When it comes to career advice, sometimes knowing what not to listen to is as important as knowing what to take to heart.
Ritholtz Wealth Management portfolio manager Ben Carlson recently compiled a list of common pieces of career advice that he said are completely worthless for Americans looking to get and stay on the right career path.
Here’s a sampling of what Carlson had to say about each piece of worthless advice.
'Follow Your Passion'
People who tell young professionals to follow their passion are likely already successful and/or rich.
“There are a lot of things I’m passionate about that wouldn’t put food on the table for my family,” he wrote.
'You Can Be Anything You Want To Be'
Carlson said his height and his lack of jumping ability ended his dream of becoming an NBA superstar at a young age.
“Dreaming big is nice, but you also have to be realistic.”
'Just Be Happy, You Have A Job In This Economy'
Approaching your career with this type of defeatist attitude will likely cap your potential.
“Become such a good employee that you have negotiating power at current or future roles,” Carlson said.
'You’re Young: Play It Safe'
If ever there’s a time to experiment and explore, Carlson said it’s when you are just beginning your professional career.
“So don’t buy a house or stay at a soul-sucking job just because you think you have to when you’re young,” he wrote.
'Just Follow These Simple Steps'
Self-help books, easy step-by-step systems or lists of simple rules to follow to get to the top will never get you where you want to be.
“There are no simple steps to get ahead in the workplace. You have to work at it.”
'Figure Out Your Long-Term Path NOW'
Carlson said it’s impossible to have your career completely figured out at all times, and a certain degree of flexibility and adaptability can actually be very beneficial.
“Thinking ahead is useful in many realms of life, but it’s hard to do when it comes to your career because there are so many variables at play,” he wrote.
Navigating the corporate world and building a successful career is an extremely complex process that requires a lot of learning, experience, tenacity, difficult decisions and hard work. Any rule of thumb or simple adage that claims to be a shortcut through this long journey is likely at best a gross oversimplification.
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