Career growth sounds sexy. You know, getting the promotion, landing the exciting job offer, making thousands of more dollars in your new role, and having more impact and influence at a company you love? That is the constant goal if you’re a high-achiever.
However, many qualified, hard-working, ambitious corporate professionals struggle to achieve the career goals they desire because they have the wrong idea about career growth.
Here are five lies you need to stop believing if you want to experience growth in your career:
If your current boss doesn’t believe you can do it, then you can’t.
Not sure who started this, but most of us have been trained to believe that our boss knows best. They know if you’re qualified. They know if you’re not. They decide when it’s time for you to take on more responsibilities. They know when you’re not ready for them yet. So, when you go after a promotion or a raise and your boss looks you over or tells you it’s not the right time yet, it’s tempting to believe that they’re right and you’re not good enough for the opportunities you want.
But, if you want to experience career growth, you have to stop believing this lie. Getting passed over for a promotion doesn’t mean you can’t land a better job somewhere else. In fact, when I first met one of my clients, she had already applied for nine roles at her company, hoping to change teams and land a promotion. Yet, she was denied by all of them. Still, she decided to look elsewhere anyway and ended up landing a new job at her top choice company, doing the exact type of role she was passed over for at her previous company.
You have to start over or take a pay cut if you want to change industries.
Believing this myth can stop you from even trying to change industries or cause you to take an unnecessary step back in your career to move to a new industry. But, you do not have to start over to pivot. Assuming that you have to start over in your career to transition to another industry is indirectly saying to yourself that the years of experience you’ve gained are worthless. Instead, determine the right role in your new industry that will allow you to leverage the experience you’ve acquired. Then, decide on the best way to convey how your skills will help you excel in your new industry. Doing this will allow you to show up as a unique candidate unlike anyone else because of your diverse background, not despite it.
You have to have the perfect experience to land your next job.
If you find yourself constantly looking for that one disqualifying bullet every time you read a job description, then you’re guilty of believing this lie. Contrary to popular belief, job descriptions are wish lists. Included within a job description is everything a company thinks an ideal candidate should possess. This doesn’t mean you should completely disregard job descriptions, but it does mean you should approach them strategically.
Rather than count yourself out because you don’t have the perfect experience, consider how your skills and capabilities align with the role and connect the dots for recruiters and interviewers so that they see your value too. By doing this, my clients have received comments like, “We didn’t have a candidate like you in mind, but after hearing you talk about your experience we realized that’s exactly what we’re looking for!”
All you have to do is work hard, and everything will fall in place.
Early in my career, I mistakenly believed this lie and, today, I still see even seasoned professionals fall prey to this belief that all you have to do is work hard and everything else will fall in place. However, while hard work and patience are essential, they are not the only ingredients in the recipe for career growth. You also have to know how to talk about your skills and accomplishments. You have to know how to build the right, meaningful relationships. Plus, you have to know how to be proactive and ask for what you want in your career. Simply hoping that people will notice you and pick you because you work hard will leave you frustrated and burnt out, wondering why you’re constantly getting overlooked.
Asking for help is a sign of weakness.
Maybe you were taught that asking for help in your career makes you look needy, bothersome, or incapable. But, the truth is the more successful you are, or the more successful you want to be, the more help and support you need to accomplish your goals. Tapping into support from others who have already achieved what you desire to do can help you fill knowledge gaps quicker so that you can zoom past things that otherwise could keep you stuck in your career. For instance, after two years of job searching on her own, my client Tiffany finally decided to ask for help and get support. Because of that one decision, in just a few short months, she ended up landing her first manager role, making more money at her new company, and growing in her career.
The career growth you want is possible for you, too. But first, you must take control of your career and let go of these myths so that you can achieve your career goals sooner than you think.
Adunola Adeshola coaches high-achievers on how to take their careers to the next level and secure the positions they’ve been chasing. Grab her free guide.