When it comes to your career, everyone will try to give you some advice, but like all advice, you should use your critical judgement before taking it to heart.
Often the advice reveals more about the person giving it than being helpful for you. Here are the top three worst pieces of career advice so you can spot them when someone tells them to you!
Don’t keep changing roles, it will look bad on your CV
Some employers might ask you why you have changed your roles so many times. Therefore, I do not recommend putting all the jobs you have ever done on your CV. Only include the most relevant roles to the type of job you are applying for and be prepared to explain the gaps.
The price you are going to pay for staying in the same role for the sake of what a future employer might think is too great. Do not underestimate the stress caused by a job you hate. When thinking about your career, I like to use the analogy of dating. If you had a terrible date would you then stay with that person for a year because the person after this one might think you are a player?
Don’t beat yourself up for quitting a job after a short period of time. I remember changing jobs like I was changing underwear and you have no idea how much slack I got at the time from friends and family. I have no regrets because I learnt so much from all my roles and if I had to do it again, I would in a heartbeat!
Quit your job if you don’t like it
You have two types of people: the ones who can apply for a role whilst working and those who will only look for a new role once they have quit their current one i.e., they feel the fire up their ass! I am in the second type. I work extremely well when I am under pressure.
Now that I have had a few more years of maturity, I do not recommend that you just quit without a solid plan to support that decision. The stress of not having money will lead you to make decisions from a place of scarcity, which is never a good thing.
Have a savings plan in place and keep an eye out for opportunities. If you manage to get a great interview at your dream firm, then you can call in sick. This is not very orthodox advice but sometimes you have to find a way to make the situation work. It might be awkward and although opportunities always come your way, this one might take a long time to come back. Your boss will forgive you and I promise that they have probably done the same.
Work hard and you will climb the career ladder
Slaving around until midnight will not impress your boss and in some cases it can even backfire. Many years ago, I was working as an intern and I overheard my boss talking about a junior lawyer and how useless he was. Horrible I know, but welcome into the world of some law firms. The reason he thought he was hopeless was because the intern was working so late that they thought he was a slow worker, not because he had a great work ethic.
Look around you and observe. Who tends to get promoted? It is not necessarily the ones that work the most or are the most reliable. Sometimes the snitch gets a promotion because they are the eyes of your manager whilst he is not there. Or they are friends because that employee spends a lot of time socialising with the key people of the organisation. Work smart rather than hard. Be social and make connections with the key players without being too obvious and don’t force the connection if it’s not there, you will only annoy them. These relationships will count much more for your career than any amount of late-night work.
I hope this article helps you look out for the pieces of advice to ignore. Please check back soon for more articles on career advice and let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.