MythBusters: Career Climbing Edition

Ever watched MythBusters? It has been a favorite of my family for quite a while (mostly because we can watch TV with the kids and convince ourselves it is educational). Over the past 10 years the hosts have busted all sorts of myths. Everything from duct tape to weaponry has had its day in the court of Adam and Jaime. But busted myths are not confined to exploding cars and test dummies; there are a number of career related myths that could used some truth telling as well.

Myth #1: Job-hop to the top
Quite a few professionals believe the only way to get to the top of that ever longer career ladder is to hop from job to job. The think taking on new projects at new companies will eventually lead them to the holy grail of career climbing- becoming a CEO. 

However, most CEO's actually come from within their respective companies, and many have only worked at 2-3 companies throughout their careers. There is something to be said for staying put and being promoted from within.

Myth #2: Lateral moves are less productive
It seems reasonable that climbing the corporate ladder should include, well, climbing. But that is not always the case.  Sometimes a lateral move can be just as advantageous  You could be broadening your experience rather than deepening it, and this can be of great benefit when it comes to moving into a management level position.

Myth #3: Big companies have better opportunities
Everyone wants to work at Google, Apple and Goldman Sachs. But the problem is that everyone    wants to work at Google, Apple and Goldman Sachs. The competitions for jobs at the biggest and "sexiest" companies is fierce with thousands of resumes pouring in for every new opening. You may have better luck, and a better experience at a smaller company.

Smaller organizations are often easier to get into and they are more likely to give you room to grow within your job. There is also a much greater chance of rapid rise, as there will not be a line of people with seniority waiting in front of you the next time a promotion opens up.

Myth #4: Career switchers are doomed
If you have been on the same track for 10 years, leaving it to try something new can be intimidating. however, it does not signal professional death. In this day and age of rapid technological development, many new opportunities present themselves that were simply unheard of a decade before. Don't be afraid to venture out. The days of doing the same thing for 40 years are long gone, and future employers know this. A career switch is not a resume killer.

So take a page from the MythBusters and prove some of these long help career myths wrong.