Insert eye roll here
Even when it's well-intended, not all advice is good
In the last nine days, I’ve seen both our daughters graduate, one from high school and the other from college.
(In fact, I’m probably attending one of our eldest daughter’s three university ceremonies as you read this.)
I’ve noticed that these major milestones are also often accompanied by words of wisdom from supportive friends and family members, yet sometimes they’re not received in the way they were intended.
“The world is your oyster!” (A metaphor lost on our tends-to-be-quite-literal youngest, who made an “eww” face and rolled her eyes at the thought of a bivalve mollusk world.)
“Time to make your mark!” (Which tends to freak out our overachieving oldest, who loves to put unnecessary pressure on herself, thinking she needs to have everything figured out at 22. Lord knows I didn’t — did you?)
People love to give it, but sometimes, those well-meaning advisers’ words can unintentionally lead us astray.
This is especially true when it involves our careers.
Here’s some of the worst career advice—and what to do instead:
Be quiet and keep your head down
If you want to be noticed, you must speak up and stop hiding. Communicate with your boss to keep her up-to-date on the status of your projects, the results you’re responsible for, and how you’ve solved problems.
The only way to get ahead is _____
Careers are not one-size-fits-all, and there’s rarely only one path to success. So don’t be afraid to deviate from a prescribed path if you feel it isn’t working for you and isn’t aligned with your goals.
Fake it ’til you make it
Someone who says they have all the answers rarely does. Saying, “I don’t know, but I’ll find out,” signals your willingness to do what it takes to find a solution.
What you need to do is...
Never take advice from people who aren’t getting the results you want to experience. Instead, seek counsel from those who have done what you want to do.
Follow your passion
Lead with your curiosity to open you up to new and interesting experiences, people, and opportunities that you may not have considered if you were solely following your passion.
Another bit of bad advice: The only way to make career progress is in multiple-hour blocks.
ICYMI, in my recent Forbes article, I share seven ways to do it in under an hour.
And no matter whose advice you take (or choose to ignore), there’s a common enemy of progress you’ll encounter during your career, whether you realize it or not:
In my latest Forbes article, I share five of the sneaky ways it shows up and three action-oriented ways to disarm it. ✅
P.S. When I’m not writing this newsletter or explaining metaphors to our youngest or calming down our oldest, I’m a social media ghostwriter. (Yep, that’s a thing). I help founders, entrepreneurs, and CXOs craft their stories to communicate and connect better by magnifying their reach and impact. (Think personal branding and thought leadership.) Learn more here.
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Congrats to your family! And thank you for calling out the “fake it ‘til you make it” misnomer.