Most people do not believe in career management, they only believe in career damage control - which means when something goes wrong they will fix it. Until then, most people don't bother to manage their careers to prevent disasters from occurring in the first place.
Listed below are ten misconceptions with regard to career management:
1. Only the most qualified people get the job - This is simply not true. It does not matter how qualified you are for the job. What matters is the way you have presented yourself during the interview process. Qualifications are not the only criteria for getting good jobs, other things like dedication, confidence and attitude also matter.
2. No need to work at a career just because you have a job - This could be the biggest mistake you make - and quite possibly the most popular misconception. This way of thinking has potential for disaster. You never know when you may be downsized or laid off from your current job, and if you do not have a career plan then you are in serious trouble. Make sure that you spend some time on managing your career even if you have a job. Do small things like update your resume and network with your peers.
3. Professional education stopped after graduation - This cannot be further from the truth. You need to continuously work at your professional education to maintain a competitive edge. Read trade magazines, write articles for relevant magazines, attend seminars, and pursue certificate and training courses.
4. The most generous salary is always offered - This is not true. In fact most employers offer a low salary just to see your negotiation skills. This is an old trick of the trade, where the employers check to see whether the candidate has done sufficient research from every angle.
5. I have job Security if I perform well - This is not true, especially in an economy where downsizing, mergers and outsourcing seem to be the order of the day. No one has a secure job, no matter how well you do your job. You have to take a hands-on approach by managing your career properly to ensure security.
6. Only a resume is required - All job seekers need to have certain tools for job hunting and the resume is only one of these tools. Other tools include cover letters, references and so on.
7. Recruiters are sufficient for job searching - No, they are not. Yes, recruiters will help you and guide you in the best way possible, but you cannot leave it completely up to them to get you the best job. You have to be proactive and take charge in your job-hunting process.
8. Employers are responsible for defining career paths - No, employers aren't responsible for anything except getting the job done. You are the only person who is responsible for getting your career on the right path and for defining the way you want your career to head.
9. No need to network - Networking is essential to every business and for every person. You as a career oriented person need to constantly network. It is one of the most important aspects of career management.
10. Jobs are easily identifiable - Most people think that jobs are posted on the Internet or advertised in newspapers. This also is not true. Only a small percentage of jobs are advertised in this manner. Most people identify jobs by networking.
By keeping in mind the above misconceptions, you can avoid them and keep your career on the right track!
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solutions - Six Sigma Online ( http://www.sixsigmaonline.org ) offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.