Thu Apr 24 11:11:40 SAST 2014
Thu Apr 24 11:11:40 SAST 2014

Busting career myths: finding the perfect job to suit your personality

Jan 31, 2012 | Sowetan |   7 comments

DO YOU think you know everything about choosing a career? Many people think they do, but often end 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.

CAREER PLANNING: Choosing a job that fits you is never easy.
  • 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 informed decision.

  • A career counsellor can tell you what occupation to pick - career counsellors or career development professionals cannot tell you which career is best for you.

But they can provide you with guidance in choosing a career and help facilitate your decision.

  • 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. So follow your heart's desire.

  • I should choose a career from a "Best Careers" list - Each year, especially during milestone years, like the beginning of a new decade, there are numerous articles and books that list what "the experts" predict will be "hot jobs".

It won't hurt to look at such lists - just to see if any of the careers listed appeal to you, but you should not use the list to dictate your choice.

  • Making a lot of money will make me happy - While making money is important, it isn't the only factor you should look at when choosing a career.

Countless surveys have shown that money does not 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.

  • Once I choose a career I'll be stuck in it forever - Not true. If you are not fulfilled in your chosen career, for any reason, you can always change it.

Many people change careers several times over the course of their life.

  • 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.

  • If my best friend, sister, uncle or neighbour is happy in a particular field, I will be too - People are 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 a great deal 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.

  • 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, and, onwards, up to the point of reaching your long-term career goals.

  • There is 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 books, newspapers or on the internet. You can also interview those working in that field. - www.about.com

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