Myths of Career Achievement

Taking advantage of this fall's Career Leadership Series, I listened to Alexandra Levit's webinar on Wednesday where she dispelled five myths of career achievement. Apparently, you can learn more in her new book, Blind Spots, but for now, let me share my thoughts on what I learned this week:

MYTH 1: Employers want you to be yourself.

My first thought to this one was,"What? Huh? Am I supposed to fake it?" The answer is, "No."

However, prior to an interview you not only need to research the position and what the company does, but you also need to explore the company culture and make sure that you demonstrate that you are a fit. Thinking that you can show up to an interview or the job in jeans because "that's who you are" when the company culture demands business professional...isn't going to go over very well.

MYTH 2: Being good at a job trumps everything.

Basically, yes, do your best in everything that you do, but also be savvy in how you broadcast your successes as well. If you don't state outcomes and successes in your resume, an employer doesn't know based on your job title alone. You must TELL them. For example, which one sounds more impressive...and both are true:
  • Helped develop a Job Shadowing program
  • Developed a Job Shadowing program, successfully matching 20 students in 10 months 
MYTH 3: Climb the ladder as fast as possible

  Question: Who doesn't want more recognition? More money?

Answer: The person who can discern what their work values and skills are.

Why put yourself in a position where you are going to be miserable? Maybe staying in the same position will allow you to better hone and develop the needed skills for a future job. You don't want to get into a position for which you are not prepared and set yourself up for failure. Take the time to assess the situation, humbly and wisely.

MYTH 4: The problem isn't me, it's the organization

Ha...ha, ha, ha! Attitude matters. Period.

MYTH 5: Controversy will propel your career.

This one also makes me laugh.... So, how's that working for Lindsay Lohan? What you want to work on is healthy assertiveness, not making a stink or a fool of yourself.








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