Despite being told it would be “impossible,” and despite having no work experience or personal connections in the industry I wanted to break into, I still managed to get my dream job to work for an NBA team when I was only 21 years old. Through that process, and through my experience in the business world over the last 7+ years, I learned of a number of job search lies and truths. Here are 7 of the biggest job search lies and truths:
Lie: All career advice is right.
Truth: Most career advice is wrong! Everyone loves to give career advice, especially to younger job seekers. Unfortunately, most of the people giving advice have no idea what they are talking about! Seek career advice from people who have gotten their dream jobs, from people in the field you want to break into, and/or from people who have helped others get their dream jobs. Even then, use your own judgment before accepting someone’s opinion as a fact. I had people in the sports industry tell me I needed 5-10 years of sales and marketing experience before I could work in the industry. If I had assumed that was true, I would have given up before landing my dream job to work for an NBA team despite having no experience.
Lie: In this economy, you should be willing to take any job you can get.
Truth: You can get your dream job in any economy, IF you are willing to do whatever it takes and if you know how/where to look. Yes, the economy is tougher than it was a few years ago. So what! Stop whining about the economy, step up your game, and you can still get any job you want.
Lie: The secret to career success and happiness is to find a “hot” industry or a job with a huge starting salary.
Truth: The secret to career success and happiness is to do work that matters to YOU. Chasing a “hot” field or a high-paying job is a recipe for disaster if the work is not aligned with your talents, passions, and values. On a side-note, I quadrupled my starting base salary ($25,000) in less than 3 years because my job in the NBA was such a perfect fit for my talents, passions, and values. Those results are definitely not typical, but they prove that the money can follow when you find the right job…
Lie: It’s easier to get hired if you are really flexible with what you are looking for.
Truth: It’s easier to get hired if you are selective and focused. Lack of focus will make you overwhelmed and be a turn-off to potential employers! You will also be less motivated because you will not have a clear vision of where you want to be. Determine what your dream job is, and go after it with everything you have! Never give up on getting your dream job, even if you have to accept another job in the short-term to pay your bills.
Lie: Youth will prevent you from getting your dream job.
Truth: Youth is your greatest advantage! Older executives love to help and hire ambitious young professionals.
Lie: The smartest, most talented candidate always gets the job.
Truth: The candidate who is the best salesperson always gets the job. If you “look great” on paper, do not assume your credentials will speak for themselves. If you don’t “look great” on paper, just learn how to position yourself and sell yourself, and you can beat out other candidates with better credentials.
Lie: There are no jobs that would interest me.
Truth: You do not know what is out there! Talk to as many people as possible in the industry that interests you, and you will be surprised to learn about all of the amazing jobs that are available.
-Career Expert and Professional Speaker
-President of Idealize Enterprises
P.S. I speak about career success to students and young professionals nationwide. To learn more about my programs and speaking availability, please send an email to Pete@IdealizeNow.com.