This is not your parents' business world. It's not even your older sister's business world. The recent recession has toppled and transformed our ideas about just about everything. Massive change is afoot and many of us are still reeling from the work-force bloodletting that began three years ago and the downfall of companies we thought we all respected.
I went in search of the biggest myths of business success that people believe to be true even though they don't work for 98% of all truly successful people. The time to debunk these myths is now because they are more dangerous and less viable than ever given this post-recessionary climate of ethical scrutiny and intense competition. Putting on blinders is not an option and you can't afford to waste time. You must throw away these myths immediately and determine what will work in their place.
Myth: Overnight success is possible.
Most people persevere for a long time and experience several setbacks before achieving an objective definition of success. You'll be best served if you are able to move your dream forward a little bit at a time, and are able to cope when things temporarily go south.
Myth: Controversy will propel your career.
Being controversial usually generates attention for a little while, but people will probably not trust you in the long-term. Instead, work to incorporate the tried-and-true values of honesty and authenticity into your daily work life.
Myth: Being good at your job trumps everything.
You can be the most talented person ever, but if your contributions aren't visible and people don't value what you do, it simply won't matter. So instead of slaving over your job, spend a little more time devising ways to promote the great work you're doing.
Myth: It's best to climb the ladder as fast as possible.
Getting ahead year after year requires a near-constant vigilance as well as a laser sharp focus on work – often to the detriment of everything else in your life. Higher titles usually bring longer hours, heavier responsibilities, and more politicking with them.
Myth: You'll get more money because you've earned it.
The media is full of stories of people who rake up six figure salaries because they played their cards right. But what about the unsung millions who came to the table with the same hand? More often than not, compensation is about business realities, HR mandates, and office politics – not performance.
Myth: Do what you love and the money will follow.
Just because you have a passion for a particular area doesn't mean you will automatically make money doing it. Some things are better off left as hobbies, but if you really think an income is possible, keep your day job and test the waters first.
Want to learn more about how you can protect your career or business from these myths? Check out Alexandra Levit's Blind Spots: The 10 Business Myths You Can Afford to Believe on Your New Path to Success. Visit her website at www.alexandralevit.com/blind-spots.
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