Career myths are traditional beliefs or mindsets that people have adopted about certain careers. These myths are mostly propagated when friends discuss their views or exchange thoughts and ideas about certain career paths. Most people harbour myths and stereotypes about certain careers without even realising it, thus complicating the matter. In some cases, the effects are mild and can be easily dismissed. In extreme cases, these unproven beliefs could interfere with one’s ability to achieve one’s goals.

To ensure that you don’t get derailed from your career path, you must learn to confirm your beliefs or expose your misconceptions for what they are. You can do this by expounding on the issues. Examine your options and uncover the facts about the career in question. If you don’t take decisive action as described, you may find yourself overlooking opportunities and the possibilities of being established in your preferred career. Barbra Streisand, an American actress, rightly said, “Myths are a waste of time. They prevent progression.” To avoid wasting your time and denying yourself of opportunities, here’s  how you can successfully debunk career myths:

1. Investigate and don’t eliminate other options

When trying to make a career choice, it is advisable that you do proper investigation. Don’t be too fast to dismiss occupations. Meet a counsellor to get clarity. Under the influence of career myths, most people eliminate good choices before considering them. They simply act on their limited knowledge about such careers.

For instance, someone might be interested in acting, but reject an offer to join a troupe because of the belief that most producers sleep with their prospective female actress before giving them the job. This will be a wrong premise to make such assumption. You should do proper investigation before eliminating such option. In fact, the fact that one or two producers do so, doesn’t mean it is applicable to all.

2.Get the facts

Having the right facts and statistics goes a long way to clarify your understanding as regards career myths. You can get statistics about a particular career from carrying out an informal survey where you discuss with people in such a career path. I call it an informal survey because, while you are busy discussing with such people, you don’t make it obvious that you’re getting information from them. Do this by speaking with many people in the same career path.

Make sure you ask the right questions; questions that range from opportunities for personal development to remuneration and work environment. Get a good grasp of the demands and expectations at various cadres. What should you expect as an intern, a graduate training, a junior staff or a senior executive? Asking these questions will provide you with concrete facts about workers’ earnings, average hours of work, level  of education, work hazards and other vital information. Armed with the statistics, you can take decisions from an informed perspective rather than being swayed by the myths of such careers.

3. Identify more opportunities

To be able toidentify more opportunities, you must be open to seeking advice. A piece of advice from an objective source is what you need to understand the opportunities that exist in certain careers. An objective source gives you information with facts to drive home the point, while also exposing you to certain opportunities which people whose minds have been blocked by myths can’t see. With such information, you can determine whether you would like to cash in on such opportunities or not.

4. Go the extra mile

Don’t base your decisions on statistics alone. Regardless of the fact that figures don’t lie, you can still be misled by statistics, especially when the information is biased. The accuracy of a survey depends on how it was conducted. You can compare two surveys on the same matter to see if they reached similar conclusions. Things change, so you should base your findings on recent findings and not on past information from a retiree or an employee who resigned.

5. Get experience

The only way to really know what a career entails is to experience it for yourself. A short experience will give you an impression of what such career path feels like. Your experience is the least likely to fool you. Experience gives you an insight to the “pros and cons” you need to know to progress in such career. If your experience speaks otherwise, then you can decide if you want to carry on with such career or cross to some other career. Nevertheless, even the experience you gather at such times can work for your favour.

With these aforementioned tips, I hope I have been able to enlighten you on how to debunk career myths. Please do feel free to make your contributions.