Career management continues to change at warp speed. Whether or not you’re contemplating a job search, if you’re a working professional, tending to your career needs to be an ongoing process.
Don’t get left behind the curve. Here are 10 common myths about career management that can hinder your success:
1) My company will manage my career.
While many organizations have good intentions, career management has become a self-directed activity. Don’t expect your Manager or HR Department to take the lead. YOU are the one with your best interests in mind – no one else.
2) Networking is for when I need a job.
Networking is for life. Make building your network and cultivating your contacts a habit. Then, it will always be there for you, especially when you need it most.
3) Applying to jobs online is the most effective strategy.
More than 65% of companies have Applicant Tracking Systems to screen out resumes, which means, unless yours has both the content and formatting to get past the robot, human eyes will never see your credentials. Networking is still the gold standard.
4) If I have a significant gap on my resume (am over 55, have job-hopped, been laid off, etc.), I’m toast.
Bias does exist, but there are many ways to genuinely steer the attention toward your qualifications and away from any potential red flags on your resume. Ask a Career Coach for the best way to present your skills and experience.
5) A Headhunter/Recruiting Agency will identify the best positions for me.
Headhunters are paid by companies, and therefore, you are not the client. And, with Linked In and other online search tools, Recruiting Agencies have little trouble identifying their own candidates. Your best bet? Build a strong digital presence and keep networking.
6) Great qualifications are all I need to find a job.
It’s a good start, but awesome credentials will be useless unless you can get in front of the decision-makers. A strong resume, targeted focus, online brand and persistent networking will also be key ingredients for career success.
7) The company will withdraw the offer if I negotiate.
Not so. In fact, many employers expect that you will negotiate. Do your homework, be realistic and proceed graciously. The simple truth is, if you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
8) Getting an advanced degree will make my job search easier.
Unless you’re transitioning into a highly specialized field (e.g., medicine), the job search isn’t any different with a few extra letters after your name. Networking, a strong brand, and legwork will still be required to get your foot in the door (see #6 above).
9) Being at a company for 20 years shows I’m stable.
Yes, perhaps. However, it may also communicate that you’ve lost your agility. If you’re making a leap after a fairly long tenure with one employer, highlight how you’ve stayed current (i.e, professional associations, ex-pat assignments, certifications, etc.) in your field.
10) An on-line presence isn’t that important.
Both what you DO post in cyber world (e.g, a strong Linked In Profile) and what you DON’T (e.g., Facebook photos at the tailgating party) will count. Google yourself periodically and keep on top of it.