When professionals face challenges along their career journey, they tend to solicit advice from those who have walked similar paths. Sometimes they even seek advice from family members whose guidance they respect and trust, although those family members have no experience in their career field.
While seeking advice is certainly understandable and helpful in order to navigate successfully going forward, sometimes the advice given is not always the most applicable to one’s situation. Oftentimes, those providing the advice share with you what they experienced personally or what they were told by someone else, without fully considering all variables involved in your situation.
When it comes to giving advice, the adviser should be mindful of all the facts involved before advising the individual. The last thing any professional needs is advice from someone who has no expertise but speaking as if they are an expert on a topic. Here are five common career advice myths frequently told to professionals:
Career Advice Myth 1: Your résumé should not exceed two pages.
Truth: It’s OK for your résumé to exceed two pages as long as the information (education and experience) included is clear, concise, and directly relates to the position for which you are applying. No recruiter or hiring manager will have a problem reviewing your résumé if it includes relevant information to the job they are looking to fill.
Career Advice Myth 2: You should remain in a job for at least one to two years so that it looks good on your résumé and you don’t appear to be a “job hopper.”
Truth: You should remain in a job for as long as it takes for you to become proficient in the role. The amount of time this will take will vary according to the individual. The only way to gain different experience is to try different job roles. Too many people remain in jobs longer than necessary and fail to move on to new challenges where they can learn and improve their skill sets. Job hopping in a strategic manner can be a great benefit for a professional to grow their career. If you need a specific time period, remain in a job for the duration of the probation period times two. If your company’s probationary period is six months, you would remain at least twelve months before moving on to something new. This shows you were able to successfully pass the company’s defined probationary/trial period and remain longer.
Career Advice Myth 3: It’s easier to find a job when you have a job.
Truth: It’s most certainly true that recruiters tend to be more inclined to interview/hire those who are currently employed, however, if a person is unemployed for a reason that can be justified, it won’t be a problem. Finding a job is a job in and of itself. Sometimes it can be difficult to find a new job when you are employed because you don’t have time or energy to conduct your search. It’s not uncommon for professionals to quit jobs that cause them stress and burnout to focus on finding something more suitable for them.
Career Advice Myth 4: You are entitled to a pay increase from your employer once you earn a college degree.
Truth: Earning a degree does not guarantee you a pay increase from your company. If the job you currently hold regards earning additional education as means for affording you additional compensation, then great. However, there aren’t many companies with policies that stipulate if you earn a degree you are entitled to a pay increase. The best way to ensure you will be afforded an increase is to search and land a promotional job opportunity that requires the degree you recently earned.
Career Advice Myth 5: The company you work for is responsible for sending you to training, conferences, and other professional development activities so that you remain current and knowledgeable in your career field.
Truth: Your professional career development is your responsibility and no one else’s. Your company is only responsible for providing you with the necessary training and tools to perform the essential functions of the job that they hired you to do. Therefore, if there is a training or conference that you would like to attend and your organization is not willing to pay the bill, you need to make the investment in yourself anyway. Think about it. Whether you stay with your company or move on elsewhere, your knowledge and expertise will go with you. Don’t be afraid to invest in your career development, because the return you will gain will exceed your expectations.
Nicole K. Webb is the founder of NK Webb Group, which specializes in Career Ownership and HR Consulting. Visit her company’s website at http://nkwebbgroup.com/. Follow her on twitter @nkwebbgroup1 and Instagram @nkwebbgroup. Pick up a copy of her book The Workplace Playbook.