Today I’ve had the opportunity to participate in the Emerging Leaders Event of the Association of YMCA Professionals (AYP). This event is a gathering of young Y professionals who’ve been identified by their leadership as rising stars, and this event is an investment in their development. You can see a few of the participants enjoying themselves below.
I was invited to speak at this event, and asked to focus on career management strategies. I put together a talk titled The Top Ten Career Myths and How They Hold You Back. Today’s post is part 1 of that talk, myths about getting started in your career. I’ll post parts 2 & 3 over the next couple of days.
Getting Started in Your Career
Your twenties “don’t count”. You can get the job you really want later, just take what’s available now. You just need to try a lot of different options to figure out what you want to do when you grow up anyway.
- True: You need to make a living, and sometimes your “ideal” job isn’t available.
- False: Making purposeful job choices in your 20’s is possible. If you’re still unsure of your career path, choose options that will expose you to as many different skills as possible. This builds your resume while helping you refine your vision of the path you want to be on. Internships are a valuable tool during this period. Look for companies that actively offer development programs that will provide you with training and the opportunity to move around the organization.
The best way to find a job is to search online job postings.
- True: Online job postings are one good way to determine the types of candidates that companies are looking for. Often career websites will also tell you something about company culture, what it’s like to work there, etc. (And of course, remember they are marketing themselves to you).
- False: Online job postings are only one way to find your way to a job in an organization. Networking is very important – and easier than ever to accomplish. LinkedIn can help you find connections through the people you already know. Online discussion groups for professionals in the field you’re interested in are incredibly helpful. Go to conferences and networking events.
It is impossible to advance in a large organization.
- True: It can take a while to advance to a senior position in a larger organization.
- False: Large organizations can often offer more options than smaller ones. Larger organizations are more likely to have resources for training and development – and purposeful programs to help you grow. Benefits like tuition reimbursement, travel to conferences, and formal mentoring programs are more likely in larger organizations.