Growing up we’re given a lot of different advice. It makes sense- we’re young and we’re relying on the people around us to help make decisions that won’t suck in the long run.
The thing is, while the people dishing out these ‘pearls of wisdom’ might have our best interests at heart (bless their souls) sometimes, they can be astronomically wrong about things, especially when it comes to our careers.
It’s not that they’re trying to lead us astray, it’s just that they’re basing their advice off a completely different job market and technology climate. Here’s a couple of things we were told growing up, and why they’re wrong.
1. Playing video games is a waste of time
Sure, I may have gamed a little more than I should have (like at 3am on school nights) but that didn’t mean that it was a total waste of time.
Today we know that playing video games can actually have some cognitive benefits and thanks to smartphones, everyone from your six-year-old nephew to your elderly grandma is playing games; the mobile gaming industry is booming.
While being a gamer doesn’t always mean you have a career in game development waiting for you, our skills in tech are definitely an advantage as everything becomes digital.
2. Social media is pointless
To be fair, we do tend to do a lot of seemingly pointless things online; we’re not thinking about the future when we’re tagging our mates in memes or live tweeting The Bachelor, but this doesn’t mean social media is completely pointless.
All those years of half-watching, half-listening to Youtube videos while doing homework have made us multitaskers of the highest degree.
We’ve grown up with the internet and know first-hand what kind of content people want to see online.
We’ve got a comprehensive grasp of slang, a deep understanding of the inner workings of memes and we know that despite what the oldies think, that you can’t just say ‘viral?’ and then expect something to immediately ‘go viral.’
As for careers, there are entirely new fields and positions being created in response to these platforms (like social media marketers and the influx of content creators over traditional journos).
Some of the people that continue to find success today are looking to uni’s like The University of Queensland (UQ), that are giving them skills that can be carried across different careers in industries that don’t even exist yet.
3. You need to stick it out at one crappy job for the rest of your life
A lot of the time you’ll hear people say that job loyalty should be your priority and to stick it out for promotions and other good stuff that comes with doing the hard slog.
Thankfully, the job market doesn’t quite work this way anymore and everyone from your parents to the kids working at Maccas are trending towards more job mobility over stability.
You’re going to have a handful of different jobs over different careers in your lifetime and this means that it’s now more acceptable to change things up when you’re not happy.
Job loyalty isn’t our top priority anymore and what’s important (and will become more and more important in the future) is that workers are open to change and able to transfer their skills across a range of roles.
4. Play it safe, don’t take risks
You might be being told to play it safe, pick a stable career path and don’t take a risk with what you’re passionate about.
The thing is, there’s not really any 100% fail-safe paths out there anymore and you need to suss out options that will help you navigate all the changes- regardless of what happens.
UQ is all about this and their degrees are designed to make students employable for the jobs of the future.
Like we said- there’s no fail-safe options but there are ways to set yourself up so that you’re as prepared as possible.
5. Work hard and success will automatically come
To be fair, this isn’t entirely wrong. What is true is that nowadays it’s all about working smarter- not harder.
Creatively solving problems and thinking outside the box is how we’re going to survive in the unpredictable future ahead of us- so don’t fall into the trap of thinking if you keep doing the hard slog that success will automatically fall at your feet.
You need to learn the skills that will help you adapt and deal with the uncertainty facing us and UQ’s degrees will help you do just that.
They don’t have all the answers (who does?), but their degrees are a step in the right direction when you have no idea what the future will look like.