When you are contemplating making a career change one of the most common questions you may find yourself asking is ‘What am I here to do with my life?’. Yet trying to find the answer to this elusive question can be one of the biggest barriers to you actually making a shift. You see tied up in this question are three common career myths which, once understood, can give you the confidence and motivation to move forward.

Myth 1 – You Should Know Exactly What You Are Here To Do

Have you ever looked at people, perhaps friends and family with a touch of envy, as they seem to know exactly what career path they want to take, they’ve known it since school, or perhaps graduating from university, and their first job has led ever onwards and upwards? It all seems completely mapped out and they seem totally driven to achieve their goals, progressing up the ladder quickly and confidently.

Whilst it is true that there do seem to be people who are drawn to a certain career path from a very young age, the reality for most of us is that we stumble along and eventually fall into something, and a little while later maybe ‘wake up’  and then consider whether it is right for us.

The danger comes when we start comparing ourselves to others and feeling that we come up short somehow by not knowing ‘what it is that we are here to do’. In fact it is an absolute myth that we should know what we want to do with the rest of our lives.

The truth is we are dynamic, ever changing people and as we grow and age, our interests, skills and abilities change along with our hopes and desires. A career choice that excited us in our twenties will feel totally wrong in our thirties and something that we are passionate about in our forties may bore us in our fifties

Instead a more pertinent question to ask yourself here is: “What will fulfil me at this present point in time?”

Which brings us on to…


Myth 2 – Your Career Change Is For The Rest Of Your Working Life

In my parents’ generation it was normal to stay in the same job for the whole of your working life with rewards of silver and an engraved carriage clock to look forward to after many years of devoted service. However, today, it is normal to have four or five complete changes of career over a working lifetime.

In fact actually staying in one particular job is considered to be displaying a lack of ambition!

But belief in this myth can keep you stuck when contemplating changing career for fear of “getting it wrong” and what that might look like on your CV. What can help instead is to try looking at any career choice as “just for now”. This perspective will give you a lot more freedom and the opportunity to explore new areas and experiment, safe in the knowledge that if it doesn’t work out you can move on and try something else and that this approach is perfectly acceptable in the modern job market.


Myth 3 – You Need to Work Out Your Ideal Job Before You Get It

So, here’s a question: what is your “perfect” job? Have you been spending months and even years trying to figure this out believing there is no point in moving and taking action until you know exactly what it is?

Here, you need to realise that the “perfect” job evolves from experience and learning what actually fulfils you. Why not allow yourself to try different things and pay close attention to how different roles make you feel? Only by doing this will you learn whether a role makes your heart sing, whereas if you find your energy sagging and you dread Monday mornings, that’s a sure sign that it is isn’t right for you and you can move on.

So in summary if you are thinking about changing career, remember, a job isn’t for life, it’s not abnormal not to know what you want to do from an early age and experimentation will lead ultimately to fulfilment.