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4 Pieces of Career Advice You Should Ignore

By Gerald Walsh ©

Parents, teachers, friends, co-workers—they are more than happy to give advice on your career. Although their intentions are good, sometimes you should just say “thanks” and move on.

Here are four examples of career advice you should ignore.

1. Find something that you’re passionate about.

On one hand, you have people telling you to find something you love and “follow your passion.” On the other hand, you have people telling you that you must make a living—a practical view of the world.

The truth lies somewhere in the middle.

If you are like most people, passions will come and go throughout your lifetime, and there can be several jobs that make you happy.

Keep your expectations realistic when you start out. Rule out things you already know you will hate. What’s left is a large pool of possibilities. Then start trying them—even if it’s by volunteering.

In the end, you will discover that you like a lot of things. You will also learn that as you master your trade and become more successful at it, the more passionate you will become.

2. Talk to a recruiter—they will find you a job.

Don’t be misled into thinking that a recruiter is working for you. While you should establish a good professional relationship with one or more recruiters, you must remember their primary obligation is to their client—the employer.

You will only be recommended to one of their clients if the recruiter believes you have the necessary background and qualifications their client is seeking.

3. Never turn down a job interview—you can always think of it as practice.

If you are undecided about a job, I see nothing wrong with going to the interview to learn more. You might be surprised.

However, if you are certain you would not take the job if it was offered, you should decline the interview. Taking interviews just for the practice is unethical and it could backfire. Practice is important but do it on your own time.

4. Apply to as many jobs as possible—one is bound to work out.

Known as the “shotgun” approach, this strategy actually works against you as it becomes perfectly clear to employers what you’re doing.

Don’t waste your time.

Be selective and only apply for jobs where you are a strong fit. Write a good resume and cover letter showing how your skills and experience qualify you for the job.


Gerald Walsh is an executive recruiter, career coach, public speaker and author. During a 30 year career, he has interviewed more than 10,000 job candidates, completed hundreds of successful searches for a range of organizations and guided many individuals – from young professionals to senior executives – to successful career change. He is the author of “PINNACLE: How to Land the Right Job and Find Fulfillment in Your Career.” You can follow Gerry on Twitter @Gerald_Walsh and LinkedIn.