The Career Myths That Could Be Keeping You From Your True Calling
If any of these five career myths are holding you back, then it's time to set the record straight.
Whether you hate your job so much that it's making you physically sick, or you're just finally ready to pursue your passion/s, it's totally doable to find work that's meaningful to you.
This is especially true if you ignore the popular career myths that could be keeping you from switching things up. While there are some very legitimate factors that might influence one's inability to "taking the leap" just yet (money, money and money,) some of the things we believe are holding us back are just that—beliefs. Not necessarily facts.
Since it's easier to ignore beliefs that have been debunked, here are five career myths that you can go ahead and disregard.
There aren’t any jobs in the field I want to pursue
As CNN reported last summer, nearly 7 million Americans can’t find jobs, even though the United States currently has six million job openings—so there’s no denying that America’s job market is complicated.
Still, this doesn’t mean there aren’t any open positions in the field you want to work in. This is especially true if you’re willing to start your career transition by holding down a day job and growing a side hustle in your free time. Which brings us to...
I’d have to quit my day job to pursue this properly
Hopefully, there will come a time during your pursuit of career bliss where you can skip happily away from your day job and never look back. But it’s completely untrue that you need to be 100 percent free of corporate America before you can start chasing the job you want.
Case in point: I spent the first year of my writing career juggling a full-time job in healthcare while freelancing on the side. There’s no way in hell I could have supported myself on writing alone back then, and if I’d tried to do so, I probably would have burned out before giving up altogether.
My healthcare job gave me the financial support I desperately needed while I was collecting bylines, and it helped me save up enough money that I eventually felt comfortable leaving my day job to pursue writing full time.
So whether you want to pursue writing, entrepreneurship, software development, or something else, know that there are ways to test out what you think your calling might be without leaving the security of your full time gig. Look into freelance and part-time opportunities, or see if you can land an internship somewhere.
And if both of those options sound overwhelming to you right now, just start learning everything you can about whatever it is that you want to do. Career changes take time, so don’t believe the myth that you have to go from working a steady job to being your own boss overnight.
Not only does that mindset add undue stress to an already stressful life change, it’s simply not how it works.
It’s too late to change my career path
Unless your calling is something super age-specific, like playing for the WNBA, then it’s really never too late to switch careers.
In fact, last May The Balance reported that the average person changes jobs up to 15 times during their career.
And if that’s not enough to convince you switching careers is totally doable, check out all these incredibly successful people who started new careers later in life.
I can’t afford the required education or training
Americans owe approximately $1.45 trillion in student loan debt, so it's very true that college is expensive. Still, the potential cost of higher education and/or vocational training shouldn’t keep you from chasing after the career you want.
Though most high-paying gigs do require a college degree of some kind, that’s not always the case. For example, according to nwi.com, choreographers can expect to make about $50,000 annually without ever attending college or university.
But even if the job you want does require higher education of some kind, make sure you're across the scholarships, grants and accredited community colleges that exist to help out people just like you. Also, some companies will actually pay you to go to school. It's highly competitive, but don't give up.
My dream job won’t pay enough to support me
If your dream job is to smoke weed all day while playing with puppies (sign me up!), then it makes perfect sense to think you can’t pay the bills doing what you love. If, however, you’re just assuming your dream gig can’t support you, because that seems too good to be true, then you might just need to do some research.
According to the folks over at Business Insider, a physician is the highest-paying job in America, but high-paying jobs exist for creative types as well. Art directors can reportedly earn up to $89,820 annually, and full time makeup artists can expect to bring home around $60,000 each year.
Plus, depending on where you live, or where you want to live, you might not actually need to earn all that much. According to Huffpo, renters who work 40 hours per week need to earn about $30 hourly to afford a two-bedroom apartment in California, but that estimate drops to around $15 an hour for renters living in Midwestern states.
Whatever your next career move ends up being, do your research and don't let anyone's career myths keep you from pursuing a work life you'll love. You've got this!
Words: Elizabeth Enochs