Most Dangerous Career Advice
Everyone who has ever looked for a job has had their fair share of career advice from their peers, mentors and friends.
Much of that advice, which may have been useful in the past, is not of much use today. After all, the workforce and job market have changed considerably over the past few decades.
Here are some pieces of dangerous career advice that you should avoid at all costs.
Don't Pretend to Know Something That You Don't
This is probably the most disastrous advice you can give someone looking for or new to a job. You may be able to get away with not knowing what you're doing, but in most cases, it will be apparent to a recruiter or employer. You can lose that job as quickly as you were hired, and you likely won't be able to use that reference down the road.
Make sure to be honest about what you do and don't know. Most employers are eager to show a new hire their way of doing things.
If You See Something, Say Something
When something works for a company, that company typically sticks with it, sometimes past the point of its usefulness. A lack of change can cause a once-thriving business to fall behind. There's always someone on staff who is reluctant to change how things are done.
If you are in a position to suggest or make a change that you believe would benefit the business, don't be afraid to do so. You never know where it will lead.
But Will You Be Fulfilled?
Experience is great, and everyone needs it. But if you're taking a job for this reason and none other, you'll find yourself burning out quicker than you normally would.
Furthermore, if a company no longer values your input, it's up to you to take steps to find new challenges.
We've probably all had people say this to us at one point or another. The truth is, anything you get paid to do is a job, and just because someone else has a different idea of what a job is than you do doesn't make the job you're doing wrong or not "real."
Work is work. What you're doing presently may not be what you or others believe you were meant to do, but remember, there's value in every job. You'll always learn something, and what you learn will carry you to your ultimate goal.
Money Isn't Everything
This is similar to taking a job just for the experience—there should be more than one reason you take a job or else you'll find yourself growing bored pretty quickly.
Sure, everyone needs a paycheck, but there's a lot more to taking a position that just paying the bills. Will there be benefits? Is the company culture toxic? Will you have a work/life balance?
There Are No Guarantees
There is no guarantee that if you spend more time in the office than you do outside of it that you'll get promoted. You may hear "there's room for promotion," but that doesn't necessarily mean it will happen, no matter how hard you put your nose to the grindstone.
The value you bring is far more important than the level of work you take on — however, if you think you can handle more responsibility, ask for it.
Expect to Be Bored
When starting a new job and learning how a company operates, it's always stressful, so when you pass that learning curve and you find everything smooth sailing, you can let out a sigh and ease into your days.
However, don't be comfortable for too long! Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone allows you to grow — whether that means taking on a new position in the company you're currently at or leaving it for another.
Ask for More
When hiring a new person, a company has a salary range in mind for that hire, and they'll typically offer an amount on the low end.
Businesses do expect prospective employees to negotiate a bit on salary, so don't be afraid to ask for more money. Chances are, while you may not get what you ask for, they will come up with a different (and better) number than the initial one.
Passion Doesn't Pay the Bills
This is very bad advice for people who want to follow careers in the arts. They'll find that passion doesn't always put food on the table.
When looking for a job, also take note of your skills and strengths. Combine what it is your good at with a dollop of that passion, and you'll be able to be successful working in a job (and industry) that you love.
Go Big or Go Home
Not everyone is suited to corporate culture. In fact, many people do better on a much smaller scale.
If that's you, you can learn a lot in a small business setting, as you'll likely be wearing many hats. This can help you figure out what you want to focus on later, should you choose to work with a bigger company.
Don't Stay Where You're Not Welcome
Being in a job that you don't like will not only cause burnout, but that unhappiness will bleed over into other areas of your life. It can even affect your health and relationships.
There's no harm in looking for another job that better suits you.
This Is Only Successful in Movies
Asking for a job in person never works in the real world. Most employers no longer allow walk-in applicants, even in retail where it was once the norm.
Today, if you were to do that, a company will likely ask you to visit their website to apply.
Try a Trade
Not everyone is suited to college. Learning a trade can jump-start your success, sometimes quicker than having a degree can.
You can either work on your own or start your business — there are plenty of trades that pay extremely well.
The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same
Maybe the job you have isn't challenging, or maybe the company you work at has a toxic environment. The advice that things will get better if you just stick it out isn't always true. In fact, more often than not, nothing will change.
If something doesn't sit right with you in your current position, for your happiness, growth and success, it may be time to move on.
Don't Wait Too Long for Recognition
If you've been at a job for a while and keep getting promises that, if you stay the course, good things will happen and they never do, it may be time to pull up the stakes.
Don't feel guilty about wanting something better or taking the time to look for it.