The best career advice you will ever hear. Really.



I am so sick of reading career advice articles that I’ve already written, so I wanted to summarize all the career advice (contradictory and complementary) you will ever read.

  1. Follow your passion.
  2. Don’t follow your passion.
  3. Follow your skills.
  4. You are never too old to achieve your dreams.
  5. As you get older, your dreams will evolve as you start to dream for your children. You may have to make different choices. Embrace that responsibility. It is an honor to have that problem.
  6. Do something crazy.
  7. Do something valuable.
  8. Do the jobs no one else wants to do.
  9. Do the job you think you cannot do.
  10. Be altruistic.
  11. Be compassionate.
  12. Be selfless.
  13. Be ruthless in pursuit of excellence.
  14. Be on time.
  15. Be flexible.
  16. Follow your heart.
  17. Follow the money.
  18. Don’t follow the money.
  19. Work for free if you gain experience.
  20. Don’t work for free.
  21. Develop your personal brand.
  22. Pay attention to your social footprint.
  23. Don’t neglect your network.
  24. Don’t network with other unemployed people.
  25. Don’t be in debt.
  26. Debt in pursuit of a dream can be managed.
  27. Never borrow money.
  28. Make money with other people’s money.
  29. Find your soul mate at work.
  30. Don’t shit where you eat.
  31. Always negotiate.
  32. Don’t be too pushy or too needy.
  33. Don’t smell.
  34. Don’t be ugly.
  35. Don’t be old.
  36. Don’t be a woman, disabled or a minority.
  37. Manage up.
  38. Manager laterally.
  39. Be a mentor.
  40. Be a coach.
  41. Be a team player.
  42. Be an individual.
  43. Be an iconoclast.
  44. Show no fear.
  45. Work hard, work fast, work late.
  46. Push for job flexibility.
  47. No job lasts forever.
  48. Don’t have gaps in your resume.
  49. Be your own boss.
  50. Embrace a portfolio career.

Good grief. Do everything, do nothing. Unless you own your company, you have no control of your career. And even if you’re the owner, you still may not have control. Depends on the type of work you do, your clients and your style.

I like this career advice from Stephen Pollan:

We were all taught that your job should afford you fulfillment. That idea should be gone out of your mind.You should focus on a career only as a stream of income. Your employer is not concerned about your fulfillment. Anyone looking for career fulfillment is going to be frustrated because employers are not out there to make us happy. Look for fulfillment through your romantic life, through travel, through personal relationships, not on the job. It ain’t there.

I know this much is true: nobody knows what they are talking about. Do the best you can. Hang in there. And tell me what I’m missing from this list!

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