Career “Rules” That You Don’t Have to Follow


Career “Rules” That You Don’t Have to Follow

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” – Pablo Picasso

There’s no arguing the fact that getting career advice is valuable. But sometimes it pays to not follow the clichéd “rules” that we’ve come to know and respect.

Here are a few rules you should try breaking, for your career’s sake.

Rule #1: Pick one career and don’t look back

We all know someone who knew what they wanted to be at age 10 and succeeded, slowly climbing the career ladder from elementary school to present day. But this type of straight and narrow career path is outdated! Moreover, it’s not for everyone – things change in life, and our careers can, too.

How to break the rule
Keep in mind that changing careers is 100 percent possible, but just like many things in life, there are steps to follow. Check out our article on how to change careers. Next, ponder this: what does your new career have in common with your “old” career? Chances are, your education, training and skills gleaned from your current job will serve you well in your next career incarnation.

Rule #2: Only apply for advertised jobs

When you begin your job search, the first place you head is – right? We hope so! But applying to advertised jobs should not be the only trick up your sleeve when it comes to finding the career of your dreams. It’s a competitive, fast-moving job market out there, especially in the world of hospitality, so you need to work beyond the job board to get what you really want.

How to break the rule
First of all, don’t stop applying for advertised jobs. In fact, make applying for jobs your “day job.” That is, treat your job search like a full-time job. But moonlight by sending unsolicited applications and letters of interest to employers, even ones that are not hiring. Why? It’s bold, it shows confidence and it’s a more direct route to the hiring manager’s desk. Applying to a listed vacancy means your CV is one of perhaps hundreds in a pile. Introducing yourself with a speculative letter can catch the eye of a hiring manager at just the right time. Be sure to research the company, its structure and needs, and write your introductory letter with a specific angle.

Rule #3: Always trust your instincts

Who hasn’t heard this hard and fast rule of life at some point? And it happens to be very good advice—most of the time. However, when it comes to your career, you might want to rely on more concrete data than a “gut feeling” before making big changes.

How to break the rule
Before accepting a job offer, changing careers or speaking to your boss about a promotion or raise, seek out a mentor to help you assess the situation, craft a strategy and make the best decisions. We do still want you to trust your instincts, but make sure that they are coming from a place of honest self-evaluation and critique, something a mentor or coach can help you find. If your gut is still giving you the same answer after hashing it out with a third-party, then by all means, don’t break this rule!