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Common Myths About Changing Careers

Updated on April 9, 2018
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Besides writing, Prachi is also into choreography and web development. She currently speaks Hindi, English, Spanish and a little French.

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According to a research, nearly 99% per cent of the working people change their careers five to seven times during the lifetime. However, there is no standard reason for which people change their career. It may arise some questions such as:

  • “Is changing the industry, but working in the similar field is a career change?”
  • “Is turning into a business owner can be termed as a career change, if you are working on the same things as before?”
  • “Does career change only imply a radical step across industry and field?”

Despite of how noticeable your transition is, there are always some myths attached to it (career change). The most common of them are listed below along with the real facts:

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Myth 1: There is always a one way to change career

So many authors have written book about how to switch between careers and make changes in life. It is a great idea to go through these books and grab an idea on how they made the desired transition, but this is something that only comes from personal experience. If you find one way to be difficult, then it does not mean that it is the same for others. There can be ways, which didn’t work for others, but can be fruitful to you or may derail your plans.

For example,

  • Some may plan to start their side business along with their main job, so that they can later switch to it.
  • It may work for few and may not work for others, since many companies include a clause in the agreement, which restrict employees from starting their side business.
  • Also after coming from work, you may not have enough energy to think about starting a new venture.
  • I am not saying that this is a bad idea, in fact this is a great thought to begin your own business while fully employed, but this piece of advice might not fit with everyone’s circumstances.

Hence, never look for only one specific way to change career, instead focus on creating your own route to your desired career by considering, which resources will be most helpful to you.

Myth 2: Self-assessment (Personality Tests) and reading relevant books do not make you Successful

Bill Gates is an avid reader
Bill Gates is an avid reader

Not everything is present clearly within your mind. Meditation and reading books can help you discover new ideas and your strengths that will enable you to make a move. It is possible that the answers, you are looking for, are deeply hidden somewhere or present in front of you and you have never noticed them.

We see things as we want to see them, not as what they actually are. Due to this, we tend to form unnecessary beliefs about ourselves and create a world of our own. If you are facing the similar situation, then it is better to get rid of it, working with a coach will motivate you to disclose hidden possibilities. Some people say, “I am poor at money”, which actually means that they need to learn salary negotiation in a much better way.

The other major problem is that you are aware of only few jobs, while there are millions of jobs that exist in today’s market. For example, how many of you have ever heard about the post of “Technology or Developer Evangelist”. Well, to people whom I talked to have never heard about the job before.

For your knowledge,

  • A technology / developer evangelist is a person whose job is to implement intensive support for a specific technology and establish it as per market standard.
  • Generally, an evangelist’s work is to promote the utilization of certain technology and product with the help of blogging, demonstrations, discussions, projects or articles.

If you excel in technology and its skills, have professional knowledge about content writing and possess excellent communication skills, then this job is a perfect match for you. Besides this, there are many other interesting jobs that you might be not aware of, so it has to be done by talking to different professionals in the field.

Myth 3: A complete plan is important before working on our ideas

Some hard working and lucky people decide what they are looking for, then they do intensive research about the option, look for another job and here, they achieve what they dreamt of. But, it doesn’t work out for most of us, even if we work hard enough. Most of the times, people try to switch to something different, they explore the possibilities but then something happens (they are not happy with it or they find something else more interesting) and they decide to drop the plan.

The trick is to keep on trying until you get what you always wanted. If you are confused about it, then take some advice from the relevant people, join demo classes and at first, do it on the side. The journey will help you determine your next career.

Myth 4: Only wealthy people can dream of changing career

It is obvious for many people to think that career transition demands lots of savings and a trustworthy partner to kick start smoothly, but in reality, people make the transition regardless of the salary they receive. If you are unhappy with your job and earning very little, then don’t walk, run for another choice, indeed. You are not going to be a star by staying in such a situation and living as broke.

We have great advantage of Internet, which can help us discover new opportunities and interact with new people on professional sites such as LinkedIn. You can serve yourself a lot without spending a penny. Accumulate useful resources and put a step forward to take a leap.

Myth 5: Changing careers needs degree

Do a thorough search before coming to a conclusion.
Do a thorough search before coming to a conclusion.

Before trying our hands on something, we build irrelevant ideas that stop us from moving forward. It is important to keep these ideas a side and check the things out to know if what we thought is actually true or not. If you have stopped yourself because you think that change in career will require a degree, then do a thorough research.

By this, I am not trying to convince you that holding a degree is not important, it is, indeed, very important if you are going in the field of medical, psychotherapy or any other. But in many fields, employers are more focused on your capabilities rather than your education level. Some employers ask for it, just to know if you have an idea of what you have to do while working with them. Do a thorough research about different employers before giving up.

Besides traditional degrees, many colleges have started specialized courses that can help you receive certificate within a very short time and at lesser cost. Search for all the options and leave no stone unturned. If you need to get a degree, then go for it and later, live your dream job.

Myth 6: People need Expert Business Skills to start a company

Lots of people don’t know that very few people are actually good at business, rest are just amateurs. Most of the beginners have little to no idea on how to run a business and they learn the skills as they progress in their work. That’s why there are online courses, which help people to promote their work and receive their first customer / client. Never step back because of lack of knowledge.

Start your business on the side and learn the skills while working on it. When you are ready to take on, then go on to make it your full-time job.

Myth 7: You may ruin your life, if your plan doesn’t work

Due to lack of financial resources, some people decide to pursue business courses such as MBA at local schools or go for cheaper alternatives. It may or may not lower their chances of getting hired by top employers, but they haven’t lost any anything, in fact the study has helped them to gain some knowledge about business. You have found great ideas to start a business, others may realize that the field is not meant for them, but everyone has learned something new and know a lot about business tactics, now.

In other words, when you decide to pursue different career, it only helps you to leverage your skills, even if the idea does not give you the expected results, still you got the chance to practice something different.

"To achieve what you have dreamt of, it is mandatory to move out, things might not go as you expect them to be and you might suffer lots of failures and heartbreak. But if you remain consistent with your passion, then somewhere you will find an option, which was worth suffering for."

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    • FelishiyaPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Prachi Sharma 

      5 months ago

      Hi DredCuan, this is so inspiring :) . Thank you for posting it. Gratitude!

    • dredcuan profile image

      Dred Cuan 

      5 months ago from California

      It is very easy to make a plan when changing a career, but very difficult to handle. I personally experienced it. As I graduated Accountancy with flying colors in college, I've decided not pursue it. I only wanted my degree for business purpose only as my parents established their own business. But yeah, it didn't happen cause I started going freelancing regarding computer activities online. Then again, I suddenly want to change my career path and became a Chef. Some, including my father, considered it as a very stupid decision. However, I've still decided to go on. Now, I've become a travel chef! I'm quite fortunate that I'm earning decent amount of money while traveling all over the world.

      Despite of those career change, I don't really think I've lost my track towards my ultimate goal. Goal to have my very own restaurant. I believe I do have a strong foundation since I had my degree, my experience online which will capture most customers or consumers and of course my exposure in the kitchen.

      Regardless of our decision in changing our career, what is important is that we truly love what we are doing. Working with our passion gives us that fire to achieve our ultimate goal in life that will led us to better opportunities. Money comes afterwards!

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