Throughout your life, you’ll be able to benefit from sound career advice. There will be a lot of useful information, but you may receive it at the wrong time or receive information that contradicts what you need to hear at that particular moment. Career advice that is good for someone else may not be good for you, depending on your current situation, immediate needs, and long-term goals.
My curiosity was piqued by the stories of others, so I gathered up 10 pieces of career advice that aren’t always true.
Go to the Places That Have the Most Money
Then there are jobs with lower starting salaries that offer such generous benefits packages that, over the long term, they result in more guaranteed income and, in some cases, a more contented way of life. Any job that comes with a retirement plan is a good example. In the long run, you may be better off taking a job with less immediate gratification in order to collect a full pension and additional retirement savings for a period of 20 or 30 years after retirement.
Jobs that qualify for a Student Loan Forgiveness program, which can remove tens of thousands of dollars from your debt if you meet the requirements, are another good example of this. Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Teacher Loan Forgiveness, for example, benefit employees of non-profit organizations, the federal government, and educational institutions that meet the requirements for both programs. You won’t have to worry about being laid off if you get one of these jobs because of the high level of job security they provide.
Assuming someone tells you to “Go where the money is,” make sure to take into account the value of a pension and student loan forgiveness, as well as job security and other factors that go beyond the immediate salary.
Don’t Expect to Survive
There are still some jobs out there where you are expected to do exactly what your boss tells you to do, without interfering in the relationship between you and your coworkers. Even so, as @thekarachikid pointed out, managing up is often a necessary part of any work.
Never resign from a job less than a year into the job.
Stick around for at least a year in a bad job, especially if it’s in your intended career path, according to a lot of people. They say a brief employment history is unappealing on a resume. You’re a quitter if you leave after less than a year.
What’s the point of sticking it out if you’re miserable or don’t like where you’re working for some arbitrary period of time? As soon as you realize your current job isn’t the right fit, you should begin searching for and interviewing for new positions. You don’t have to list every job you’ve ever had, so don’t stress out if you had a bad but brief experience.
In the event that you have a history of quitting jobs before the one-year mark, it may be time to reassess your job-hunting strategy.
Don’t Eat Alone! (or Always Be Schmoozing)
@maxleibman I once read the cautionary phrase “never eat alone at work” and promptly ignored it. People who enjoy mingling with coworkers during their downtime may find it beneficial to do so. You could become ineffective because of it, according to some people. To avoid being swayed by this advice, it’s important to know your own preferences and priorities.
When you get a job offer, don’t be afraid to ask for more money.
When you get a job offer, don’t be afraid to ask for a raise. What you earn now and in the future is heavily influenced by your starting salary. Increases in salary are compounded when they are linked to a percentage of the original salary.
Unfortunately, that advice falls flat on occasion. The hiring team may be upfront about the fact that not every organization has more money to give. Furthermore, some organizations and sectors use transparent salary calculations for each position and do not deviate from these. There may be no room for negotiation in the terms of the deal. After being told there is no room for negotiation, you may be showing a lack of understanding of the organization’s workings if you request more money. But that doesn’t rule out negotiating additional compensation, like an earlier start date that allows you to take additional time off or the rate at which you earn paid time off. You have a lot more wiggle room when it comes to salary negotiations than you might think.
It is important not to become a generalist in your field.
Is it better to learn a little bit of everything at the beginning of your career or to specialize and become a “SME” in one particular field? As @LKnerl points out, being a generalist is fine as long as it keeps you interested and stimulates your mind.
Work or conduct business with people you know.
It’s not a problem for @lynnjohnstonlit when the Venn diagram of her friends and colleagues overlaps.
Before resigning from a job, give two weeks notice.
Giving two weeks’ notice is a nicety, not a requirement, and it’s not the best advice for everyone in every circumstance. Depending on the circumstances, some people may need to give much more notice than others.
The announcement of a person’s departure from a high-level position may not be made until their replacement is in place, which could take months. It’s okay to give your team three or four weeks’ notice if you aren’t a member of the C-suite; in fact, it may be beneficial to do so. That’s not something you owe anyone, but there are occasions when it’s a nice gesture.
The opposite is also true: If you are quitting a job because of a hostile work environment, you can make your resignation “immediately effective” Giving two weeks’ notice is a good way to avoid severing ties with your former employer, which can be helpful if, for example, you need a reference from the position you’re leaving in the future. You may have to leave immediately if the bridge has already collapsed.
For the love of God, do not ever write for free.
The following is a tip specifically for writers and other creative types: Freelancers should never write for free, even if they’re just starting out and don’t have any previous writing samples, writing clips, or project completion history. This could necessitate writing for free in the beginning. Don’t write for free for too long if you can avoid it, says @JLNwrites! “Never?” Is that really what you’re saying? Nah.
Never exceed one page on a resume or CV.
While the advice that “resumes should never be longer than one page” can be helpful in some industries, it’s downright unhelpful in many other industries. Academics, medical professionals, and anyone else who needs to list important certifications or training alongside all the relevant details have long since abandoned this advice. A special thanks goes out to @BazWalsh85 for bringing this one to our attention.