Before our wonderful Career Peer Educators (CPEs) left for their winter break a few months ago, they all got an assignment to conduct an informational interview. Through the people our CPEs interviewed during their winter break, our student employees learned that many career myths they used to believe are simply untrue. Here is what our CPEs reported back to us:
Myth: You will work the same job your whole life.
“Most of my family members have had the same jobs for 20+ years, so I thought people mostly stay at the same job their whole career. Most people I interviewed recently told me that when opportunity comes along, you should take up the opportunity.”
“The myth that you only have one career in your lifetime was dispelled because even within one company he (the person I interviewed) had multiple “careers” and job functions. It’s okay and encouraged to move around. You never have to stop finding new things that bring you joy and pique your interest within your job and organization.”
Myth: You will do the same job every day.
“Most people I interviewed said that their day-to-day is very different from each other. New projects, new clients, new software, etc. bring diversity and variety in terms of responsibility to their job.”
Myth: Your major will dictate what you do forever.
“Jobs and careers change over time, and you can find a lot of different jobs within one major or field and there’s not one concrete answer right away and it’s important to put yourself out there.”
Myth: You have to have everything figured out while you are still in college.
“The person I interviewed had a lot of different roles that taught him what he actually wanted to do. The more trial and error the better.”
Myth: A job interview is only for the company to interview you.
“It (a job interview) is also for you to interview the company and it is just as important.”
Myth: You need to walk into a role with all the skills it requires.
“Learning on the job is possible and highly encouraged especially in entry-level.”
As a career coach, I can’t emphasize enough how powerful informational interviews can be. I encourage students to do one informational interview per week. It will have a direct impact on the pursuit of your career if you interview a person who works in your field of interest.
However, many students start their first informational interviews by interviewing people in their inner circle, such as their relatives or their supervisor/colleagues at their part-time jobs. As a matter of fact, my previous students told me that some of the most intriguing and meaningful informational interviews they have conducted were when they interviewed their parents.