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10 Horrible Pieces of Career Advice You Should Ignore

10 Horrible Pieces of Career Advice You Should Ignore

Career advice is cheap. Whether or not you actually ask them, well-meaning people will always try to tell you what to do. Unfortunately, not all career advice is good. In fact, some of it is downright bad. Here are the ten worst pieces of career advice you should ignore:

1. Just take a job for now, even if you do not want it.

This is never a good idea unless you are desperate for money. This is unfair to both you and your employer. By forcing yourself into a job that’s not a good match, you will be unmotivated and unhappy; or you will quit as soon as possible and be labeled a “job-hopper”, which can damage your reputation.

2. Take the job that pays the most.

Money cannot buy happiness. Although everyone wants be well-compensated, a paycheck is not all that matters. There are other things to consider, such as job duties, benefit packages, company culture, work/life balance, and opportunities for advancement. Money will not matter if you are stuck in an otherwise unpleasant job.

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3. Get a career doing something you are good at.

You are probably good at many different things. Being good at something is not the sole reason to take a job. You can be great at something and still not enjoy it or find any purpose in it. If you’re an excellent driver, does that mean you should drive a cab for a living? Most people are happier in jobs where they can use their talents to explore their passions.

4. Work hard and you’ll get promoted.

Employers are concerned with the value you bring to the company, not how hard you work. Being promoted is never guaranteed. If you want more responsibility, step up and take on more. By staying at your desk and quietly working hard all day, you are sending the message that you have all the responsibility you can handle.

5. Whatever you do, don’t rock the boat.

If you want to excel at work, you need to get noticed. By thinking outside the box, you become an asset to your employer, so don’t be afraid to look for better ways to do business and take on different projects. Just because your company operates in a particular way does not mean it is the best way, so get creative and question the status quo.

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6. Follow your passion, and the money will follow.

Doing work you love is important, but that doesn’t mean you will be compensated well for it. Your passion needs to meet a need or solve a problem if it is going to sell. You must also be skilled in some aspect of your passion – selling it, writing about it, teaching it – to make money off of it. Instead of focusing on passion alone, take into account your natural strengths and what energizes you. The intersection where your passions, talents, and what the world needs meets is the “sweet spot” where you will be able to make money.

7. Stay where you are comfortable.

Being comfortable does not mean you have found the right job. Comfort often leads to boredom and apathy. Job satisfaction is highest when you use your skills and creativity to do something you enjoy. Find a place where you are challenged and have continued opportunities to learn and grow. It may not be comfortable, but it will be more rewarding.

8. Get yourself a real job.

What is a “real” job anyway? One person’s idea of a real job may be totally different from your own idea. Is working as a freelance writer a “fake” job? What about delivering pizzas part-time? Work is work, and whatever work you do is your real job. It may or may not be what you aspire to do forever, but do not discount it because you or others do not label it as a real job. There are valuable lessons to be learned in all jobs, “real” or not.

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9. Take whatever salary you are offered.

Most employers have a range in mind that they will pay, and what they offer is usually on the lower end of the range. This is because they expect you to negotiate your salary. Don’t be overly demanding, but don’t be afraid to ask for more either. They may counter your suggestion, but at least it will still be better than their original offer.

10. Don’t quit your job, even if you hate it.

Long gone are the days when you worked at the same company for forty years and then retired. Life is too short to stay at a job you despise. Because unhappiness is hard to compartmentalize, it tends to spill over into other areas of your life, affecting your health and your relationships. If you find you are unhappy at your job, start looking for something else. Chances are you will find something that not only suits you better, but will improve your overall quality of life.

When it comes to your career, only you know what is best. Listen to your instincts and make the decisions that are right for you.

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Featured photo credit: mast3r via depositphotos.com

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

10 Huge Differences Between A Boss And A Leader

10 Huge Differences Between A Boss And A Leader

When you try to think of a leader at your place of work, you might think of your boss – you know, the supervisor in the tasteful office down the hall.

However, bosses are not the only leaders in the office, and not every boss has mastered the art of excellent leadership. Maybe the best leader you know is the co-worker sitting at the desk next to yours who is always willing to loan out her stapler and help you problem solve.

You see, a boss’ main priority is to efficiently cross items off of the corporate to-do list, while a true leader both completes tasks and works to empower and motivate the people he or she interacts with on a daily basis.

A leader is someone who works to improve things instead of focusing on the negatives. People acknowledge the authority of a boss, but people cherish a true leader.

Puzzled about what it takes to be a great leader? Let’s take a look at the difference between a boss and a leader, and why cultivating quality leadership skills is essential for people who really want to make a positive impact.

1. Leaders are compassionate human beings; bosses are cold.

It can be easy to equate professionalism with robot-like impersonal behavior. Many bosses stay holed up in their offices and barely ever interact with staff.

Even if your schedule is packed, you should always make time to reach out to the people around you. Remember that when you ask someone to share how they are feeling, you should be prepared to be vulnerable and open in your communication as well.

Does acting human at the office sound silly? It’s not.

A lack of compassion in the office leads to psychological turmoil, whereas positive connection leads to healthier staff.[1]

If people feel that you are being open, honest and compassionate with them, they will feel able to approach your office with what is on their minds, leading to a more productive and stress-free work environment.

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2. Leaders say “we”; bosses say “I”.

Practice developing a team-first mentality when thinking and speaking. In meetings, talk about trying to meet deadlines as a team instead of using accusatory “you” phrases. This makes it clear that you are a part of the team, too, and that you are willing to work hard and support your team members.

Let me explain:

A “we” mentality shifts the office dynamic from “trying to make the boss happy” to a spirit of teamwork, goal-setting, and accomplishment.

A “we” mentality allows for the accountability and community that is essential in the modern day workplace.

3. Leaders develop and invest in people; bosses use people.

Unfortunately, many office climates involve people using others to get what they want or to climb the corporate ladder. This is another example of the “me first” mentality that is so toxic in both office environments and personal relationships.

Instead of using others or focusing on your needs, think about how you can help other people grow.

Use your building blocks of compassion and team-mentality to stay attuned to the needs of others note the areas in which you can help them develop. A great leader wants to see his or her people flourish.

Make a list of ways you can invest in your team members to help them develop personally and professionally, and then take action!

4. Leaders respect people; bosses are fear-mongering.

Earning respect from everyone on your team will take time and commitment, but the rewards are worth every ounce of effort.

A boss who is a poor leader may try to control the office through fear and bully-like behavior. Employees who are petrified about their performance or who feel overwhelmed and stressed by unfair deadlines are probably working for a boss who uses a fear system instead of a respect system.

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What’s the bottom line?

Work to build respect among your team by treating everyone with fairness and kindness. Maintain a positive tone and stay reliable for those who approach you for help.

5. Leaders give credit where it’s due; bosses only take credits.

Looking for specific ways to gain respect from your colleagues and employees? There is no better place to start than with the simple act of giving credit where it is due.

Don’t be tempted to take credit for things you didn’t do, and always go above and beyond to generously acknowledge those who worked on a project and performed well.

You might be wondering how you can get started:

  • Begin by simply noticing which team member contributes what during your next project at work.
  • If possible, make mental notes. Remember that these notes should not be about ways in which team members are failing, but about ways in which they are excelling.
  • Depending on your leadership style, let people know how well they are doing either in private one-on-one meetings or in a group setting. Be honest and generous in your communication about a person’s performance.

6. Leaders see delegation as their best friend; bosses see it as an enemy.

If delegation is a leader’s best friend, then micromanagement is the enemy.

Delegation equates to trust and micromanagement equates to distrust. Nothing is more frustrating for an employee than feeling that his or her every movement is being critically observed.

Encourage trust in your office by delegating important tasks and acknowledging that your people are capable, smart individuals who can succeed!

Delegation is a great way to cash in on the positive benefits of a psychological phenomenon called a self-fulfilling prophecy. In a self-fulfilling prophecy, a person’s expectations of another person can cause the expectations to be fulfilled.[2]

In other words, if you truly believe that your team member can handle a project or task, he or she is more likely to deliver.

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Learn how to delegate in my other article:

How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

7. Leaders work hard; bosses let others do the work.

Delegation is not an excuse to get out of hard work. Instead of telling people to go accomplish the hardest work alone, make it clear that you are willing to pitch in and help with the hardest work of all when the need arises.

Here’s the deal:

Showing others that you work hard sets the tone for your whole team and will spur them on to greatness.

The next time you catch yourself telling someone to “go”, a.k.a accomplish a difficult task alone, change your phrasing to “let’s go”, showing that you are totally willing to help and support.

8. Leaders think long-term; bosses think short-term.

A leader who only utilizes short-term thinking is someone who cannot be prepared or organized for the future. Your colleagues or staff members need to know that they can trust you to have a handle on things not just this week, but next month or even next year.

Display your long-term thinking skills in group talks and meetings by sharing long-term hopes or concerns. Create plans for possible scenarios and be prepared for emergencies.

For example, if you know that you are losing someone on your team in a few months, be prepared to share a clear plan of how you and the remaining team members can best handle the change and workload until someone new is hired.

9. Leaders are like your colleagues; bosses are just bosses.

Another word for colleague is collaborator. Make sure your team knows that you are “one of them” and that you want to collaborate or work side by side.

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Not getting involved in the going ons of the office is a mistake because you will miss out on development and connection opportunities.

As our regular readers know, I love to remind people of the importance of building routines into each day. Create a routine that encourages you to leave your isolated office and collaborate with others. Spark healthy habits that benefit both you and your co-workers.

10. Leaders put people first; bosses put results first.

Bosses without crucial leadership training may focus on process and results instead of people. They may stick to a pre-set systems playbook even when employees voice new ideas or concerns.

Ignoring people’s opinions for the sake of company tradition like this is never truly beneficial to an organization.

Here’s what I mean by process over people:

Some organizations focus on proper structures or systems as their greatest assets instead of people. I believe that people lend real value to an organization, and that focusing on the development of people is a key ingredient for success in leadership.

Learning to be a leader is an ongoing adventure.

This list of differences makes it clear that, unlike an ordinary boss, a leader is able to be compassionate, inclusive, generous, and hard-working for the good of the team.

Instead of being a stereotypical scary or micromanaging-obsessed boss, a quality leader is able to establish an atmosphere of respect and collaboration.

Whether you are new to your work environment or a seasoned administrator, these leadership traits will help you get a jump start so that you can excel as a leader and positively impact the people around you.

For more inspiration and guidance, you can even start keeping tabs on some of the world’s top leadership experts. With an adventurous and positive attitude, anyone can learn good leadership.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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