The last twenty years or so has rendered a lot of formerly solid career advice pretty much obsolete. Work just isn’t the same as it used to be, and long-held wisdom isn’t fit for purpose anymore. Parents may wring their hands over modern professional instability, but the simple fact is that the rules have changed. So here are some formerly bankable nuggets of wisdom that you should respond to with an indulgent smile and nod to then promptly ignore them.
Don’t Job Hop
Well, this is just silly. Working your way up a linear career ladder is by and large, no longer a feasible goal. The best way for a young person to boost their prospects – and income – is by trading up to a new position every two years or so. Researchers have claimed that people who spend longer than two years in each job earn 50% less over their lifetimes. Don’t leave a series of 6 month stints in your wake, but do keep your eyes open for likely opportunities and be aware of what’s available to you.
Know Where You’ll Be in 5 Years
It’s good to have an idea of what you want to achieve professionally. However, with the dynamic nature of modern workplaces and careers, flexibility is paramount. People who can adapt their expectations, plans and ideas to the demands of their work and market trends are those who will be eminently employable when they decide to move on.
Your Hard Work Will Speak For Itself
Errr… no it won’t. You may be the cog holding your company together, but if you’re a quiet, diligent workhorse you’re likely to be overlooked for promotions or other opportunities that arise. I’m not saying you have to be an insufferable boaster, but keep track of the work you do, of what you achieve, and put yourself forward for projects you want to get involved with.
You Need a Degree for that Job
Being a good academic doesn’t always translate into being a great employee. While it’s true that some companies are more stringent than others about qualifications, many companies are now willing to look past whether you collected a scroll of embossed parchment or not. That’s not to denigrate the effort and hard work that goes into university, but some jobs just don’t need degrees anymore. Coders in particular are far more likely to be hired based on talent and potential than on grades achieved in an academic institution.
Follow the Money
We all want money. It’s nice. Having some allows you to acquire luxuries like food and shelter. However, it shouldn’t be your primary motivator. A good salary will only compensate for an unfulfilling/unchallenging/overly difficult job for so long. When you’re looking for your next career move, try to find a good balance of a nice salary, fun colleagues and a company that you actually want to work for. And yes, those kinds of jobs do exist!“, “There’s no shortage of old chestnuts that are trotted out when anyone is making a career decision. People always mean well, so don’t be too brash about telling them where to go. But remember: the person who will feel the effect of your decisions is you. So make choices that you’re happy with.
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