Back when I worked as a recruiter, I noticed certain patterns that held people back in their careers—and I fell into them myself, too. Now, as I coach business owners, I still see a lot of the same negative patterns appear again and again.
Here are the three most common career myths that I’ve seen hold people back. Don’t be one of them. Read these myths, internalize them, and then bust through them.
Myth #1: If You Build It, They Will Come
Many people have a real Field of Dreams-type mentality when it comes to their careers, money, and more. They think putting their heads down and getting the job done will get them just about anything they want to achieve in life.
In reality, creating a career that is fulfilling, well-paid (whatever that means to you), and has upward mobility takes more than hard work. It requires you to constantly seek attention and ask for stuff.
Ask for the raise, ask for the sale, ask for the promotion, and ask for the opportunity. None of these things falls into people’s laps, and even if it seems like they do, it’s likely because they’ve put in a lot of work beforehand and have been asking for a while.
I didn’t get to where I am in my career because it just happened that way. I’ve put in the work and consistently asked for things like more money.
Myth #2: Other People Have All The Answers (Because I Don’t Know Anything)
I’m a big proponent of things like mentorship, coaching, and asking experts for help. However, this comes with a caveat—you can’t get stuck there.
Often, people keep looking to others for answers because they don’t have confidence in themselves. So, they research stuff to death, keep wasting money on training they don’t actually need, and stall any forward movement in their careers.
This comes from a deep-rooted fear of not being good enough, and it stops people in their tracks in the form of perfectionism and procrastination. Remember, you got to where you are for a reason. Trust yourself to keep moving forward.
I’ve definitely made the mistake of not trusting myself enough in the past. As such, I’ve wasted money on coaches who told me answers I knew all along. I eventually put a self-imposed ban on buying books and trainings so I could focus on taking action.
Myth #3: You Have To Play By The Rules
Playing by the rules to get ahead may be the most detrimental myth of all because it keeps people from using their full potential.
Let me be clear: By breaking the rules, I don’t mean breaking the law or doing something unethical. I mean not being taken for a sucker or thinking you have to do things a certain way because someone told you to.
For example, I could have easily not even tried to build my own business as a financial expert because I have no formal training in finance—but I didn’t let that stop me. Now, I make more money than I did at my last job and have more career opportunity than ever.
Breaking the rules may also look like not giving up easily when people tell you something can’t be done. Stop taking no for answer and watch how your career blossoms.
Have any of these career myths sidetracked you as well? How did you overcome them? Sign up or log in with your Salt account to share your tips in the comments.