Sometimes, bad career advice is intended to be taken as constructive feedback instead of malicious criticism, but some people take it as a personal affront. For example, there’s a common saying to “stick to your strengths”. But what exactly does this mean? As it turns out, there are many misconceptions about strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps they’re outdated, or they’re wrong, or they just don’t apply.
The advice you get from others can be very important to your success in the workplace, but there are people who will tell you to take a job because you’re pretty instead of because it will help you succeed. You’ll also hear that it’s okay to lie if it will help you get the job. These are just a few examples of bad career advice for women.
You need to change the way you talk
In the workplace, there is a constant push to be successful, to get ahead, to be the exception. These are noble goals. But when women, especially young women, are told to be more assertive, more ambitious, more demanding, it can sometimes feel like a bit of a burden, especially when things don’t go according to plan.
Look for your work-life balance
A common refrain is that women are not given enough credit for their accomplishments and that they must work harder to be taken seriously. Yet, as anyone who has ever worked with and managed women knows, there is no such thing as a “typical” woman. Most people hate work-life balance. It’s not the fact that you have to work, but that you’re not allowed to do what you want, your boss is a jerk, and you feel like you’re going insane.
When you’re job hunting, it can be a good idea to develop a skill set that is appealing to prospective employers, but if you want a job that fits your personality, be yourself. That doesn’t mean you should go against the grain and put yourself out there in a way that is different from how you normally operate—after all, it’s good to be flexible. But your personality is who you are, and it will guide your career choices.
As a woman, we all have experienced workplace bullying. If you’re in a career with a male-dominated field, it’s probably a lot worse. It’s a heck of a lot easier to be nice and keep your head down and assume that if you just keep your head down, you’ll eventually get to the top. The truth is, it doesn’t work that way. Mental toughness is the ability to stay calm and strong in the face of adversity. The key is to develop mental toughness and become self-aware. To do that, you need to practice self-management skills.
Seek a mentor
Most of us have read inspiring stories of people who followed their dream and became CEOs, actors, or musicians. But what about the advice you should ignore? There are tons of articles about how to be a successful entrepreneur and even more about how to become a famous actor. But the truth is, most of the advice is just plain bad.
“Mentors, champions, and sponsors are all great words to use in reference to someone who will help you achieve your goals. Unfortunately, these words are often taken as a synonym for “female friend,” “girlfriend,” or “woman of the hour.” Mentors are great, they are knowledgeable, have good advice, and are ultimately looking out for your best interests. The problem is that the word “mentor” makes people think that a woman has to be a woman who will occasionally provide guidance or advice.
Women in the workplace can make as much as men, yet they are consistently paid less than they deserve. This phenomenon of undervaluing women’s contributions is known as the gender pay gap. Women are prone to taking on more risks in their careers than men and are therefore likely to be primarily responsible for things that are not rewarded, such as building relationships and networking with clients and employees.
When it comes to career advice for women, it can be very difficult to know what is actually useful and what isn’t. Much of the advice out there is just general advice that applies to both men and women, which women often misinterpret. For example, most women would be advised to work hard at their careers, embrace ambition and be persistent at their jobs. Everyone is obsessed with the question of how on earth to become a successful professional. Daily we read articles that offer tips and advice on how to turn these into a reality. However, as with most things in life, you should not believe everything you read.