This might have been holding you back all along…
Good career advice can often be hard to come by. While it’s definitely true that different things work for different people, there are certain things that tend to apply to most of us, regardless of the specific field or line of work we are in. But one thing that very few of us account for is changing times and environments; especially when we seek out this career advice we’re after from someone from a different generation, that may have not had the same access and exposure that our generation does.
What that essentially means is not that the advice is invalid, but simply that the advice may no longer stand true. Different evolving circumstances usually call for amendments in perspective, and it takes a lot more to stand out in 2023 than it may have in 1975. Apart from career advice that might be dated, there is also advice that comes from a sense of personal bias; people’s own experience is with companies that have set expectations– often low ones– for the people that are currently advising you. So how do you know what career advice to take at face value, and what to take with a grain of salt?
There are some standard bad pieces of career advice that we have all encountered at one stage or another. For instance:
The one wrong piece of career advice we’re all given
Never quit a job that you just joined
No matter how toxic or problematic the environment is, most of our told to stick it out for a time because companies don’t like looking at resumes with short stints on them. While is certainly true that longevity in a company helps, if it comes at the cost of mental health, poor pay, or physical health, we do ourselves so much damage if we stay in the job than we would if we cut our losses and cut ourselves some slack, and got out with our mental health intact.
Try to fit in
Most people will tell you that in order to be successful in a company you need to fit that company culture. What that will often lead to is people saying ‘blend in’, and that often comes at the cost of your own personality and ideas. A company hires you for you and for the unique perspective you bring to it; to try and get lost in the free in an effort to confirm is ultimately detrimental to your career growth.
Don’t treat money as the primary concern
Being told only to follow your passion is delightful, but is a luxury many cannot afford. No one is saying that you should look for a soul-deadening job that pays you bucket loads, but you definitely shouldn’t gloss over money in lieu of passion either.
But while these are definitely not going to help further your career, they are not as problematic as the one piece of advice pretty much all of us have heard in our growing years.
Keep your head down and work hard; you will be rewarded
Easily one of the most misleading pieces of advice out there, this essentially encourages you to work tirelessly without asking for recognition, appreciation, and–most importantly– compensation. It is a piece of career advice that is incredibly employer-first; that seeks the good of the company beyond the good of the individual. What you should be doing instead is doing great work, but also drawing attention to it, taking credit for it (when the credit is yours to take) and making sure that you are rewarded for it; instead of hoping someone will notice and reward you. Taking ownership of your effort is not something we are encouraged to do, but it is the people who do it that succeed–simply because they do not wait for someone to pay attention and applaud their work; they make their efforts clear and know their value.