As a young professional who is at the beginning of a career path, taking career advice is recommended and even strategically wise, as today’s economical and financial landscape is unpredictable enough to mandate people to be prepared for the unexpected. From the tons of advice available on how to write an outstanding resume, to the impressive volume of literature treating topics like preparing for interviews, best industries and companies to work for, emerging markets and recruiting trends and so on. But an interesting question that is on everybody’s lips these days is how good are these advice and how well do they suit your own personal career path and vision? An article on Brazen Careerist, written by Gerald Buck sets an interesting and valid premise: how do you make the difference between good career advice and bad career advice, in the context of your own personal life and choices? Starting from the obvious truth that not all “advice and guidelines” match 100% an individual’s goals, needs and expectations, they should be interpreted as general guidelines and be viewed less in terms of “laws” or “fail-safe steps” that guarantee career success.
The article’s author emphasizes on some key – points anybody should be aware of, no matter they are looking for their first job, their fourth, or trying to get a promotion. Who are people taking career advice from is extensively debated and what are the mandatory grains of salt to add to any “expert advice” need to be thoroughly analyzed. But beyond this match between general advice and a person’s individual situation, there are a few other points to be made by anyone taking career advice from online sources or other people.
Taking career advice from your parents is good, but not always useful
Your parents simply lived in different times, with different rules and a completely different economical landscape. They may be insisting on you choosing an “established” job (following basic principles such as “everybody needs engineers”) or, on the contrary, doing exactly what you love and are good at, even if that particular job or industry isn’t the most profitable one. Listening to our parents is always a good advice, but making career choices needs a bit of deeper research.
You have to find a job in the field you studied for
This is ideal, of course, but reality shows that changing career paths and doing something else than is written on your graduation diploma might be a better idea. Being afraid to try something new is not the road to success and can lead you to dead – ends. Listening to career advice from experts, just as the previously mentioned article’s author say has to follow some common sense rules, the most important, in our opinion being the one related to the information being current and updated to your present situation. There may be emerging markets you never heard about where competition is still on low levels. Research, talk to people able to give you the right answers and ignore all the advice that pushes you to high levels of conformism in a world that resembles nothing with conformity.
Before deciding upon a career path, listen to yourself before listening to others
Your friends might tell you that the IT industry is on the rising and there is the future of any beginning professional. Your news feed will let you know about the hottest workplaces in successful and profitable corporations, while society will insist you become a responsible citizen paying bank rates and health insurance. Taking career advice that sounds legit financially on the long term is also recommended, provided you listen to your inner voice that says that you can’t buy a car without test – driving it or can’t buy into a house without a previous pest control. So before plunging into something that sounds good on paper, get involved in activities that will shape your vision upon reality and test your abilities to make it in one field or another. There are entry – level jobs, internships, volunteering actions, freelancing projects you can get involved in. Maybe the IT industry is profitable, but maybe it’s not for you. Test drive your career path and don’t be afraid to stir in the opposite direction if you realize the path isn’t leading you to the right direction.
It is easy taking career advice blinded by external pressure, allegedly expert recommendations and general statistics that speak to large numbers of people but not to yourself personally. Take a step back and before suiting up to rock that interview you managed to be called at, look at all the cards in your deck.