Worst Career Advice Ever?
A couple of months ago Peter asked a question to his LinkedIn contacts: What is the worst career advice you’ve ever heard? Here are most of the awesome replies (there were 42 responses – see them all here):
- You’re set for life! (… when someone has just taken a job in the public service. Set – yeah, like a jelly is set!)
- get a degree in accounting
- “So, you want to be a lawyer?!! Get a real job first! Work in a factory for some years, to see the real life!” I didn’t follow the advice…
- “You have a good job at a utility: stay there.” Safety equals dullness. (there’s more)
- The worst career advice is not to have any when you are first starting out, especially with the graduation door slamming shut on your rear -end on the way out!
- 1976, upper midwest, town of 7,000, 10th grade – you guys don’t need to learn to type…typing is for girls. How’s that worked out for you guys?
- “Listen, I know you have a staff job but I think you should take that really great, totally secure freelance position!”
- “Seek advice from random strangers on the Internet.” (lol – thanks Alex)
- In a counselling setting: Don’t worry if people don’t come back, they just didn’t like what you said to them. (of course I worried about why they didn’t come back.)
- In a government job: Don’t leave, there’s a lot of job security. (I left)
- In private practice: You don’t have enough experience to do that. (I have it now!)
- You have to not work so many hours. (But I love my job and am enjoying myself so much)
- “Your neurosis problems are making you fail in your job…”
- 26 years later, I still try to find out if I have neurosis problems and I have found nothing…
- “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” Yes, it is a question, but it implies that you should have a 5-year plan, Total BS this day and age.
- Always say you have extensive experience doing X when someone asks you if you’ve done X before.
- “You’re a Rhodes Scholar! You’re all set! What could go wrong?”
- You deserve better, they are just exploiting you. If you resign, we will immediately take you… Needless to say that words vanish like smoke….
- ” When you are a “fresher,” better stick to your company atleast for one year”
- To volunteer for low level tasks as an intership or job starter.
- “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Management will notice.” I was thinking ‘yeah I want to be known for my clothing and not my experience or education.’
- “Plastics.” (Anyone remember THE GRADUATE with Dustin Hoffman?)
- [my current job is] a total wrong fit and whenever I talk to people and ask for some advice the line I get is “at least you have a paycheck.” And I think to myself, great, what do I do with this?
- don’t push to have a managerial post, just settle to become a secretary a top noch one, though…..
- I approached [a speaker] and asked how I could move into that career (I was already a trainer for a company). his response…”Just do it guy.”
- “don’t take risks by thinking outside of the box so much”
- “In order to become a Genetic Engineer, you have to study Civil Engineering!”
- “You’ll be limited if you don’t have a degree”
- “You have to wait for your turn and grow your wings before you can be considered for leadership positions. It’s the same with other companies.”
- “Closing three small deals is better than going for that big ambitious project.”
- You have so much potential – hold out for 2 more years and you will go places!
- “around here, you are nothing more than a strong back; get about a good 8 years of experience in the lab, and then you can break into the 60k salary tier!”
- Stay at a job your unhappy with – you have too much tribal knowledge.
- I arrived for what a thought was a job interview and turned out to be a head hunting firm. Looked at my resume calculated I had been in the work force over 25 years and said you have one good job left in you.
- “Hey go check out Enron, they’re looking for talented auditors”
- “You are too smart to be a business major! You should do engineering.”
- “You have a special calling to do this.” I gave working in the church a try before becoming a recruiter.
- My Father: “No Daughter of mine is going into this business!!”
- “The IT job market is HOT!”… Uh… no… IT workers have about a 13% unemployment rate, and over the next few years I expect 1/3 to 1/2 more Americans in IT to permanently lose their jobs. Every day I ask myself… Why, oh why, did I not become a Dentist? Now there is a stable career.
- “Do ANYTHING you can to get into __________ firm.”
- “Girls can’t be engineers – only teachers or nurses.” – Midwest, late 1960s. HA!
- “A Bachelors is all you need”
What’s the worst career advice YOU’VE ever heard?
Worst career advise came from my dad in the late 80’s (he graduated from HS in 1950) “You must take short-hand, how else will you become a secretary”- I had no ambition to be a secretary, I wanted project management- Engineering to be specific but this is what he thought were a woman’s only career option- does anyone even know short-hand?