Career Myths Vs Truths #9: Revel in Your Selfishness

In our book, Don’t Dread Monday, we highlight ten career myths and their corresponding truths. This is the ninth blog post in which we explore these myths/truths more in-depth, continuing to tackle how you can find true meaning and success in your career.

Career Myth #9: It is selfish to do what you want and focus on your career aspirations.. 

As a Hispanic woman, I was taught from a young age to serve and respect others. I’m grateful for these values, as they made me into the person I am today. However, these same principles, when taken to the extreme, can hinder and inhibit your career.

The title of this blog post may have given you pause because it’s so unlike what most of us are taught to do. We’re taught to be selfless, not selfish. But if being selfless means you are constantly doing tasks you don’t want to do or accepting jobs just because someone else expects it of you, then you need to be a little more selfish. That’s not being a selfish person, it’s about doing what you want with your career.

I had a friend growing up who was accepted into the University of Texas at Austin on a full-ride scholarship. However, her father wouldn’t allow her to go because in our culture women were expected to live at home until we got married. She ended up staying in our hometown, and she lives there to this day. I wonder what her life would have been like had she decided to follow her dream and do what she wanted to do, and not what others expected of her. 

In contrast is the Latin pop and movie star, Jennifer Lopez. While growing up in The Bronx, her Puerto Rican parents encouraged her and her sisters to put on little performances at home. But when Jennifer graduated high school, she attended college to please her parents. After only one semester, she dropped out and told her parents about her acting aspirations. They told her it was a stupid idea, that Latinos didn’t become movie stars, and were unsupportive. Jennifer moved out soon after and, after years of hard work, eventually became the highest-paid Hispanic actress of all time.

The truth is, you will never please everyone with your decisions. Our parents, friends, or loved-ones will want us to take one path, but our passions may lead us in a different direction. It’s important to remember that it’s your life and your career that you’re pursuing, not someone else’s. Choose today to follow your passion and live according to career truth number nine:

Career Truth #9: Revel in your selfishness. It’s good for you and the organization. 

It can be difficult to find your life’s work. We’re here to help. Schedule a free, 15-minute consultation with one of our experienced career coaches today. They can walk you through your career problems, from a simple resume and LinkedIn consultation to a career 180. You can contact us or call us at (800) 680-7768.