It’s a fact of life that as soon as you mention that you’re about to do anything, everyone, from your dentist to your parking attendant, has advice to give you. We’ve rounded up the worst pieces of advice flung at unsuspecting career women on an all too regular basis. 1 . Follow your passion and money will come your way Let’s face it, you’re not Oprah or Nigella Lawson. While you should do what makes you happy, it’s important to be realistic. Not all of your passions are viable career paths, but your strengths are a good indicator of the way to go. You may be passionate about pizza, languages and helping people. Instead of opening an Italian pizza truck and moonlighting as an unqualified psychologist, choose a career that plays to your strengths.
. In the future, robots will do your job Thanks so much, Uncle Jeff. I’ll bear that in mind. 4 . Take the job,
even if you don’t want it – it’ll be an experience If you won’t learn valuable skills and make important connections, it’s an experience you don’t need. More importantly, unless you’re down your very last cent in the bank, don’t risk your happiness.
. Work overtime. You’ll sleep when you’re dead Research shows that working excessively long hours negatively impacts your productivity in the long run. Even if you want to prove that you’re a hard worker, it could backfire: you may be seen as inefficient and unable to prioritise. 6
. Think about your future family before you make a career decision People tend to save this one for women. If, or when, you choose to start a family, you and your partner can assess how best to manage the situation together. The more you develop now, the wider your range of choices will be in the future. Never throw away a concrete opportunity now in favour of an imagined future. Plus, ‘married with kids’ is not by default a woman’s life goal. 7 . Things will work out for the best This is the greatest lie humanity has ever told. The law of entropy states that everything tends towards disorder and chaos. Problems tend to get worse and more complicated. Acknowledge that failure is part of your career trajectory and take the initiative to explore new options that might turn the situation around – or land you on an entirely new path.
The bottom line The bottom line is that no matter who you are, you’re bound to receive – and give – a lot of bad career advice over the course of your life. Should you ask for a raise or just give up and move to Bali? There are many right answers and it’s completely up to you to choose the path that feels best – as long as you do choose. The one thing that everyone can agree on is that when it comes to a happy work life, stasis is the enemy.