Debunking Career Decision-Making Myths
Myth 1: My major is the only factor that determines my job choices.
Fact: Most employers are interested in why you chose your major, your approach to learning and applying information, and the skills you developed pursing this academic path. They are also interested in your work-related experience (on-campus jobs, part-time jobs, internships, leadership, volunteering). Your major will teach you specific skills, and your well-rounded UNT education will prepare you to be career ready in a variety of fields. Know what skills and related experiences will prepare you for your dream job. Focus your energy on developing those experiences and skills through both your curricular and co-curricular pursuits. One major can lead to many different careers, and one career can be reached through many different majors.
Myth 2: Everyone has it all figured out except for me.
Fact: You may be looking around at your peers and thinking that everyone’s got it all figured out except for you, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. All of us are learning, growing, upskilling, and navigating the unknown. Making informed decisions takes focused intention and exploratory time to know who you are and what you want. Fully engaging in career readiness activities, in addition to your academic work and life experiences, will provide structure, ideas, information, and connections to help you develop your career path. By being fully engaged in your own life and being in the right place at the right time, you will meet people and gain insights in expected and unexpected ways. This will help shape the direction of your life.
Myth 3: I will have only one career in my lifetime.
Fact: Career planning is an ongoing process. It is typical to reassess your career plans several times during your life. Many university graduates entering the work force will have as many as five to eight different occupations by the time they retire. Important as it is to find an occupation that you will find rewarding, it is not likely to be a final decision. People continue to change throughout life as do industries and the job market. Many occupations that will be available to you may not even exist yet! Change is inevitable. Know that your choices and experiences are preparing you to be successful, resilient, and resourceful; thus, developing your inner resources to align with the ebbs and flows of work and life.
Myth 4: It is more difficult to find a job with certain majors because marketable skills are not taught.
Fact: Through UNT’s Core Curriculum, all students develop marketable skills. Your major will expand on those skills and provide fundamental skills specific to your major. Internships and other relevant experiences are crucial for building your resume and gaining valuable skills and experience. Your major combined with your interests, skillsets, and experiences will prepare you for a wide variety of jobs and/or graduate school programs.
Myth 5: My major and career choice should please my family, friends and other important people in my life.
Fact: There is nothing wrong with seeking input from those who are close to you, but you should not sacrifice your dream career to please others. It is important for your career choice to bring you self-fulfillment and satisfaction. It may take time, but those who care about you will support your decision when they see your passion and career success.
Myth 6: I do not know the career I want to pursue today so there must be something wrong with me.
Fact: Determining your career path is a process that happens over time. In order to make an informed decision, you need sufficient time to invest in the self-discovery process and ample time to explore the vast number of career opportunities available to you. By engaging in these activities, you can be confident in your career decision.
Myth 7: My major will determine my career path.
Fact: Many people pursue a career path that is indirectly related to their major. Through your coursework and other experiences, you will gain transferable skills that can be used in multiple career fields. Even if you pursue a degree that frequently leads to a particular career, the skills you acquire can be applied to other occupations that fulfill your career dream.