Starting a job after school is often something we all look forward to as it somehow marks the beginning of ‘adulthood’ and independent life and no longer under the mercy of pocket money from parents. We all have certain expectations and often times, unrealistic dreams of what this new phase might be like and it’s not until we actually start work that we are made aware of the reality of the workplace. Personally, I can attest to the myth that all job vacancies are advertised because my first job, post-graduation was via a contact I had from my internship as this company preferred personal recommendations to job adverts.

Today, I’m sharing top 5 myths about the twenty-first century world of work and spilling the real truth about the work place to enable a smoother transition from the school phase.

1. Career advancement is linear in nature.

Nope! There is no one size fits all approach to career advancement, at least not in this century. Your career progression may sometimes require a lateral movement before an upward one, or a step down for a moment to build up. It’s all about building transferable skills, a good reputation or a personal brand rather than just reaching a destination career path. Don’t be caught up in reaching a destination that you fail to enjoy the adventures on your way.

2. All job vacancies are advertised.

Ever heard of the Hidden job market? Yes, that’s a thing and according to statistics c. 70% of new jobs are in this hidden market, meaning only 30% of new jobs are advertised. If you’re job hunting, make sure you’re not spending 100% of your time in from of your computer applying, you need to get out there and speak to the right people, expand your network and do not shy away from pitching yourself at every opportunity you get.

3. Hard work is all that’s required to get a promotion.

Perhaps that worked well at school because your assessments were based on individual exams and projects, but it’s a lot different at the work place. Your manager and sometimes colleagues get to assess you and if they are not aware of the big or even little magical things then you’re being unfair to yourself. This is not the same as singing your praises or plain old eye-service, rather it’s more about building a good rapport with colleagues and manager as well as keeping the communication line open at all times.

4. Doing what you love means you’ll love every aspect of your job

Don’t be fooled by this, even a parent who totally adores their kid doesn’t quite enjoy cleaning up the mess all the time. So, it’s okay not to enjoy the administrative side that comes with the job or the short travel notice every now and again or whatever the heck you dislike. Just be clear on what aspect of the entire chain you like or dislike. Sometimes this can present an opportunity for automation or scrapping a task that doesn’t add value to the job.

5. Working hours are strictly 9am to 5pm

This could vary depending on where you work, but sometimes your contract may include clauses that mean you’re required to work additional hours outside of your contracted 9 to 5, particularly during busy periods. This is sometimes a difficult transition from the school phase where you had an average of 20 hours a week vs. 37.5 hours at work.  

Any other myths you thought about while reading this? Which one resonates more with you? Which ones are new to you and which did you already know? I’ll love to hear from you, please share in the comment section