Previous: Why You Might Not Want To Get Married | The Financial Diet
Next: How To Get Good With Money In A Year | The Financial Diet



View count:430,453
Last sync:2024-05-20 13:15
Some of the career tips you've probably heard are really, really bad. Here, Chelsea -- with the help of some experts -- breaks down the biggest career mistakes to avoid. Learn more about things you should avoid doing in your first year at work here:

Get a copy of our book here:

Forever Twenty Somethings Blog:

Joanne Cleaver:

The Career Lattice Book:

What Really Happens When You Lie On Your Resume:

Why A Flexible Worker Is A Happy And Productive Worker:

The Worst Career Advice:

Follow Your Passion Is Bad Career Advice For Most People:

Why ‘Do What You Love’ Is Pernicious Advice:

6 Warning Signs You Should Get a New Job:

7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Accepting a Job:

The Financial Diet site:


Hey, guys. It's Chelsea, on this snowy and more dog-riddled than usual day.

As you can see, I have Mona here. I also have my parents dog who I'm pup sitting. And Mona has a kiss on her forehead.

So if you see them running around, just wave hi. And today, we wanted to talk to you guys about some really bad advice you're probably likely to hear sometime in your career. As the new year approaches, everyone wants to focus on their big goals for the next year and what they want to get accomplished, and a lot of that has to do with their career goals.

But it's very important when you're figuring out what you want for yourself to filter out the good advice from the bad. Now, we've done some videos before with what we think are really strong pieces of career advice, and we'll link you to them in the description. But we really wanted to talk this episode about the advice landmines you need to watch out for.

And to get more insight on the topic of bad career advice, we interviewed Samantha Matt, who is the founder of Forever Twenty Somethings, which is a site we work with sometimes at The Financial Diet. You guys should check it out. We'll link you in the description.

Samantha Matt is a professional hiring manager, and has shared over the years some amazing advice when it comes to picking the right job and making sure you get it in the smartest way. When we talked to her about how she makes her hires, she told us, "when I hire, I go through every single resume and cover letter I get. When I do this, I don't just look at job titles and company names.

I look at experience outside work too. What has this person done outside work that shows their passion and drive? What interests does this person have that could benefit our company?

While job experience is important, there's a lot more than job titles and company names, and as a hiring manager, I always look beyond them." And when I asked her to share what she thought was the worst career advice people often get, she told us, "people say you have to "schmooze--". I hate that word-- to get ahead. Whether it's going to drinks with co-workers regularly after work-- and drinking a lot-- or being involved with company sports teams, you don't have to do these things regularly to get ahead, or at least you shouldn't.

At one of my first jobs, I didn't feel like I was really part of the company until I attended an event and was taking shots with people in management. After this, people I had never spoken to start saying hi to me in the office, and there was even talk of a promotion. But now that I'm older, I attend work events if it's for special occasions, but you won't catch me taking shots with management to climb the career ladder, and I wouldn't favor a co-worker just because they're drinking with me.

Your work should always speak louder than your ability to drink alcohol." It's funny that her piece of bad career advice was the schmoozing thing, because as someone whose first 9:00 to 5:00 job was at a startup where, as you may have heard, the culture is often heavily involved with partying and not quite having so many boundaries with your co-workers,. I definitely thought at the beginning that my ability to seem cool was going to be directly linked to my success. And I've definitely learned as I've moved on through my career that while you obviously shouldn't be avoiding socializing with your co-workers, not only is drinking a lot after hours not a good way to get ahead, it's also a good way to potentially get yourself fired or in a serious meeting with HR.

There's a reason that traditional workplaces have a good amount of boundaries, because it's a job and not a time to be making out with your co-workers. And when I asked Samantha what her best alternative to the schmoozing advice was, she told me, "attend the work event, but don't drink too much. This is classic advice.

In fact, it was exactly what my mom said to me when I was 22 and attending my first company outing. Did I listen to her? No.

But I should have. Unless you become besties with a co-worker or two, you're allowed to keep your work life professional. If you're good at what you do, you shouldn't have to fake climb your way to the top by drinking excessively." And when I asked Samantha to tell me what people tended to give the worst and the best career advice, she told me, "people who are insecure about their own role at work tend to give the worst advice.

Whether that person thinks they could be laid off, replaced with someone younger, or simply is not confident in their abilities, these types of people usually project their insecurities onto others, and this also happens with people who have an old-school work mentality or have trouble adjusting to change. Career advice now is simply not like it used to be, and the world is always changing. You have to stay on top of it.

And the best advice tends to come from confident leaders who are always eager to learn and welcome change. These people have the ability to stay calm, cool, and collected in stressful situations. They watch and observe so much that they get insight into what works and what doesn't in the workplace.

They don't think that they know everything. And in fact, they know that they don't, because they know that everything is always changing." So we wanted to round up some more of those really bad career tips you tend to hear often and get a little bit into why they really don't work. One of the most common ones, and in my opinion, most offensive ones, is find a job you love, and you'll never work a day in your life.

This is one of these general life advice maxims you always see floating around that simply will not die no matter how stupid it is. Basically, believing that finding a job that fulfills you means you will never feel like you're working inherently sets you up to fail, and it is guaranteed to make you feel unsatisfied. First of all, what about the people who cannot take the risks or do not have the financial flexibility to pursue a job that they really want to pursue?

For a lot of people, the job of their dreams is something that is very, very unstable financially, and in order to make those leaps, one has to have perfect timing, the right connections, and also the financial freedom to leave their primary job at some point. So implying as though everyone is able to go after this dream job they love is a ridiculous thing to begin with. But even if you do work in something that is your primary professional passion, and you do feel like you genuinely love your job, there are always going to be times and parts of that job that you feel unhappy, or unsatisfied, or overworked.

There is no such thing as a perfect job. And even the jobs that most fulfill you, the elements of that job that you love are guaranteed to be at most like, 60% of the job. For example, I've been a professional writer for about seven years now, and while there are parts of my day that are extremely writerly, such as when.

I'm writing the book, or an article, or scripting one of these videos, a huge chunk of my day is just administrative stuff, or answering emails, or going to meetings, or doing things that have basically nothing to do with writing. And that is totally par for the course. You cannot expect any job to make you feel as though you're not working at a certain point.

And most importantly, you shouldn't feel that way. The same people who advocate this idea that jobs you love will never feel like work have a really unhealthy idea about the kind of separation that we all should have from our work lives and our personal lives. Implying that you should seek that level of personal and emotional fulfillment from what is effectively your means of earning money is a great way to completely dissolve the boundaries in your life and constantly feel like you're giving yourself over to work.

That feeling of I love what I do is often what leads people into those incredibly slippery slopes of working way more than they're compensated for, of neglecting their personal life, or of using their job to give them all of the fulfillment and validation that should be coming from diverse areas of their life. A job is not a loved one you are not expected to love it unconditionally, and nor will it love you back. Another terrible piece of career advice is doing X or Y thing is way above or below my pay grade.

You will hear people throughout your career tell you that you effectively should not do things that are outside of your job description. And while yes, you should be protective about not overworking yourself in terms of hours spent and in terms of the amount that you are giving over to your company, you also shouldn't feel like you are 100% married to the literal things that were laid out the day you started. In the career chapter of our book, which is out January 2, we have an awesome interview with career expert Joanne.

Cleaver, who is a huge advocate of taking on tasks and responsibilities that aren't necessarily defined by your current job in order to get ahead and do more of what you want. On the topic in our book, Joanne said, "don't be afraid of doing something that isn't a concrete task in your pre-existing job, or something that doesn't seem to have an immediate benefit for you. Climbing the career lattice is all about laying the groundwork now for something much better down the road." And it's important to note that Joanne's signature book, The Career Lattice, which she touches on in our book, lays out the concept that there is no such thing anymore as a career ladder like there was for our parents' generation where you can expect to stay on a very straight upward and extremely well-defined path in the same company.

Now, she says, we are all on a career lattice where it's all about moving up sometimes, but sometimes over, sideways, diagonally, or even completely out of your industry. And a huge part of that is having the flexibility to do things that aren't necessarily perfectly defined. For example, at my first 9:00 to 5:00 job,.

I realized that I wanted to make a transition to a different department in my company. I wanted to start working on the advertising that we were doing instead of just doing purely editorial articles. And so how did I do that?

I simply asked to start working on them when I saw that there was a need on the team. At first, I wasn't directly getting paid for it. It wasn't part of my initial job description, and it required me learning new skills, but by the end of that job, I left with the job title.

I really needed to make that career move in the long-term. I started as staff writer and entered as creative director, which never would have happened if I didn't start taking on tasks outside of my scope. And even doing things that are below your pay grade, but are extremely useful to others, will do amazing things for your reputation.

Making yourself useful and being willing to lend a hand on projects outside of your scope shows that you are someone who cares for more than just their own individual career. Studies show that more flexible employees tend to be happier, more productive, and even get sick less often. Now, obviously, it's important to keep boundaries on the total amount of work that you're doing.

And sometimes, you do simply have to say no to extra work. But if in the same amount of time you can accomplish different tasks, and you can lend a hand when you see something that really needs it from time to time, it will make it infinitely easier to say no on the times that you really need to. People will remember the time that you agreed to help them way more than they'll remember the time that you couldn't.

Something else you might have heard is focus on your own job or performance, not someone else's. Now, this one is true in a sense, in that you shouldn't be constantly comparing yourselves to colleagues, where, let's be honest, you don't even know all the details behind what you're seeing. But your job is not the only one you should be focused on, because you should be focused on your boss's.

Another extremely useful insight that Joanne gave us in the career chapter of our book was teaching us how helpful it is to one's own career to focus on making their boss look good and have an easier time. In the book, she says, "your goal is to both be known by the right people, and to be known for the right things. So how do you do that?

Not with your boss. She has her hands full with getting you and your teammates to achieve the team's official goals. Never forget that one of the most important ways you can build your reputation is by making your boss look good.

That means understanding what incentives are built into her bonus, and how you can make her look good to her boss." Now we've mentioned this idea before because it is so important to remember. Oftentimes, people get so singularly focused on their own path and their own tasks and their own goals that they forget that the success of the whole team not just makes everyone else look better, but also provides a healthier company in which everyone can grow. A really good tip beyond just learning the concrete ways that you can make your boss look good, which will make her really look out for you, is to occasionally ask your teammates what you can do to help them, even if it just means communicating with them in a more effective way.

At the end of the day, if you are individually a shooting star, and the rest of your team is a dumpster fire, nobody wins. Now, something people might have told you, especially if you are just leaving college and entering into the workforce where everything seems like you're just anonymously sending your resume into an empty void full of a million others is you can fudge your resume a little bit if you need to. No you can not.

There is a huge difference between making sure that everything on your resume looks as good as it can possibly look and is phrased in the most useful way for you and straight up exaggerating or lying about things that you cannot back up when the job comes. Even if, let's say, fudging something on your resume about your skill set or your background allows you to get into the job, the day that someone at your company finds out that you lied on your resume, and that day will come if you stay there long enough, your entire reputation, not just from that company, but through the whole industry is seriously damaged. One thing you never, ever want to establish yourself as professionally is a liar.

That is something that will prevent even a boss who thinks you do a great job from being able to truly endorse you. And it's the kind of thing that will follow you through the rest of your career. Do not pretend to speak Spanish.

Do not pretend to know JavaScript. Do not even pretend to be proficient at Excel if you are not. The long-term repercussions are simply not worth it.

And besides, there is almost never a need to straight up lie on a resume in order to fit a job description perfectly. One Monster article on the topic said, "hiring managers are much more open to people with transferable skills these days. Meaning, you don't have to necessarily have direct experience in a field to be employed." As the working world changes generally, so do these really, really strict ideas about exactly what you need to have done in order to qualify you for the job you want.

And one thing that is sure to disqualify you from basically any job is being a liar. The last piece of bad money advice that really irks the hell out of us is follow your passion, and the money will follow. This is such bad advice.

It makes me want to scream. And like most advice that makes me want to scream, you tend to see it on places like Pinterest, Instagram, and coffee mugs at Urban Outfitters. It also tends to be dispensed by people with extremely rare career or entrepreneurial paths that most of us will never be able to follow.

They also never come with a divulsion of their parent's careers and net worth, because if you actually look at the data at most successful entrepreneurs or people in super high competitive industries like acting, you would find that most of them come from a background that set them up to work in it, either because one of their family members did, or because they had a shit ton of money to burn. But aside from the fact that this advice tends to be very difficult to follow, and completely dangerous for most people, it perpetuates this notion that your professional fulfillment should be the direction of your life and the source of most of your happiness. Not only can one's passions be totally separate from their day to day work, and many people actually find that a more healthy way to live, tying your financial success to your ability to do one very narrow thing is very, very difficult to sustain over the course of a lifetime.

If you are able to make a healthy living off of your passion, the necessities of working that day to day job will eventually take away some of that initial joy and passion you had. It's natural. But the more likely scenario is that your very specific passion is not going to be lucrative enough to make it a day to day job.

And repeatedly telling people that simply following that passion in a straight line is going to eventually manifest money in their lives is setting them up to feel like a failure throughout their career. We tend to heavily associate people's character with the work that they do, and believe that the work that they do is inherently a reflection of their total life. But the truth is that most of us just need to do work to live.

We are not our jobs, and our jobs are not our character. A much more realistic goal is to say that you should always try to inject some of your passion into any work that you do. For example, if you are someone who loves to act, finding work that allows you to use those same channels of expression and creativity and talking in front of others is a much healthier way than saying, if I do not make 100% of my money strictly through acting, then I'm not there yet.

Actually, a lot of people that we know through the personal finance media world are people who were initially in theater, and found that the work that they do in this personal finance sphere, with not only talking with people constantly at conferences or corporate workshops, but also getting to be creative about the way that they talk about money has been hugely fulfilling and a much more stable career. And there is nothing that stops you from keeping that passion pure and keeping it as your hobby. At the end of the day, building a career that is satisfying for you and makes you feel happy with the work that you do is enough of a challenge that you don't need to go bogging yourself down with perfectionist and unrealistic career advice.

Learning to separate the good from the bad career advice can be very difficult, but one almost universal rule is that there is no such thing as a universal rule. The more you can accept that your career is going to be something that is constantly evolving, not just along with technology, but along with you as a person, the better you can apply the good advice to your own career. Stop thinking in absolutist terms, and stop using advice that came from people who worked in a totally different career world, such as perhaps, your parents or your college professors.

Your work might not be exactly what you want it to look like every day, but it's not supposed to be. And the sooner you accept that work is never going to be perfect and should always be balanced with the rest of your life, the sooner you will be happy with what you have instead of constantly looking for something perfect. So as always, guys, thank you so much for watching.

And don't forget to hit the Subscribe button, and to come back every Tuesday for new and awesome videos. See you in 2018. .