Who doesn’t love a good hack? Not me. I’m the queen of efficiency so I love finding ways to hack my time, my money, and at one point in my life, my career.
While it might be tempting to try to find the next “career hack”, it could actually be holding you back in your career and hurting in the long run.
One of the biggest life lessons I’ve learned in my personal growth is that if you shortcut your way through personal development … it will catch up with you in the long run.
It’s easy to want to rush your way to career success, but I firmly believe that your career spans a lifetime, and it’s a journey filled with obstacles and successes the whole way through.
And so while it might be tempting to just rely on resume hacks, or interview hacks your whole career life … eventually they will run dry. In order to be successful in your career in the long run, you will need more than a hack, and at that point, the stakes are much higher.
So that’s why today I’m going to be talking about how career hacks can actually damage your career and what to focus on instead.
Let’s get started!
1. Relying on Career Hacks Doesn’t Allow You To Learn How To Reflect On Your Growth
What do you want to do with your life? What kind of work environment works best for you? What skills do you want to develop? What kind of role do you want work to play in your life?
There is no fast-track way to answer these questions. And the problem with hacks is that sometimes they speed you up on pathways you don’t want to go down.
Sure you can use a resume hack or job hack to accelerate your career into a higher position, but what if you don’t even like the work? Or was the work environment wasn’t what you thought it would be? These are all questions that can’t be quickly answered; they take reflection and growth the can’t be answered through career hacks.
Most people want to get the job search/interview process over as quickly as possible and I get it, no one really likes working on resumes for hours on end and having to constantly face rejection. However, I firmly believe that this is an area for growth as well.
If you don’t feel like you did well in an interview, it can be easy to want to bury it away so you don’t even have to think about it as well, but it’s also a learning opportunity on what areas you can improve and how to do better. It also allows you to learn to interview the interviewer to see what you look for in an employer. I also believe that learning to deal with disappointment and rejection and how to overcome it is a truly important skill to learn in career growth.
Although it might feel tempting to want to speed past that part, overcoming failure and learning how to grow from it is probably one of the most important skills you will need in your career because everyone falls.
And for people who are only used to success or getting the job, it can limit you from going from something you feel unqualified for and stunt your career growth.
There are many parts of the career experience that don’t feel good, and it’s important to learn how to process those types of emotions and experiences because then it becomes easier down the road when you are more advanced in your career.
Lastly, this goes for both the career application process and your career itself. If you never learn how to bounce back from a career failure, it will paralyze you from taking the career risks that will truly accelerate your career.
2. Interview Scripts Create Reliance On Scripts
When I first started my career journey, I loved using interview scripts as a career hack. I would google the answer to every question and write out what I was going to say and practice it over and over again.
And that’s the thing about hacks, in theory, that sounds like a good idea, and writing out what you are going to say and practicing it is a good start to start developing your interview skills.
But that’s the keyword, it’s a good start. It shouldn’t be something you have to rely on doing forever for many reasons. Eventually, as you move through your career, the interview questions become less and less readily available.
Once you start niching down in your career, the questions become less and less frequent on Google. And interviewers these days are starting to move past the basic interview questions of “what’s your greatest strength/weakness” and are starting to move toward behavioural/situational questions. So if you only ever rely on interview questions from Google, they will eventually run dry, or what’s worse, your competition may also be reading the same questions/answers and you sound exactly the same as before you.
Additionally, you will probably eventually come up with a question that you didn’t find on Google. And if you didn’t practice and learn the skill of being able to craft and develop an interview answer without a script…it will show. That’s why it’s better to structure your interviews following formula instead of a script. If you are looking for more help on this, make sure to read this article on how to turn a good interview answer into a great one.
A lot of people end up in dead-end jobs or in careers they are too afraid to leave because they never want to learn this vital communication skill that’s not only important in the job interview, but also in the job and career growth itself.
Scripts are a great place to start practicing your communication skills, but relying on them forever will cause more damage than good in the long run.
3. Confidence is not transferable.
One of the most appealing parts of career hacks is that they give you this boost of false confidence. Like you don’t have to actually develop the skill or knowledge about a topic because you have a “hack” that will shortcut it.
And while you can shortcut a task, you can’t shortcut confidence which is such a vital part of career growth.
There are so many talented people in the world that are unable to advance their careers or grow their businesses because of confidence. As you start advancing in the career space, you realize that talent and skill are not enough; it’s also about how you sell it, it’s also about how you showcase your skills and talents and promote yourself.
However, if you solely rely on “hacks” then you’ve been relying on a false sense of confidence that you have been credited to the hack instead of seeing what you could do without it. How would you answer an interview question with a script? How would you want to get promoted in a job environment you actually want to be in? Those types of questions can’t be answered if all you’ve done is rely on “hacks.”
More than that, the great thing about career confidence is that it is transferable. In my coaching program, I work specifically with women who are looking to overcome impostor syndrome and the all-or-nothing mindset and the great thing about learning how to do this is that it’s transferable to other areas of your life like your personal life and starting a side business.
That’s the wonderful thing about confidence; it’s transferable and it can transform so many areas of your life so you are not always starting from scratch and looking for the next “hack” in the next area of your life.
Hacks have a time and place. It helps you get from Point A to Point B and sometimes they can be a great place to start, but relying on them forever can actually hinder your career growth in the long run.
And if you need some help learning how to develop the skills to truly take your career to the next week, I would love to help! Make sure to book a free Career Clarity Call to see if you are past the hacks that had limited purposes at the beginning of your career and are ready to accelerate your career!