Harsh Career Advice


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I had an interesting exchange with a reader, the other day.

Laurie, I’ve been a follower of your blog since your PRHR days. You actually answered one of my emails. I must say that it was some of the best advice I received in my short career. It was some of the “harshest” but some of the best. Thanks for that!

Since I don’t know most of you out there, I assume that you are emailing me because you need a fresh and direct view on a specific career-related issue. If you wanted someone to say something nice to you, you’d ask a friend.

But I don’t mean to be harsh. I mean to be honest and helpful. No wait, sometimes I mean to be harsh because I know that the biggest growth spurts in my life were precipitated by harsh but honest feedback.

I don’t respect people who are nice to me. I respect people who want to see me do my best when I’m being my worst.

So I wrote back and tried to check in with the reader. Did I offend her in anyway? She responded.

It was helpful. It motivated me to make better decisions and be more proactive. I learned Laurie, I learned.

Holy shit. Someone tell my family, my ex-boyfriends and my cats.

I think our society has trained us to accept advice given with a little emotional and physical distance. Do you agree?

We listen to Oprah and Dr. Phil on the TV before we listen to our parents. We learn from radio therapists more than we learn from our grandparents. And that’s okay, I think, as long as we learn.

And while I haven’t stopped bossing my family around, I realize that I am not the blogger for their problems. (In fact, I send them to Ask A Manager, who is much meaner than me!) I hope that I am the blogger for your problems. And for your kids. And for your co-workers. Send them my way for harsh advice about their miserable worth ethic and lack of social graces.

I’ll try to set them straight even though I’m not particularly qualified to do so.

PS – Want some harsh career advice? You can check out www.careerhangout.com and I will do my best to be honest with you.


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