Myth-busting your career: misconceptions vs reality
It’s a confusing world out there when it comes to choosing the “right” career.
Let’s break down three common misconceptions that might be holding you back.
Myth #1: My uni degree / major will determine my career options
Reality: Here’s a little experiment – talk to three working professionals you know (family, friends or colleagues) and ask what undergraduate degree they studied at university. The answers may surprise you.
Unless you are planning to enter a field that requires specialised technical skills or expertise (such as medicine or law), most degrees equip you with skills that can be used in a variety of career paths.
In fact, many people find themselves working in industries that are not tightly linked to their university degrees or majors. This is because not all jobs strictly correlate to a specific study discipline. As an example, engineering graduates could find themselves working in banking or finance because of their strong mathematical and problem-solving skills.
Be open-minded with the kinds of careers you explore. By the time you graduate, you will have accrued a range of transferrable skills that can be used in different fields and you’ll likely be considered for jobs, even if your major doesn’t align exactly.
Myth #2: There’s one perfect career choice for me
Reality: There are thousands and thousands of career possibilities out there!
With new industries emerging, technology evolving and new jobs being created every day, it’s unrealistic to think that there’s only one right career choice. In reality, a number of career options will have the potential to satisfy your career goals, because most people derive satisfaction from a variety of activities.
Let go of the pressure to find that one “perfect” career or job title. Instead, focus on understanding your interests, values and abilities and then explore opportunities that align with these areas.
Remember too that aspirations evolve as you reach different stages of your life. You may develop new skills, do further studies, have a family, move locations or experience other life changes that impact what you look for in a job and career.
Myth #3: Everyone has it all figured out except for me
Reality: That couldn’t be further from the truth!
As a Career Coach who has worked with thousands of university students and experienced professionals, I can assure you it’s totally normal to have doubts and be uncertain about what’s next. While some people have known what they wanted to be since they were five years old, most people require time to get to know themselves, what they’re good at and to try out different things.
If you do find yourself stuck in your career direction, you may like to check out some of these resources from UTS Careers.
- Visit the Career Action Plan to learn about self-awareness and exploring options
- Seek career advice from an industry mentor on UTS Professional Mentoring Platform
- Book a Group Career Coaching session with a Careers Consultant
Every person’s career journey is different.
Don’t forget that you’ve already made career decisions successfully in the past (finishing high school, choosing to attend university) and you will make many more career decisions in the future.
Featured image courtesy of Pexels
By Stephanie Gonzales
Stephanie is an experienced career coach, educator and consultant. Her background in human resources and graduate recruitment allows her to bring a unique perspective. She loves coaching people from diverse walks of life and helping students and graduates to work towards their career goals.