This blog about bad career advice is part two of a two-part series. If you missed it, view part one.
The following pieces of advice are tenets from a generation gone by. They may have worked years ago but in today’s business environment, they aren’t applicable.
A college degree is a guarantee that a great career ensues
This is a tough one because, in general, college offers an education and experience that help students become viable candidates in the future, and in the field of their choice. However, believing that a college degree is a precursor to a successful career is unrealistic. Going to college helps build skills in focus, discipline and organization. Yet, there are other factors to a successful career that are not taught by professors and textbooks, such as developing work relations, making informed decisions, and managing priorities. A career begins with the path one chooses; a good career develops through motivation and working smart; and, a great career ensues when your efforts are noticed and you make progress.
Be a ‘company person’ and follow the rules
What does being a ‘company person’ mean? A company person is one who molds him/herself into what the company wants from the perfect employee. Usually, companies develop a program that focuses on the core values they expect of their personnel. While the expectations are fair, they don’t account for contributions that can be made by thinking ‘out of the box’. Contributions like an idea that produces cost savings or a program that accelerates customer processes. By following the rules, you don’t allow yourself to be a creative thinker. And, a career can’t flourish and grow without demonstrated innovation and execution.
Stick to a career plan
Creating a plan is not a bad idea. However, twists and turns are inevitable and you should be prepared to ‘go with the flow’. Don’t be rigid when planning your career and consider unexpected situations. Always have a back-up or contingency strategy in case your efforts divert from your desired career path. And, if by chance your course is sidetracked, be open to where your career may take you. You could end up in a very rewarding situation – both professionally and personally.
Years come and go and the one piece of advice to keep in mind as business environments evolve through time is Be Prepared for anything.
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