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2 Common Career Myths

2 Common Career Myths

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This article is part of an exclusive month-long program on CAREEREALISM to help readers break free of The Golden Handcuff Effect. Click HERE to learn more about the Professional Emancipation Project, a.k.a. The P.E.P. Talk.

Are you living in a career myth? A myth that may be stealing your career fulfillment? I believe there are several common career myths running around out there messing with people and their career fulfillment. Believing and living these myths can cause a false sense of security, lack of confidence, or lack of total life fulfillment. Can I get real with you for a minute? Hold on, I’m going to be blunt (but kind).

I once believed that the utopia of career satisfaction is in finding that PERFECT job in the perfect company, making perfect money. If I had that, then life would be grand. Not true folks. Not true.

Our lives are real true stories and each part is attached to the others. None can be separated or ignored. As our body, mind, and soul work together to allow us to function – breathe, move, think, speak, make decisions – so do all the areas of our lives. It is one. When one area is not functioning or ignored, we are less than whole.

Family, relationships, love, recreation, spiritual, mental engagement, work, financial, and physical health. When it comes to career, I see some myths that people believe that causes us to be out of alignment. There are more, but I want to hit on two.

Myth #1: Your Career Is Everything

I hear this regularly in coaching sessions; whether it’s directly spoken or implied. I have to find the perfect job that encompasses all my goals, dreams, and life passions. Why just find it in your career? Why not share the wealth with other areas of your life? Why hoard all the “satisfaction” to just career.

Here’s what I mean: No job is perfect. Really. There’s no perfect job. There will always be some area of your job or company that you dislike. One or two areas of need may never be met in your work. So, look in other areas of your life to fill that need.

I love my work – I truly I do. I’m so grateful I get to do the kind of work I do everyday. But it’s not the be-all to end-all for me. I enjoy my recreation time, my family life, being in my community, and so on. You need this, too.  Enjoy your work but keep it in balance.

Look at your recreation time, hobbies, relationships, community service, and so on. What need isn’t being met and where can you fill it? Take the pressure off your career, boss, company, and yourself. The thought that your career is everything is wrong. Kill that thought. Take it hostage and view your career and total life fulfillment from a healthy lens.

Myth #2: Work Is Just Work

This myth tells the lie that “no matter what I do, I only work to pay the bills.” Wrong again, my friend.

I bet there are opportunities lurking around the bend for you to gain better satisfaction in your work. Though your career should not fulfill all your desires, it should not be 100% drudgery. No matter what you do, you provide a valuable service or product to someone.

For instance, the various people I meet daily enhance my day. The gentleman who came to my home this week to check my printer. He was professional, pleasant, and gave me great advice – “It’s gone. Better to buy a new one.” Or, my mailman. He’s so pleasant and happens to be deaf. He’s the best mail carrier I have met. He waves every time he sees me. We communicate through the little sign language I know or reading lips. I smile when I speak to him.

Look at the brighter side of your work. What are you providing to others that enhances their lives?

If you see no value in what you do, it’s time to re-access and consider a job change. But I caution you to have a healthy perspective on career. Work is not drudgery. It’s a blessing. A farmer cultivates the land to help feed millions. A teacher loves and educates our children. A mail carrier delivers necessary products and letters. A dog groomer keeps the dogs clean and healthy. The CEO keeps a business running that provides services or products to others and employment. Our work is a big responsibility. Be blessed in whatever you do.

I hope you see that our careers are just part of our larger stories, called our lives. Nurture your career along with the rest of your life and you’ll be a more pleasant more fulfilled person.

The P.E.P. Talk

This article is part of our P.E.P. Talk Series. Over the next month, some of the brightest and best authors, business professionals, and coaches are coming together to share their valuable advice for breaking free of “The Golden Handcuff Effect” so you can take full ownership of your careers and experience Professional Emancipation.

P.E.P Talk


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Lisa Adams

Lisa Adams, founder of Fresh Air Careers, is a certified career management coach and job search strategist, specializing in helping young professionals transition.