Career Advice You Should Never Take

Career advice. It’s everywhere. But is it always worth following? It’s hard to decide what nuggets of wisdom really work for you and which simply don’t apply to your career goals and situation. But is there advice one should simply ignore — no matter what? Are there things you should never say about yourself? LinkedIn Influencers had some surprising things to say about these topics this week. Here’s what two of them had to say. Ilya Pozin, founder of Pluto.TV, Open Me and Ciplex “We’re still much too likely to listen to the same tired advice we’ve heard over and over again when it comes to our career,” wrote Pozin in his post4 Pieces of Career Advice You Should Never Take. “Oprah probably wasn’t following this kind of advice when she rose to prominence as a talk show host and taste maker. Mark Zuckerberg clearly wasn’t following the maps left in career advice columns when he started Facebook wearing his signature hoodie.” Pozin points to advice “you’ve probably heard over and over again,” arguing that it might be time to ignore these bits of wisdom. “No one wants to hire a job hopper. Conventional wisdom says employers just don’t want to hire job hoppers for fear that, if they’ve hopped once, they’ll be more likely to leapfrog away again. Truthfully, however, job hopping is our future,” wrote Pozin. “Most importantly, prior job hopping doesn’t seem to have any predictive influence on future behaviour or productivity. A study by Evolv found prior tenures at past organisations had little correlation with how long an employee stayed at a current position.” “Always contribute to a meeting. You want your coworkers and boss to know how hard you’ve been working, and your monthly meeting might seem like the perfect opportunity. Sure, you don’t actually have anything substantial to add to the conversation, but you’re pretty sure you need to pipe up anyway. It’s important to be heard, right?,” wrote Pozin. “If you’re speaking up but not adding any value, what you are adding to is your co-workers’ levels of aggravation.” “The pay check is all that matters. Let’s be honest, we’d all love to wake up one day and discover we’re suddenly millionaires. Unless you win the lottery, however, this is pretty unlikely. We often think the next best thing is to pick the most highly paid field possible in which to collect our pay check,” Pozin wrote. “If the only passion you feel for your job or career is the amount of zeros on your pay check, you might want to reconsider. Finding your passion can allow you to truly enjoy your work hours, which is a pretty substantial chunk of your day.” “Be the first one in, last one out. There’s always been a misconception that being the first one in every morning and the last one out every night is the best way to climb the career ladder,” he wrote. “Hard work pays off, sure, but there’s a big difference between working hard and being a workaholic. A longitudinal study by the University of Padova in Italy followed workers for 15 years and discovered some shocking insights about the 24/7 employee: workaholic behaviour was linked to worse health, increased absenteeism, and most damning of all, decreased job performance.” Adam Grant, Professor at Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania “In every culture, and every industry, research identifies givers, takers, and matchers,” wrote Grant in his post Three Words You Should Never Say About Yourself. “Givers are generous: they help others with no strings attached. Takers are selfish: they try to get as much as they can from others. Matchers are fair: I’ll do something for you, if you do something for me.” “Sometimes people asked me about my style, and I was quick to answer: “I’m a giver.” It was natural — helping others is my top guiding principle in life,” he wrote. “It was the wrong answer.” Grant came to believe that after readers began commenting about a book he wrote on the topic of givers and takers. Rather than recounting stories of giving, readers were simply identifying themselves as givers. It was off-putting, but why? “There was a deeper issue of humility,” Grant wrote. “When I called myself a giver, I failed the test of humility. Now, when people ask about my style, I tell them I hold the values of a giver, and I aspire to be one. But whether I succeed in living by those values is not my place to judge. It’s in the eye of the beholder.” “Generosity is earned, not claimed. Leave it to other people to describe you as a giver — that’s the highest form of praise,” he wrote.