3 Rules To Find The Career Advice You Can Actually Use

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Laurence J. Peter is known for The Peter Principle (that people rise up to their level of incompetence). He is also credited with this famous quote: “If you know the difference between good advice and bad advice, you don’t need advice.” That sentiment sums up the short answer to Jasmine’s question about career advice – i.e., if you know enough to determine the advice is “fluffy” it probably isn’t worth your time.

Better instead to focus on the three areas Jasmine already knows are important: 1) a strong mentorship network; 2) work geography knowledge; and 3) work experience. If you have only a few hours a week to dedicate to your career advancement, divide them among networking, researching your targets and getting whatever additional experience you need but are still missing for that next role. Just doing this and not reading anything will likely jumpstart your career efforts.

If you find yourself distracted by a tantalizing headline that promises the career magic bullet that will solve all your problems, bookmark it for a later time. Then once a week, take all of your bookmarks, and read the articles. If there are too many to read, prioritize them with these three rules:

1 - Spend your time on advice relevant to your situation

If you’re gunning for the C-suite and you can see the article is targeted to individual contributors, middle managers or even executives but not the top job, set it aside. If you want to change careers and the article is about advancing within the same company, stop reading. If the article is specialized to an industry, geography or role that isn’t similar to yours, move on. Yes, there might be useful nuggets that translate to your situation, but better to hold out for something that is more specific to your situation. You may have to do more targeted research to find more targeted advice, but in doing that research, you’ll identify better sources and perhaps even talk to people who will become part of your professional network.

2 - Vet the adviser before embracing the advice

Do they understand careers overall – or just their own? What is their background – i.e., do they really know more than you? Do they know the limits of their experience – that there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all when it comes to careers? For example, I share career advice based on having hired thousands of people over 25+ years as a recruiter, not just my own career path, which after all is a sample set of one. My experience cuts across levels, industries and roles, so I’ve seen how similar companies can be in their decision-making, but also where there are important differences – nuances that can be significant when you’re planning a promotion campaign or career pivot. My HR experience, while varied, has never included the government sector, and I know from colleagues who have had government experience that this is a very different ecosystem, so I’m always quick to refer people elsewhere if they want that expertise.

3 – Focus on implementation over strategy

Whatever tips, hacks and strategies you get, even the most helpful career advice won’t do you any good unless you implement it. You can read a library of books about networking, but if you don’t reach out to people (or follow up regularly) then that networking knowledge won’t yield any results. You can research target companies and take copious notes about their organization, pain points and opportunities for you to contribute but if you don’t get to the decision-makers, those insights are just ideas. You can dream about a job you want and learn all about it, but if you don’t acquire the required skills and get hands-on experience demonstrating at least some of those skills, then your dream stays in your head, rather than out in the world.

Full article @ https://www.forbes.com/sites/jabariyoung/2023/05/17/billionaires-deal-of-a-lifetime-can-david-adelman-build-a-sports-arena-in-center-city-philadelphia/?