Your 20s are a time when most of us start taking our careers seriously and looking for ways to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace
From enrolling in additional education to gaining hands-on skills a work, it’s a time to build a strong CV, seek mentorship opportunities, and learn, learn, learn.
With that said, it always seems like everyone has an opinion about the best way to advance your career, and not all of them make much sense! Chalk up some of these myths to being ‘old wives tales’ of the working world.
Well-meaning people genuinely seem to think that they are providing sage bits of wisdom, but the reality is that they are spouting common myths about work.
Myth 1 – The size of your pay cheque is the most important factor
This is one of the most pernicious misconceptions out there. After all, money is the most important factor in any job, right? Not so fast. Working in a high paying position that you despise is certainly not worth it, nor is making a big income now without much room to grow in the future. Make sure that you job affords you opportunities to do what you enjoy doing, and grow and change as time goes by.
Myth 2 – Snatch the first offer that comes your way
Many of our grandparents suffered from the Great Depression era mentality that you can’t afford to turn down a good offer. After all, if someone is willing to pay you what seems like a good rate, you should jump at the opportunity and don’t risk jinxing it, right? Wrong. First of all, you need to research the market to know exactly what you are worth before you take any offer on the table. Don’t be afraid to negotiate – you will be surprised at just how much more a potential employer may be willing and ready to pay you if you just ask.
Myth 3 – “Don’t spend too much time out of the work world”
This is a common piece of old fashioned advice that you will still hear all the time – don’t leave the work world for too long, otherwise your skills will grow stale. People will also warn you that a gap on your CV might make employers suspicious. However, in today’s freelancer-focussed world, more and more people are taking a year or two to traverse Africa, climb mountains in the Himalayas, or explore Europe. Travelling gives you a chance to learn valuable skills that can’t be learned in a classroom or office – and more and more employers are realising this.
Myth 4 – “No one judges a book by its cover”
In an ideal world, no one would judge another person based on their wardrobe, hair style, and overall appearance – but this is not an ideal world! You will be amazed at how many people will work to convince you that your personal appearance (beyond basic grooming, of course) just isn’t that important. This could not be further from the truth. You always need to ensure that you are well turned out and looking you best. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but ensure that your clothing is appropriate for the setting, that your nails are clean and manicured, and that your overall personal style is professional and polished.