What are the beliefs you have about work? Are they helping you or hindering you?
Here are some of the myths I come across most often:
The career decision I'm making now or next has to be for the rest of my working life.
[email protected]$t! I'm sorry, but it is. Although we all know a job for life is unusual these days, people still put themselves under enormous pressure. The reality is that most people will have several different careers in their working life, sometimes concurrently.
Once you recognise this and gain the skills to decide where on the career map you want to go, and successfully navigate your route, it's incredibly freeing. I spoke with a student graduating from a university in London. She was almost in tears because she'd been told that although there were 5 things she liked, she had to choose one and stick with it. I explained that although she would need to make a decision, it was only for the first step, and she could bring the others into her career or life later if she wanted. The effect was dramatic. I could see the relief physically wash through her.
I can't make a career change because...
This links with the previous point, but people often stop before they start because of the way they complete that sentence "..I'm just a [insert their job title]", "...I've always been a [insert job title]. That's all I know", "...I don't have any skills", "...I can't afford to", or any number of other things.
Everybody's circumstances are different and sometimes a career change can happen in one move, and sometimes it take several steps and involves discussions with our nearest and dearest. But it is possible and the start point is to understand your ideal role in terms of the skills you love to use and the things work has to do for you (see the challenge resource below).
I hate my job but I can't do anything about it
If you hold that belief, they you probably won't do anything about it. However, what if you could? What if you could make even just a small change now that might lead to a bigger change?
There is always something you can do, but you have to be willing to take the first step. At first that might be just changing the way you think about work or some other small step. But if you carry on doing what you are doing, you will get the same, so it makes sense to at least try.
The challenge and 5-summits resources will be useful in getting you started.
I'm returning after a career break, I have to take a "lesser" role
Its quite common for people returning from a career break, especially a long one, to believe that they can't go back at the same level.
Its true things may have changed, and there may be new skills to learn or that you need to brush up on, but you haven't lost the skills and abilities you had before. You may even have gained some new skills whilst you were off that will be valuable to you as you continue your career.
If you take them to the job market in the right way, you'll be surprised at what you can achieve.
So there are some of the most common myths I see come up. These two resources will help you:
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