Break These 5 Outdated Career Rules to Succeed Now

As one graduates from the tight grasp of schooling, another of life’s biggest challenges should be expected. The corporate jungle is no easy place, especially to the greenhorns who just came from college.

Break These 5 Outdated Career Rules to Succeed Now
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Most of the time, aspiring professionals prepare as much as they can for what is coming by asking experienced people tips for managing the whole new lifestyle they are about to embrace.

Others, on the other hand, read helpful books or browse through online references to stay aware of career rules that can contribute to their success.

More often than not, however, there are pieces of advice from other people that lead beginners astray rather than guide them to a healthier career. Unless one receives authentic business and executive coaching, the career recommendations from other people have a great chance of being incorrect.

With that said, it is best to simply listen to credible career experts to avoid being misinformed on the subject, as false career counseling (such as the concepts provided below) can be detrimental to your career path.

1. Nobody makes it big just by being an employee

While it is true that entrepreneurship is one of the quickest ways to be wealthy and prosperous, it is not always the case if you want to make it to the top. In fact, it is never the only way to achieve the peak of your fortune.

You can still fulfill your dream of becoming rich and famous so long as you do well in your job. Some executive creative directors in advertising agencies, for instance, now earn more than $15,000 per month, and they started as no more than art directors. Those who excel in their jobs can actually demand higher salaries from their heads, making them very successful in their career without having to build their own businesses.

2. You should stick to one job to increase your value

No matter how many people tell you that your value as a professional is determined by how long you stay in a corporation, DO NOT BELIEVE IT. Most companies rely more on a professional’s experience and skills rather than the intervals of his or her employment. After all, what good is a lengthy stay in a company if you have not learned the right knowledge and skills you need to advance to more challenging tasks in your career? 

Also, working for the same company for a long time, and doing the same things over and over every day, does not exactly help in developing your skills as a professional. It is all right to spend a long time in the same enterprise, but keep in mind that you can also increase your value as you shift from one company to another, learning new abilities as you take on new tasks.

3. It is okay to not have a high salary as long as you love what you are doing

It is never okay to settle for less just because you enjoy what you are currently doing. Why go for a low-paying job when you can do what you love and earn well at the same time?

Regardless of the type of reliable seminar sharing career success tips that you attend, you will never hear qualified speakers say that you should sacrifice practicality to chase after what you like doing. It is possible to find a fair-paying job that involves doing what you love and is also the best course of action if you wish to be a successful professional.

Break These 5 Outdated Career Rules to Succeed Now
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4. Choose your job based on the skills that you have and the degree you acquired

You can find several success stories wherein a CPA became a talented graphic designer, for example, or a fisherman turned into one of the biggest business owners in the country. The skills you have learned in school and the degree you have in your hands right now are not the deciding factors of your career.

You choose your own path based on what you like and what you aim to do. Always remember that skills can be learned, but the chances of you being in the right career will not come your way often.

5. You will have realized the right career for you when you reach 30

Your age does not define the boundaries of your career choice. There are several successful business tycoons, for example, who just started building their companies when they already reached the senior age. It is important to know that you should not be discouraged by the fact that you are already 30 and still haven’t found the right career. It is never too late to shift between careers and pursue a better goal if you think that it is not the most suitable one for you.


There is no concrete formula formula for achieving career success, and there is no shortcut to making it on top of the corporate ladder. But thanks to reliable guidance from career experts, one may gain a better chance of making it through the professional world while enjoying the journey.

Author: Salma El-Shurafa

Salma El-Shurafa is an experienced Executive Coach and founder of The Pathway Project. She is a Professional Certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach from The Coaches Training Institute (CTI) and a graduate of CTI’s Co-Active Leadership program. View all posts by Salma El-Shurafa