Becca SheltonUniversity of Richmond career advisor Becca Shelton works with adult learners, alumni, and experienced professionals seeking career guidance. Shelton debunks five common myths about changing careers long after college graduation:

Myth 1: You are too old to change careers

With the workplace being more fluid, so are skillsets and how they are applied to different jobs and careers. Maybe there is a certificate you can pick up, or another training that will give you an edge, but this is all part of your story. It is important to know your story, own your story, and articulate that to others.

Myth 2: You should know what you want to do with your life
As children we are often asked what do you want to be when you grow up. Whatever you answered, do you still want to do that? Chances are, probably not. Our ideas change and our vision for ourselves changes over time.

Myth 3: You have to start over at the bottom
While it’s unlikely that you will jump right into a senior level position, don’t ever dismiss the amount of experience, skills, and talents you have developed to date. Think of your skills as a tool box. What’s in your tool box, and how can you help employers solve problems?

Myth 4: You have to go back to school full-time

If you find there is additional education you may need for a new career you’re interested in, start making plans. Know that there are many flexible educational programs available for those working full-time.

Myth 5: It’s embarrassing to start a new career in your 30s

What’s actually embarrassing—to start over or tell someone about a career that you are unhappy in? Would you be excited or embarrassed to talk about your current situation, or would you rather talk about a fun new venture you’re exploring?

“The truth is, there’s a lot more living to do in your 30s and beyond, personally and professionally,” said Shelton. “The workplace is more fluid now than ever, and more folks are focused on jobs and careers that are fulfilling than in previous generations.”

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Assistant Director/Career Advisor
Member, SPCS Speakers Bureau
Areas of Focus: SPCS & MBA Students, Alumni, Experienced Professionals
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