This blog about bad career advice is part one of a two-part series.

People you know or meet in life will always have an opinion on one subject or another. Whether it’s recommending a deli with the best sandwiches in town or giving their review on the latest blockbuster release in theaters, they aren’t at a loss for words to let you know what they think. From their point of view, sharing could be caring, but there are times when advice that may appear to be great may not be good counsel at all. And, this would hold true with advice that has to do with your career. Sometimes, what may seem to be words of wisdom are not.


Here are a couple of comments you might have heard in the past and why they may not work for most everyone:


Follow your passion

If you’re fortunate to have a passion – like writing, acting, music and painting – and you’re able to turn it into a lucrative career, that’s fantastic! However, in most cases, trying to make a go at what you’re passionate about may not produce the results you want. You’ll need to be prepared to work hard, anticipate setbacks, and expect the reality that your passion as a career choice may not be the best option for you.


Instead of striving to follow your passion, consider following your “giftings”. This means taking advantage of your knowledge and the skills you are proficient at and make the best use of them. And if you have a passion in something other than your work, find ways to achieve your dreams in your personal life – in your free time, play in a weekend rock band, write a blog, paint or act in local theatre.


Work hard and it will pay off

This is a statement that alone sounds reasonable, but there are factors in working hard that could leave you feeling unhappy, disillusioned and burnt out. A balance needs to be achieved. Rather than encouraging yourself to work hard, tell yourself to work smart. Find ways to streamline processes that can help you provide timely input and well-informed decisions. Manage your tasks and activities and prioritize accordingly. Keep your manager apprised periodically on the status of your work. Encourage two-way communications and build working relationships with members of your team and others in the business. Set yourself up to succeed and grow your career by working smart rather than working hard.


When it comes to career advice, the old adage, ‘It’s better to give than to receive’, doesn’t apply. In this age of social media, everyone seems to be more opinionated and compelled to share, and as such, additional bad career advice will be addressed in this two-part series.

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