5 Myths That Keep Professionals Stuck in Their Career


Over the past 16 years, I’ve seen a lot of professionals buy into silly myths about what they should and shouldn’t do when it comes to their career. Backed by a mantra of good manners, served with a side of logic, it’s no surprise that so many professionals fall into the trap of believing them and operating as if they are true.

But they are not. More than that, there can be some major career downsides to believing in these myths, such as feeling stagnant in your job and never getting promoted for the positions you’ve worked so hard to get. To avoid this from happening, read through these myths and see which ones you’ve accidentally bought into; hook, line and sinker.

Myth #1: My work speaks for itself.

No matter how good of a job you do, your work is not capable of speaking and it cannot tell the world how great you are. Only you can do that. And yet, oftentimes professionals feel like if they speak up about the quality of their work, it will be a bad thing. But the truth is that there’s nothing bad about being proud of your work. In fact, taking ownership for what you’ve done shows that you care about your work and will attract like-minded individuals and opportunities your way. So don’t expect your work do the talking. Let the quality of it be the evidence that your words are true.


Myth #2: It’s rude to talk about your accomplishments.

Building off myth number one, people often tell me they don’t feel right talking about their strengths because it’s not “humble” or that they don’t want anyone to think that they are bragging. This is a myth! Humility means “strength harnessed,” not “strength ignored, downplayed or glossed over.” Knowing what your talents are and being able to speak about them with confidence – not arrogance – makes for an incredibly compelling presence, which people love. As long as you aren’t constantly making everything about you, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t talk about your accomplishments.


Myth #3: There’s nothing really unique about what I do.

Writing that elevator speech is so darn hard because deep down inside we suspect that we’re average and a little boring. Traditional school systems and work environments encourage us to be normal and follow the rules like everyone else. As a result, we’ve lost touch with what makes us great and we struggle to identify, much less articulate, what about us is so brilliant. But that negative talk stops right here! You are brilliant and it is surprisingly simple to identify your genius and start to talk about it in everyday conversations…without bragging.


Myth #4: Multiple job responsibilities provide security.

When we fully buy into myths one, two and three…we usually fall victim to myth numbers four and five as well. Caught in a scenario of being an outstanding service provider but a terrible self-promoter, we continue to expand our service lines to take any work roles that come our way under the pretense that it’s a strategic career move.  We’re following the rule of “not putting all our eggs in one basket.” While I do agree that being well-rounded in your job responsibilities is important, I know that oftentimes the best employees over-diversify and end up with a muddled personal brand. Don’t be afraid to specialize in your area of great talent. Specialization equals expertise and that’s what companies want: Specialized services provided by uber-talented people like you.


Myth #5: It’s foolish to turn down opportunities.

This is a hard one for professionals to follow. In the hopes of scoring a promotion, we oftentimes fill our schedules up with as many experiences and responsibilities as possible. But, in the end, this mentality becomes toxic to professionals who get sucked into projects, products and services that overwhelm them and disable them from building the career they originally envisioned.  Sometimes the strategic thing to do is to decline opportunities that are off target or, better yet, refer it to a trusted colleague. Allowing your career to be focused in areas of core strength will help you grow in a much faster and healthier way.

Professionals buy into these five myths because they are trying to get ahead and the rationale behind these myths seem to make sense. So, we use them to talk ourselves into making short-sighted decisions. But the more you buy into these myths, the farther away you are from achieving satisfying success.  

No executive or leader ever said to themselves, “I want to tread water in an unsatisfying job for the rest of my life!” And yet, that’s precisely what a lot of people are doing. If you find that you are in that place of treading water, stalled on a plateau or running on a hamster wheel, I have some good news. There is a better way. Talent-based personal branding is the way onto the path of prosperity and satisfaction.    

The cool part about being human is that we are all one-of-a-kind works of art, and the better you understand and OWN your “secret sauce,” the more attractive you will be to others to achieve the success you desire. Better yet, the success you DESERVE!

Now that you know these myths are all fiction, it’s time to close the book on them. Stop believing that you have something to prove and change your actions accordingly. This is where I can help. I created a very special Masterclass to help you unlock your potential and accelerate your career, it’s called The Key to Executive Success and it’s absolutely free and there’s no sales pitch at the end.  Click here to register (link).

You’ll be glad you did!