5 Classic Career Rules You'll Be Forced to Break

We’ve all heard those tried-and-true cliches meant to guide your career decisions. They come from people whose experience and advice you respect.

They’re supposed to make your life easier, functioning as givens you can fall back on. But that’s not always the case and you might actually be an exception.

Case in point, here are five rules you may be better off ignoring:

1. “Do What You Love”

You’ve been looking for a while, but you still haven’t found a job that suits both your passion and your budget. People keep telling you to hold out for your dream, but money’s getting tight. What do you do?

Why It’s a Rule

Let’s back up and think about why people say this: It stems from the idea that you’ll be more fulfilled if you enjoy what you do for a living.

Break the Rule

However, nowadays we know that fulfillment comes from many places—and it may be that your 9-to-5 is just a means to support your life outside of work. So if you have a family to support, or other ways to live your passion, it’s OK for your job to be just a job.

Read More: You Can Love What You Do for a Living, But Still Think it Feels Like Work

2. “Don’t Ever Leave One Job Before You Have Another in Hand”

When your alarm goes off, you groan. You hate your job, and every day there seems like an eternity. You want to leave, but you don’t have another job lined up yet. Should you wait?

Why It’s a Rule

Traditional advice would say not to leave just yet. Not only is it easier to job search with a continuous employment history, but avoiding a gap in pay means you won’t feel pressure to take any position, even if it’s not a good fit.

Break the Rule

If staying’s become toxic emotionally, psychologically, or physically; it’s time to leave. It’s true that this can put a (big) strain on your finances, so institute a strict budget now to help you prepare. Just because you’re leaving before you get an offer doesn’t mean you should do it on a whim.

Read More: 4 Lessons I Learned From Quitting My Job With No Back-up Plan

3. “You Must Stay With an Organization for at Least One Year”

You took a new job, and everything was going great—until it wasn’t. Now, you’d like to leave, but you’re worried that you’ll hurt your employability if you do. Isn’t there that rule about having to stay in a new place for a minimum of one year?

Why It’s a Rule

It’s true: You don’t want a reputation as a serial job-hopper. Employers like to work with people who stick around since it’s so expensive to recruit and train them.

Break the Rule

While you want to avoid having lots of short stays in your job history, most people will understand if there was a particular situation that wasn’t great. If it’s your boss or the day-to-day nature of your work that’s not what you expected, keep in mind that there are sometimes options to change positions without leaving the organization.

Start by looking for new responsibilities and discussing a transfer to another team. If, after that, you’re still itching to get out, update your resume and re-start your job hunt.

Read More: 4 Ways to Become Known as a Career Builder—and Not a Job Hopper