Just getting started in your career? Chances are, your brother’s new girlfriend, last night’s Uber driver, and your second cousin once-removed have all offered their wisdom. While, certainly, you’re lucky to be surrounded by a well-meaning community, deciphering good career advice from bad career advice is no easy task.
When it comes to making smart career moves, the stakes couldn’t be higher. So, before you follow one of these four pieces of bad advice, be sure to think twice.
“You need work-life balance”
Building a successful career requires long hours; don’t let the popularized “work-life balance” lingo trick you. It doesn’t matter if you’re an athlete, a sales representative, or a scientist: the top achievers in any industry are those who’ve lived unbalanced lives in order to get to where they are today.
This isn’t to say that spending time with loved ones and taking time to recharge aren’t important ― of course they are. That said, if you’re just launching your career, now is the time to grind. Delay gratification. Invest your time and energy into building. Balance will come later.
“Give it a try”
This is another piece of bad career advice often imparted to young people. On one hand, it’s great to keep an open mind to new opportunities. But on the other, “trying something out” is often the same as making the premature decision to quit when challenges arise.
Anything worth doing is going to require an unwavering commitment. This means not giving up at the first sign of discomfort; or in other words, closing your back doors. No matter the career path you choose, if you want to reap the benefits, you have to stay the course.“Trying something out” is often the same as making the premature decision to quit when challenges arise. Anything worth doing is going to require true commitment Click To Tweet
“Choose a job that doesn’t feel like work”
It probably hasn’t been long since you’ve seen this popular Confucius quote appear on one of your social media feeds: “Choose a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
While it’s certainly great advice to select a career that you’ll find gratifying, don’t be fooled by this oversimplification. As the happiest of employees and entrepreneurs will tell you, even when you love what you do, not every task is intrinsically enjoyable. Even the most rewarding careers require tasks that are unglamorous, monotonous, or simply unpleasant. Sometimes, work just feels like work ― and that’s okay.
There is real danger in continuously looking for the “perfect job.” Be careful not to pass up a great opportunity just because you don’t love every inch of it.Even the most rewarding careers require tasks that are unglamorous, monotonous, or simply unpleasant. Sometimes, work just feels like work ― and that’s okay. Click To Tweet
“Follow your passion”
This is often synonymous with “do what you’re good at.” Unfortunately, as you may have noticed, talents don’t necessarily translate into lucrative careers.
But that’s not even the biggest fault in this piece of bad career advice. The problem with telling young people to follow their passions is that in many cases, they’ve yet to develop them. Passion is achieved through mastery of a subject ― which takes years!
Don’t expect that the best career for you is the thing that you are currently the best at doing. Figure out what your goals are, and then do what it takes to achieve them ― even if it doesn’t come naturally to you at first.
What’s some of the worst career advice that you’ve received? Did you know it was bad advice at the time? Tell us in the comments below!
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