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So, you’re getting ready to pick a career, or you’re thinking about a career change. But you don’t think it’s worth it to go visit the career counselor for some advice. After all, picking a job is something anyone can do, right? That’s not true at all, and some advice could help you with your decision. There are a lot of myths and falsehoods floating around about career options, and you don’t want to fall prey to them. Let’s take a look at some of the “common sense” knowledge about careers that’s anything but true.

1. Choosing a career is simple:
You just pick what you want to do, figure out how to do it, and you’re set, right? This is far from being the real situation. Many of us have interests that we can’t turn into full time jobs, or find out that the logistics of the career we think we want make it a bad choice. You need to do some real research and think hard before you dive in. It’s not all that simple.

2. Your career counselor will tell you what to do:
That’s not the job of a good career counselor, and if you suspect that’s what’s happening, get a new one! Your career counselor is there to advise you, not make your life decisions for you. Anyone who tries to control your decision isn’t someone you want to trust.

3. You can’t make a living of a hobby, so you shouldn’t try:
Artists, writers, and musicians hear this one a lot, as do collectors and all kinds of other hobbyists. While it’s true that turning your hobby into a career isn’t going to be a picnic (and you’ll need some real business sense to do it), there are lots of people out there making a living of what they love, right now. You need to go into it with a clear head and realistic expectations, but you can turn a hobby into a lifelong job.

4. Pick a popular career:
Many people rush off to the job that’s currently being hyped the most, expecting it to take care of them forever. Jobs, just like fashions, go in and out of style, however. Plus, popular positions will have a lot of applicants. If that’s the job you want most, go for it anyway. But if you want something less currently popular, don’t feel pushed into something more “mainstream”. It won’t be main-stream forever.

5. More money means I’ll be happier:
A lot of people have fallen into this trap, too, going for a career in a high profile field that theoretically pays well, instead of one they’d like better, but which pays poorly. While you don’t want to end up in financial distress for the rest of your life, you’re unlikely to perform well in a job you don’t like. Don’t make money the main priority – there are ways to manage your income so you’ll be happy in another field that you like better.

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