3 Career Myths Holding You Back In The Digital Age


    Technology and globalisation have transformed the business landscape significantly in recent years. Every other day, we’re hear about how traditional industries are finding themselves disrupted by companies with new ways of thinking and doing things, such as Uber, Airbnb and Netflix.

    To stay relevant in today and tomorrow’s professional world, there’s a need to abandon outdated thinking and adopt fresh mindsets and new approaches. Here, we examine three career truisms that may have made sense in the past, but could be holding you back in today’s bold new world.

    Myth 1: Always Draw A Strict Line Between Work and Life

    In today’s increasingly digital and globalised landscape, it has become much harder to strictly compartmentalise working and leisure hours. Think about the last time you had to send a quick email in the middle of a dinner with friends. Or the time you had to hop on a Skype chat with an overseas client in the wee hours of the morning.

    With the proliferation of mobile devices, the reality is that many of us are expected to handle some form of work outside of official office hours. On the flip side, companies are encouraging more flexible work-life arrangements, allowing employees to work from home or coming in after morning rush hour traffic. With this in mind, trying to draw a strict line between work and life, may not be such a practical move any more.

    Instead, it might be better to recognise that while having work-life balance is important, it’s really up to us to negotiate with our own employers just what that balance looks like. At the end of the day, we need to understand ourselves and the type of trade offs we are comfortable with to get ahead in our professional careers.

    Myth 2: Social Media Is Only For Family And Friends  

    While some people see their social media accounts — whether this is Facebook, Instagram or Twitter — as a personal space meant only for family and friends, there are also a good many who are perfectly fine to interact with their colleagues and network with industry peers on these platforms too.

    Today, many people routinely share industry news and job openings on their social media accounts. There are also many business and industry-related Facebook Groups around, where you can network with other professionals like yourself from Singapore and all around the world.

    Let’s not forget about LinkedIn, which is the de rigueur social media platform for professionals. Despite the business nature of the network, there’s also room for personal and professional interactions to mix, such as asking a school alumni for a referral to a business contact or hiring manager.

    All in all, many savvy professionals today are using social media as a platform to shape their personal brand.

    For these users, social media is a place for them to showcase aspects of their personal life, their passions, and their points of view. Given how many recruiters these days make it a habit to check out the social media profiles of potential hires, it can be said that having a strong online personal brand makes a difference in clinching that new job.

    Myth 3: Work Hard In Your Job And You’ll Do Well In Your Career

    Today’s business environment is increasingly volatile and uncertain, with industries constantly evolving to keep pace with the changing realities and technological developments.

    While the idea that working hard in your job will lead you to a long and fruitful career made a lot of sense in the past, this is not necessarily so in today’s dynamic world. In fact, keeping your nose to the grindstone, and not paying attention to the changes around you can be a recipe for disaster.

    These days, it’s increasingly important for you to take charge of your own career. Imagine that you’re the captain of a ship in the ocean. You’ll need to have an idea of where you want to be headed, actively steer your ship in the direction you want it to go, and do your best to preempt storm waters in the distant horizon.

    This could be gaining critical experience for the next phase of your career, taking up part-time courses in a complementary field of study or switching to an industry that has better long-term growth potential. Whatever that may be, it’s important for you to determine your own career direction, rather than working hard and leaving things to fate.

    Breaking Free And Making Progress

    While it may feel scary — or at least a little different — to try out new approaches in your professional life, it’s also important to understand what the true cost of refusing to change could be. Start taking a few small steps today, and you’ll might see your career getting a boost from these small changes.

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