6 Career Myths That Hold You Back

18 03 2014

Myths-and-Facts

Career planning provides the ability to see yourself, where you are now and where you want to go in the future. It helps you decide what type of work you want, determine the skills you need and discover the ways to get those skills. When considering what he wants to do, a person needs to understand himself through self-assessment, exploration of occupational prospects, making a choice, then setting goals and actions to build his experience, skills and knowledge. A job applicant needs to be able to prove her value to an employer if she wants to be hired. Choosing the right career fit for who she is and dedicating herself to the journey will make all the difference.

Although career planning is a rational systematic process, one also needs to be aware of the influences that affect career decision making. Lack of knowledge of career options and the world of work, the economy, one’s socioeconomic level, expectations of others, beliefs and attitudes we learn from our family, unrealistic self-expectations and career myths can derail the process.

What are career myths?

They are fictional statements or thoughts that can lead to career barriers or undesirable actions. For example:

  • The world of work is changing so rapidly that I can’t really plan for the future. Think about this. You wouldn’t start a trip without an idea of how to get there, would you? Have a plan.
  • Money is the most important factor when choosing a job. If you’re not happy doing what you’re doing just because it pays well, is that the life you want? When you need money sometimes you don’t have a choice, but think about the long term career plan.
  • I should choose an occupation based on my strongest skills. You may be good in Math but what if crunching numbers all day is boring to you? You need to also factor in what interests you when making a career decision.  What’s your passion?
  • Family members and other adults know what career is best for me, better than I do. No one knows you better than you do, but you need to do some introspection to tap into what makes you tick.
  • Making an occupational choice is irreversible. A career decision is not irreversible. If you find you’re unhappy in a profession, go back to the drawing board and go through the steps of career planning again. Career development is a continuous process that recycles throughout our life as we consider the pros and cons of making changes. This generation will have several different careers over their lifetime.
  • There is one perfect occupation waiting for me somewhere out there. There are actually many different occupations that may be a good fit for someone.  Consider job shadowing to find the right fit. 

Beware of career myths, as there are more out there. Unfortunately, people buy into them and let them affect their decision making.

 ****For this post, Campus to Career thanks Sharon Gilbert!!**** 

Sharon Gilbert

 

About the author: Sharon Gilbert is a licensed career counselor and a former university career advisor and college recruiter. She has recently published Beyond Tuition: Career Coaching Your College Kid.  More information can be found at www.beyondtuition.com

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7 Crucial Interview Tips

11 03 2014

job-interview (1)The job search brings with it a number of different tasks that you should be expected to have perfected or, at least, down pat before you can take on your new career. Those of course include making sure you’re qualified, writing a killer cover letter and résumé, and, of utmost important, nailing your interview(s). Interview tips have been covered several times here at Campus To Career. There are a handful of steps you should already be taking to ensure your success.

Here is a list of seven crucial tips that have been condensed from an exhaustive list of 30 posted over at Verizon. While many of them can no doubt be learned from and utilized, these seven should make you an absolute lock for whichever job you’re applying today. Now let’s get to the list!

  1. Look the company up on Glassdoor: This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s something that you need to remember. Finding out about how your prospective employer runs through its Glassdoor account and reviews can help you realize what you’re getting into. You may need to dress more stylish, for example, or be prepared for some dry wit. Whatever the case, it’s the site is a goldmine for assisting you pre-interview.
  2. Check the Company’s Facebook/Twitter, too: Your potential employer’s social media accounts will give you an even better idea of what to expect, especially personality-wise. The aforementioned dry wit will come through in a more obvious manner, as will any other aspects of the company. Are they light–hearted? Conservative or liberal? You should find your answer here.
  3. Have Five Résumé Copies & References Available: You never know how many people will need a copy of your résumé and it also never hurts to have extra references readily available. Just think: What if one or two of your references doesn’t pick up when they’re called? You will want to have backup.
  4. Have an “Interview Prep Kit” Ready: Whether it’s in your purse, your briefcase, or your car, have a kit somewhere so that you can, say, deal with any stains, odd scuffs, misplaced documents, etc… You shouldn’t go overboard with this, so just make sure you have backups of stuff like stain removers, any makeup you wear, your résumé, and the like.
  5. Inquire About The Interview Format: There’s nothing wrong with throwing a quick question or two at the HR person you’ve been contacting to get a better feel for the interview. Some companies like to ask brain teasers and serve up riddles to see how you handle stress or critical thinking. You may not get a straight answer when you call ahead, but give it a shot.
  6. Have Five Top Achievements Ready To Discuss: Be sure to have some brief notes available that outline a handful of the best projects you have done previously. Be ready to talk about why and how they were a success, meaning you should have numbers, percentages, etc… at your disposal during this discussion.
  7. Have Questions Ready for Your Interviewee: At this point in the conversation (aka “the conclusion”), you should be prepared to have some questions for whomever it is you’re speaking with. This is where some of the previous tips—such as reading their social media pages—can really come in handy. If you’re looking to get into their marketing department, for example, you can have some questions what’s been successful for them, what their goals are, and so on.

Hopefully these seven tips will leave you feeling better prepared and ready to conquer your next interview. Best of luck!

****Campus to Career thanks Joanne Peters for this great post!****





3 Ways to Create Your Own Job & Not Get Steamrolled in the Process

4 03 2014

Artwork - Create Your Own Job

I’ve gone to school more than most people, and I’ve come to the conclusion that group assignments are the bane of all existence.

Seems there’s always the guy who barely participates, the woman who always has a strong opinion about everything, the overachiever who wants to get the entire assignment done in the first few days…sound familiar?

As painful as these experiences may have been for you, it turns out that working in teams is a microcosm of real life. As I reflect on my major accomplishments I can see that each one was reached with the help of other people. You can create your own job as an entrepreneur in your early to mid-20’s. It is entirely possible. If you want to succeed, however, I hope working in a team is part of your strategic plan.

I research entrepreneurs for a living, and I particularly love the bootstrap start-up that consists of two or three 20-somethings and a dream. I came across just such a team about 6 months ago when I was at a local business incubator. Two people on the team had been out of school for only a couple of years, and team member number three was about to graduate.

Commit to One Another

Point number one. Your team really has to be for one another rather than just being int it for the money. Chances are that this ship will pitch and yaw so much that you all will get seasick before the trip is over. And, it is pretty much a guarantee that this journey will not end the way you want.

Commit to each other, and commit to the long-term view. Imagine yourselves 10, 15, even 20 years down the line still in business together. It will probably be a different business than your current venture, and you will probably be making far more money.

Your current business will be distant memory. But your team can still be together if you commit to one another. Don’t treat this venture as just another group assignment that is over after 2 or 3 weeks of class. Winners win over the long term.

Push for a Larger Team

You may recall that I said I met this start-up trio at a local business incubator. If you don’t know what an incubator is, Google it.
You need this. Some incubators have physical space where you can co-locate with other start-up entrepreneurs. This provides an unparalleled learning opportunity that can dramatically shorten your learning curve, and can keep you keep you from making dangerous missteps. Chances are that your college or university either has access to an incubator or has one on campus.

Move to where the action is.

One of many things that you have going for you at this point in your life is that you are portable. Depending on the type of business you are starting, it may make sense to relocate.

  • Move to where the money is.
  • Move to where the people are.
  • Move to find more support.

Many new incubators are cropping up across the US. Several of which specialize in one type of industry. Blue Ridge Food Ventures, for example, is a kitchen incubator that is dedicated specifically to helping people launch food-related businesses.

Recap:

The 3 things that can help you create your own job are:

  1. Commit to one another
  2. Push for a larger team
  3. Move to where the action is

****For this fantastic guest post, Campus to Career thanks Jason Owens!**** 

Jason OwensAbout the author: Jason Owens researches and encourages entrepreneurs. His thought-provoking blog articles on overcoming entrepreneurial challenges can be found at JasonROwens.com.