There are many career myths. Make sure you challenge them!
Myth #1 My career will be directly related to my degree
Although some students pursue careers directly related to their degrees, many use their degree as a stepping stone to new and innovative careers that are related to their interests, skills, values or experiences. As you talk to professionals, you will find that many people choose careers in different ways and have chosen fields that are unrelated to their degrees.
Myth #2: A career assessment will give me “the answer”
There are many ways to decide on a career, like talking to professionals in a field that interests you, or networking at paid and unpaid positions. Many career assessments will give you career options to consider that are related to your interests, skills, values and personality. But no assessment can tell you what career to choose. Use this experience to generate options!
Myth #3: I should just “know” what career to choose
Many people think that they should have known what career to choose from a very young age. Although this may be true for some, many have not decided on their career, and many have changed their minds – a lot! Most careers unfold over time. You may start in one profession and evolve into other positions or careers. The process of career exploration will last throughout your life.
Myth #4: I will have one career in my lifetime
For many people, this myth is a thing of the past. Today, most people change careers several times throughout their lives. Career exploration is a life-long process of trying new positions. Always be aware of your career goals. Where do you want to be in two years? Five years? Take control of your own career path.
Myth #5: I need to follow my “passion”
Most of us are passionate about many things. It’s important to choose work that you enjoy, and sometimes this will be aligned with your passion. More importantly, do what you are passionate about in all areas of your life, through volunteering, work, personal interests and more. All experiences related to your interests and passions are valuable. You’ll find that you will discover more passions as you have more experiences.
Myth #6: A career educator will tell me what career to choose
Career educators are here to help you explore and discuss careers options and further education. They work in partnership with you and provide space for you to explore, and guide you through the research process, but the only person who can make the final decision on your first career is you.
Myth #7: The Career Centre will find me a job
We are here to work with you and coach you through the process of finding work, and we can help connect you with opportunities. We help you develop your skills as you prepare your resume, cover letter, CV, LinkedIn profile, discuss your online presence, prepare for interviews, devise networking strategies and more. These skills will last you a lifetime.
This article originally appeared on the University of Toronto’s Student Life website and is reproduced with the kind permission of Career Exploration and Education at the University of Toronto St. George Campus.