Student Misconceptions of Careers

March 30th, 2015 by Pearson

While college may expose you to some of life’s realities, you’re still largely protected from what actually awaits, especially with regards to your career. As a student, you probably have a general idea of what a corporate environment is like, and much of it might be true. However, television series such The Office, Suits and House of Cards are misleading about the dynamics and cultures involved in the working world.

If you’re not sure what to expect, we can help by debunking the following myths:

1. The more qualifications you have, the better your chances of securing a job
Education is key to getting a job, and without it, your prospects of finding the right post are slim. However, this doesn’t mean that a constant accumulation of qualifications will make you employable either.
Your degree is bolstered by other factors such as your skills, personality and experience. Potential employers want to know if you can do the job effectively, and having a degree alone doesn’t guarantee that.

2. Staying at one company for years guarantees career growth

The previous working generation (X) was characterised by their lengthy periods of employment, spending anything from 10 to 30 years at one company. Times have changed. Today’s professional is a serial job hopper, staying at an organisation for up to four years before moving on to other prospects.
This kind of activity allows the new kids on the block to attain better opportunities and growth. It also exposes them to different cultures and environments.

3. Your first job should pay a considerable sum of money

Students who have this idea of employment, are sorely disappointed when they enter the real world. Although a lucky few will get a nice salary package, most will get the short end of the stick. Entry to junior-level jobs seldom have good remuneration, and some internships don’t pay at all, but they will give you the skills necessary to become more proficient at your trade.
After a year or two on the job, you can be promoted to a more senior role and be rewarded with a much better package.

4. Working in your ideal job will always be exciting

Now for a hard truth: The Office, House of Cards and Suits all tell lies. The real world of business isn’t as action packed (unless you’re a secret agent) or as hilarious (unless you’re a clown). Your dream job isn’t always going to be fun and exciting, and there will be days when you feel like giving up.

However, if it’s your desired vocation, you’ll find satisfaction from doing what you love.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but the world of careers isn’t as straightforward as you think. You’ll come across many surprises, but as long as you’re not naïve, you should be fine.