I want to talk about some common career myths.
Myth 1: A College degree is a MUST to have any financial success and independence.
You do not NEED a degree to be successful. Not everyone is cut out for school. There are plenty of people that are a making a very good living without a degree. In fact, some of the richest people dropped out of college. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg to name a few.
It is a total lie that you will make more money with a degree. 2/3 of college graduates borrow an average of $27,000! They have bound themselves for the next 15 to 30 years of payments! Before they hit the age of 24, Gen Y students are already financially worse off than those without degrees. I calculated my salary to the amount of loans I repay every month and my income was not much higher than minimum wage! There are thousands of people continue to take out loans and sign up for college degrees without any clear direction or plan for what they want to do. I see many of my peers (including me- until I came to my senses) that go back to school to earn Master’s or Phd’s because they still don’t know what they want to do when they grow up. Going back to school and borrowing thousands of dollars without a plan or clear sense of direction is unwise. Earning multiple degrees is a socially acceptable way to procrastinate. Please get a PLAN!
Myth 2: Fortune 500 companies are going to be the most lucrative careers. BIG myth! First of all- it is rare to land a job at one of these companies. Everyone else has the same idea- apply to Google and your life is made. With so many people believing the same myth your chances of being selected for an interview are minimal. The truth is, 85% of business are SMALL business with 500 or less employees. You will have much more success if you apply to the small businesses of your interest. A lot of these small business may be contracted by the big businesses. You will have opportunities to network and build rapport with some of the decision makers in those companies by landing a job at a smaller one.
Myth 3: You have to stay at your place of employment to advance and get a pension. I think most of you all know that those days are extinct. A majority of companies do not pay pensions anymore. The average life a job is just 2.5 years. For us Gen Y’s- its even shorter: 1.2 years! While it is still not encouraged to have 4 different jobs on your resume in one year it is OK to change companies. The career ladder is broken. To “move up” in your career, you will likely need to change companies. Promotions and opportunities for advancement within the same company are very rare these days.