5 Outdated Pieces of Career Advice You Should Ignore
By Pete Ross
[These are short excerpts from Ross’s article in Medium. That’s right: there’s more, if you can swallow it…]
1. Don’t get involved in office politics
Dear god, this is some clueless shit right here. Office politics are everything when it comes to success in the corporate, military and even academic world. Anyone that tells you otherwise is hopelessly naive or flat out lying to you.
2. Dress plainly for an interview
This one must come from the book of “just an opinion with no actual facts behind it.” I’ve seen this everywhere when it comes to job interview tips and in my experience, it’s just a great big bunch of bullshit.
3. Leaving a job on good terms
I actually read an article where it said you should resign in person because it’s the right thing to do. What is this, a fucking break up? Why does my boss deserve to get treated better than I do in the situation?
4. Making life easy for your boss
“What is my boss willing to do for me?” For many of you, I bet seeing that question was like getting a cold slap across the face, because you’ve suddenly realised that the answer is something along the lines of jack shit. I’ll admit that the first time I heard that question, my mind was blown — I’d never once considered what my boss would do for me.
5. That you need work/life balance
This is a super outdated concept, because it assumes everyone is the same. It assumes we all dislike work and love life, so we have to find some balance that minimises the former and maximises the latter. It’s just not true.
Nick’s take on bullsh-t career advice
Bad career advice seems to be selling nowadays, so I want to inoculate you against nihilists like Pete Ross. I don’t know him, but I know his ilk: unhappy people who want you to be miserable, too. I think I can summarize his points quickly:
That seems to be his message. How is this “News you can use?” You know what they say about bullsh-t: Know what it is so you don’t step in it. (Occam’s Razor might help you cut through stuff like this quickly.)
What’s your take? Do you buy any of this guy’s advice? What’s your best advice on each of these 5 topics?
Wow. My news reader just had your blurb Nick, and not Pete’s bit. I thought, it can’t be that bad as I clicked on the link to the blog.
But wow, that advice is horrendous drivel.
Sure, it is important to handle the real world of work (e.g. office politics) rather than being pollyannaish. But it is equally important to not be so cynical that one unnecessarily burns bridges. This article comes across more as a “look at me, how cool I am who dares to say this”, contrarian for contrarian’s sake, than honest advice.
IMHO, a lot of what you see on Medium is just a bunch ignorant ranting mixed in with confirmation bias (“I am successful, therefore 100% of my success is because of what I did.”) The vast majority of the “financial advice” that comes out of it is horrible. “Look how I make money with my blog and don’t save for retirement and don’t have family responsibilities and don’t have any health care concerns, you should live like me and if you need to, just start a half dozen side gigs that only require you to work 3 hours a day!”
The whole thing oozes Dunning-Kruger.
Looks like I can add career advice to the list of things you should not get from Medium.
Reading the full article, I don’t see this writer necessarily as a Black Pill or Nihilist (as has been implied by the editor), I see him as a gritty no nonsense realist who lives and works (or has worked) in the real world.
He’s right on mark on points 3 & 4 especially. What appears on here is a thumbnail sketch of the full article attached.
I wouldn’t have a drink with, nor break bread with, this guy, but who cares.
If you’re triggered by the candid truth (seems common on this site), then you need to get your rainbows and puppy dogs validation off Ted Talks, or Ask the Evil HR Lady.
Nick, I agreed with most of what he said. Lines right up with my experience. Office politics is getting people to like you but not getting too involved. Work-life balance too.
Read the entire article and it’s a lot more nuanced than your extracts.