many things can happen when you’re searching for your dream career, and at times the challenges we run into can seem like road blocks.
Don’t fret. These obstacles only strengthen us, and it’s overcoming them that’s really key. Don’t allow anyone to take away your dreams in life, especially when it comes to your livelihood. Find a job you’re passionate about, skilled at, and one that will give back to your life as much as you give to it. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Remember that, and please don’t forget that career myths are just that — myths.