3 career myths it’s time to bust and the benefits of ‘doing things differently’

Nov 3, 2022

Are you ‘doing your career differently’?

I often talk about the importance of redefining success and creating your career, on your terms.

But as a high-achiever who’s found success by following a traditional career path, this can be tricky.

Especially if you’re like many of my clients, who come from professional services. Careers like law, accounting and finance — where there is one clear path and model of success laid out in front of you.

So if you’ve wandered off this path, it can bring up a lot of guilt, shame or judgement. From others, but mostly yourself. And if you have the desire to ‘do your career differently’, it may create a lot of fear.

When this topic came up in multiple conversations recently, I knew I had to address it. Because I believe ‘doing things differently’ is how you create the career you want.

Here are 3 common career myths I want to bust — and the advantages of approaching your career differently!


Ever looked at someone’s LinkedIn profile and thought, ‘Wow, they’ve moved jobs a lot.’ Or ‘They’ve been in a few roles less than 2 years’? Be honest!

What does this make you think about them? You may raise an eyebrow and wonder what went wrong. Or assume (even unconsciously) they can’t commit.

Our conditioning has led us to consider changing jobs too often (or too many times) as wrong or bad. And if you’re judging someone else for this, chances are, you’re also judging yourself.

A past client recently shared: ‘I’ve realised, I’ve been in my past few jobs for less than 2 years too!’ She was carrying the belief this meant she was a quitter and others would be judging her. And all this did was create shame and self-judgement.

Well, I want to call out this isn’t true.

When I started out in recruitment, employers would ask questions if anyone had been in a role less than 5 years! Over the next decade or two, I saw this mentality slowly start to shift. It’s now become acceptable to change jobs more often.

Especially in the past few years due to COVID. Lots of people lost their jobs in 2020 and as it’s become a job-seekers market, there’s been more movement. We’ve also seen a rise in contracting, consulting and freelance roles too.

The bottom-line is, many people have shorter stints on their CV’s and less questions are being asked. It’s about being able to clearly articulate your reasons for leaving at the time. Focus on the positive aspects of the move (such as new skills you developed) and how it benefits a potential employer.

Because when you stop judging yourself, you will realise changing jobs doesn’t make you a quitter!


Do you compare yourself to others who’ve followed a more traditional career path? You’ve done lots of different things in the same profession. But believe it means you’re a failure.

One client has had a diverse and successful career as a partner in a law firm. More recently, in teaching and consulting. Yet she was beating herself up for not sticking with one thing.

This week, another senior lawyer shared how she’s always felt like ‘a square peg in a round hole’ in her profession. She’d followed a conventional career path and had tried to mould herself to her job for years. Then she realised — she didn’t fit the ‘traditional way’ of doing the work and wanted to ‘do things differently’.

I think this is so refreshing! It’s time to crush the belief you have to fit in to be successful.

If you’ve had a diverse career path, realise there’s nothing wrong with you. You are not a failure. We all have different drivers and priorities at work.

Some people value certainty and want the security of a traditional role or way of working. Others prefer variety, want to keep growing and enjoy the challenge of a new role or environment. If this is you, trying different things within your one profession makes more sense.

The truth is: what you perceive to be a weakness is your greatest strength. You’ve developed a broad range of skills, relationships and a level of commerciality which sets you apart. And while some peers and clients will want to work with someone more traditional — others will value the diversity of your experience!

When you choose to do things your way, you will experience more fulfillment and sustainable career success.


Are you multi-passionate and want to do more than ONE thing? You could run a side hustle or freelance on the side of a traditional day job. Or you do lots of different things in your current career: you work in HR but also do speaking, training and coaching.

Yet deep down, you feel constant pressure to pick one lane and stick to it. Because you’re in a more conventional career — and fear what others will think…

You worry your boss, peers or mentors will think you’re flaky or judge you. So you don’t put yourself out there, share your work or accomplishments. And this holds you back from attracting clients or opportunities.

Well, I want to quash this belief right now!

More and more people are choosing the ‘slashie’ or portfolio career. Think an Accountant/Artist, Lawyer/Life Coach or Financial Planner/Photographer. It’s the new normal and becoming increasingly accepted by employers and society.

Instead, celebrate the fact you live in a time where you can have more than one career. Unlike past generations, you don’t have to sacrifice one passion for another. Choose to own the broad range of skills and experience which make you so unique!

When you let go of the need to limit yourself to one thing, you can fully express yourself through your work.

Creating a career on your terms isn’t always easy. But these insights have helped my clients and I see the benefits of following the less travelled path. I hope they give you permission to ‘do your career differently’ too!

Want to make the right career decisions and start to create a career on your terms?

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Stacey Back is a Career Strategist, Leadership Coach + Founder of Profile Careers. She helps high-achievers at a career crossroads find the work that lights them up, increase their income, impact and create a career + life on their terms. Stacey works virtually with individuals and organisations based across the globe.