Most of us do this every day without even noticing. We can’t help it; it comes so easily we do it without a second thought. We’re not talking about breathing, blinking or even smiling—we’re talking about lying.
From a little white lie about why we were late for work to a story about how our new smartphone was on sale, we all tell lies every day. While some lies aren’t particularly hurtful, there are others we tell ourselves that can be much more damaging: the lies we tell ourselves when it comes to our careers.
Career lies are extremely sneaky and can be pretty hard to spot. In fact, most of the time, they’re not easily identifiable as lies at all. Why? Because when it comes to our careers, we don’t like to admit things aren’t working and we’re possibly making a major mistake, so we unconsciously lie to ourselves that everything’s going according to plan.
But lies can’t last forever, and sooner or later, we’re going to have to be honest with ourselves about how content we actually are with our careers and lives. Here are five of the most common career lies we tell ourselves:
1. “I’m happy where I am”
Are you really happy with your current job and career? It’s okay if the answer is “no.” Despite the endless late nights, impossible deadlines, horrible boss and soulless chores you face every day, it’s easy to tell yourself you’re happy where you are. Why? Because change is scary!
We crave routine and familiarity, so no matter how terrible the job is, we’re inclined to tell ourselves that it could be worse. This might be true, but guess what? It could also be better!
2. “There are no jobs out there”
With headlines trumpeting employment doom and gloom, it’s easy to tell yourself to stay put. After all, you have a job, so you should be thankful, right? In reality, things aren’t as bad as you might think.
Slowly but surely, many industries are recovering, businesses are expanding and more jobs are becoming available—it’s just a case of knowing where to look and taking a leap of faith. It’s also a great time to create your own job to take advantage of new opportunities.
3. “I’m not good enough to get another job”
Feeling a lack of confidence? It’s not easy to tell yourself that you’re great, talented and ambitious, but guess what? You are! That’s why you have a job in the first place!
If you’re talented enough to have a job now, why wouldn’t you be talented enough to get another job? It really is that simple.
4. “I won’t get another job that pays this well”
So you’ve realized that there are jobs out there, but will you be able to get another job that pays as well as your current one? While you might have been at your current organization for a while and worked your way up to a higher pay grade, that doesn’t mean your company is the only one willing to pay you the going rate.
Thanks to your skills and experience, you have a certain value within your industry, and you really do earn your salary. You’re clearly important to your current organization, and your value will translate to another.
5. “I don’t want to progress”
Whether it’s taking on more responsibility, managing more people or moving to a different area of the business, climbing the career ladder can be a terrifying prospect—after all, there’s a chance you could fail.
While failure is a very real prospect, so is succeeding! Millions of people around the world successfully climb the career ladder every year. If they can grow in their roles, so can you.
If you’re saying you don’t want more money, authority and respect, are you truly happy in your role, or are you lying to yourself?
Amy Edwards (@amy_edwards88) is a Broadcast Journalism graduate who shunned radio and TV in favor of the dark world of online content and SEO. She’s currently working as an SEO Manager for the digital jobs board Bubble Jobs and regularly blogs about everything from careers and jobs to ecommerce, online marketing and SEO.