We need career advice now more than ever before. That is why career tips are everywhere you look. You can find them on business and social networks, newsletters, or blogs. Everyone has some opinion you should follow.
Friends, family, colleagues, and even strangers give you this advice constantly. And although well-meaning, it may not always apply to your situation. This career advice can prevent you from charting your authentic career path. Or, can even prevent you from thriving at work. Here are the 20 worst career advice and why you should not listen to them.
1. I Have To Find The Job That Suits Me
The fact is, there are always different jobs and roles that can suit a person and their strengths. This means that you have more options than you think. Several suitable professions are possible for you. There is no perfect job. It is all a matter of attitude.
No work is always fun. No job comes without its downsides. The naive image of a flawless dream job is above all that: a dream. But, you can come close to this dream. You need to be aware of personal criteria when choosing a career. And by making sure that you choose the right employer when applying.
2. The Career Coach Will Tell Me What I Should Do And Which Job Is The Right One For Me
A career coach cannot decide for you. You are responsible for choosing your career path. The career coach can ease and support the decision-making process. They help with specialist information and tips. Seek helpful experiences on the way to deciding on a career choice. Visit job fairs and information events. Company visits and discussions with professionals are also beneficial.
This is especially true for online tests that determine the most suitable career for you. Test results can reveal interests, strengths, and skills. They consider different factors related to career choices. But should not be mistaken as a final career choice tool.
3. Gender Determines The Job Roles Suitable For You
“As a girl, there are only a limited number of professions that are open to me. As a boy, a job in a daycare centre or a hospital is not for me.” Not even close. All professions are open to all genders. There is an impression that certain occupations are more suitable for women or men. Men occupy some jobs in higher numbers, while there are more women in others. It is not so. You should make a choice based on your interests, strengths and abilities.
4. If I Choose A Profession, Then This Profession Is For Life
This advice is very far from the truth. The first career choice is significant, but it is only the first step in the working world. You can take an apprenticeship if you decide later in your career. It is possible to continue your education. You can turn to another industry or learn another profession. Many people change jobs throughout their working lives.
5. The More Applications I Write, The Better My Chance Of Getting A Job
It is not the number of applications that counts. Their quality is imperative. The applicant must find a job that matches their interests, strengths, and skills. Moreover, the application should reflect the motivation of the business. With a certain number of applications, you stop being personal. It is challenging to tailor each letter to the advertised position and the employer. But no HR specialist likes to receive generic application documents. They can tell from first glance that the sender has not dealt with the vacant job or the company. Personal greeting, reference to the job posting, specific interest? None. Sending out three, four or five customized applications makes more sense. Contrary to sending a standard letter to as many companies as possible.
6. No Career Is Possible Without A Degree
It is wrong to think that the only thing that matters is having a university degree. A degree is helpful for your career. But sometimes, further education is not the most effective way to advance. You should carefully consider whether it will help you achieve your goals. And whether the time and money spent on it are worth it. Sometimes a specific education or work experience is a better solution for you. And a career and a high income are possible without a university degree.
7. Stay At That Job For At Least A Year
Your future employer needs to see that you are persistent in something you start. So you will often hear “stay at the job for at least a year.” How to do this if you are unhappy at that job and experiencing severe stress? Then, your work suffers, and you lose self-confidence. This scenario harms the further development of your career. Average turnover time should not be the main factor determining when you change jobs. Just because many people move on after a year does not mean you should or should not stay that long. The answer, for you, can be very different from this set rule. It all depends on your unique work situation, what you do in your current position and your plans for the future.
8. Stay In The Job Where You Are The Best
If you listen to this advice, you would never know that you could be equally competent or better in other fields. Sometimes it is necessary to get out of the comfort zone. Because that is the only way that leads to making progress. By staying within the current framework and not making changes, you will not grow. The realization is uncomfortable but that is true. If you want to be successful and happy, you need to leave your comfort zone all the time. And it is never too late.
9. Networking Is Just For Business
Do not look at networking only in the form of job hunting or moving to another industry. Try to look at networking as something long-term. Gather people around you who you can turn to for support at all stages of your career development. Networking is not a magic wand you throw away when you get the chance. Do not approach your professional community with one goal in mind. Establish genuine connections on a personal, not just a business level. You will develop a close, loyal network where what you give and receive will be limitless.
10. You Should Not Share Your Personal Life At Work
Do not listen to advice such as: Do not show your true self at work. Try to build a safe work environment for everyone, starting with yourself. It is a common thought that employees should leave their identity at home. Many think there is no space for feelings and problems in the workplace. Then why are many employees still unable to fully engage at work? Especially now that companies are evolving to focus on employee satisfaction? A mother may not discuss parenting at work for fear of sounding distracted or frivolous at work. Hiding your feelings does no one any good. Employees are more productive and have greater loyalty when they feel safe and can open up. If you are in a leadership position, you can set an example of what it means to open up.
11. Do Not Close The Door To Opportunities
Ignore the advice like never closing the door. Try to communicate about problems and set boundaries. You can find this advice in different phrases. “Be kind to everyone, because you might work for them, collaborate, or simply need a favour from them in the future”. As a result, people feel pressured to stay in a particular company. Even when they are unhappy or unfulfilled. The same mindset leads to employees not expressing their needs. The reason behind this is the fear of deteriorating work relations. And the consequences they carry with them. Always be professional, but set boundaries. Accept that every company is not the right choice for you. Even more, if it makes you feel stifled, undervalued, or otherwise uncomfortable. Trust your intuition. Do not let the fear of missing out on a “hot” opportunity make you both unhappy and discouraged. You deserve more.
12. You Will Never Get A Promotion Unless You Ask For It
It is common to hear that you would not get a raise or promotion if you do not ask for it. But this is not always the case. Instead, show that you are a better leader by your actions. Learn the business from all perspectives. Generate team results that your boss cannot ignore. Create the most positive, supportive, entrepreneurial spirit in the company. Then, when there is a need for a qualified leader, they will ask you themselves.
13. Keep Your Resume Short
You have probably been told to keep your resume to one page. Your resume reflects what you are best qualified for and why you deserve the position. Do not downplay yourself by omitting your skills, talents and expertise. It is sometimes not possible to cram everything on one sheet of paper. Especially if you have a lot of work experience. Any previous experience is critical when selecting a candidate. Even if it is not related to the job you are applying for. Non-qualifying work experience or volunteering can prove your interests. And better describe your character to a potential employer.
14. Follow Your Passion
This is one of the most useless pieces of career advice. Many people have multiple passions. Or will not discover their true passions until later in life. And sometimes those passions are simply not viable as a source of income. The real question would be “What kind of life do I want to set for myself?” In the business world, this is normal, and falls and detours are part of the journey towards the goal. We all have more than one passion and our interests change throughout our lives. Committing is what limits us. “Follow your heart” as a resolution should be constantly updated throughout life.
15. Leave Your Job If It Does Not Fulfill You
Everyone wants to find a job that they love and that fulfils them, but sometimes the road to that is long. Entry-level jobs require you to perform the least desirable tasks. But this is before you are given a real chance. If you do realize that the job is not for you, do not quit, but use that time to find a better job first.
16. Do Not Do A Job If You Are Not Getting Paid For It
It is easy to turn up your nose when asked to do something that is not in the job description. But know that you are creating a bad image of yourself. It can be beneficial for you If you take responsibility for these obligations. You will gain the trust of your superiors. This will later lead to more serious tasks and greater responsibility. Yet, be careful that your diligent work is not left unnoticed. You should be recognized and valued for everything you put into work. Especially if you walk the extra mile.
17. You Have To Start Somewhere
Young people are often forced to work jobs for which they are overqualified. This is especially the case in a struggling economy. Or if they have no contact points with the career they aspire to. Experts warn that you should be careful when accepting such jobs. Because it can be more difficult than you think to change your original plans.
This relates to the line that when looking for a job, you should apply to as many ads as possible. But this strategy wastes valuable time and energy. Apply for jobs you are interested in.
18. If You Work Hard, You Will Get The Recognition You Deserve
This thought is well-rooted in the business world. “If I dedicate my whole being to my work, then my line managers will acknowledge me.” However, in reality, this is rarely the case. Are all the overtime hours worth it? Are you always taking assignments that exceed your employment contract? Is your over-involvement recognized at its fair value? Most of the time, involvement in one’s profession is not proportional to recognition. Working hard does not always lead to significant recognition.
Going the extra mile can be a real chance to prove yourself. If you work in a place where managers emphasize and value your involvement. When recognition is given, it is ideal for contributing to professional development. However, how many people invest themselves, sometimes burning their wings in the process? They hope they will get recognition, which they will (unfortunately) never receive.
19. Taking A Career Break Is A Waste Of Time. Never Stop Working
Many people dream of the idea of taking a break from their careers. If only for a few months or a year. Even though many people want it, it is still taboo and derided. We often encounter resistance when we talk about it around us.
“I advise you not to take this year’s break, it will make a hole in your CV.”
“Do not bother travelling, you will waste time.”
“Your career will suffer if you take such a long break.”
All these sayings are based on a very formal and framed vision of what is a successful career. “After school, you have to work hard, and you can rest when you retire.” Still, there are times in life when the right thing you can do for your mental health is to take a break. Taking time for yourself is much better than you imagine for your career. So when you return to your professional life, you can dedicate yourself completely. After enjoying and resting, you will have a different state of mind and renewed energy.
20. Orient Yourself Only In Sectors That Are Recruiting
Follow the trend at all costs? This statement, even if it seems correct, is terrible advice. It may seem like the right thing to do. However, it does not apply to all career situations in absolute terms.
Focusing on a sector with a high employment opportunity has its benefits. Your career path will greatly be facilitated. But, what if the professional field that makes you passionate may be a sector that recruits little (or not at all)? Is this a reason to put your desires aside by choosing the easy way out? No. The path will be more difficult, you must be aware of that, but it is certainly not insurmountable.
So, follow your desires, and be aware of the market. By being aware of the difficulties and having a clear action plan. You will have to make more concessions and sacrifices than if you had chosen a path that recruits a lot. But what matters, in the long run, is your happiness.
Professionals in the field and your friends have your best interests in mind. But that does not mean you should not listen to and apply every piece of advice you get. Make sure you choose people who will advise you wisely. And then again, you have to do what you think is right.
In the end, listen to the advice, but not follow it without thinking. You should only follow your beliefs and ambitions. Consider the career advice of others and think about it. And apply it only when you are sure it is in line with what you want. So, start looking at traditional career advice differently.