Bad Career Advice

We’ve all gotten bad career advice at times. Sometimes this advice is so ridiculous we immediately dismiss it, while sometimes we follow the advice – and live to regret our decision.

Staffing firm Accountemps recently chronicled some of the all-time worst career advice ever given. They polled workers to find out who gave them bad advice.

Here are is a sampling:

  • “Lie on your resume, they expect you to.” – Friend
  • “Be conservative in your work so you’re not given too many responsibilities.” – Friend
  • “Make your resume very detailed and very long.” – Friend
  • “Stick it out as long as possible, even if you hate it.” – Parent
  • “Don’t practice for the interview.” – Parent
  • “Don’t be friends with coworkers.” – Parent
  • “Apply absentmindedly without doing research.” – Career counselor
  • “Take credit for others’ work so you can get ahead.” – Mentor
  • “Stay in a role rather than grow within the company.” – Boss
  • “Respond with the first thing that pops into your head during an interview.” – Sibling or other family member

“Friends and family members typically have good intentions, but they may steer you in the wrong direction,” said Mike Steinitz, executive director for Accountemps.

Steinitz added, “Cast a wide net when reaching out to those in your network, and ask specific questions pertaining to each person’s experience. Weigh all the pros and cons in any situation and make the decision based on what is best for your career and your personal priorities.”

Accountemps offers five time-tested career tips:

  • Plan ahead. Research the company and tailor your resume before applying for a job, practice responses to tough interview questions, and arrive early for the interview or your first day.
  • Be honest and act with a clear conscience. Never bend the truth in your application materials. If your fib is uncovered, it could do long-term damage to your reputation. And always act with integrity. If something feels questionable, it’s probably a bad idea.
  • Prepare for salary negotiations. Money can be a sensitive subject. Look to resources such as Robert Half’s Salary Guides and government and industry reports to research compensation trends for your area.
  • Consider a change. Feeling unhappy in your current role? Compile a list of what’s stopping you from being satisfied. If you find you are no longer in love with your position, it may be time to launch a job search.
  • Challenge yourself. No matter what stage of your career you are at, set professional goals and re-evaluate them when necessary. If you’re comfortable in your position, take on stretch assignments to expand your skills and expertise.

There you have it, the bad and the good. Now go get that job!

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