One of the problems with career advice is that it became much too PC. Not that PC is bad in that I do believe it’s good to treat everyone fairly, equally, and with manner and kindness at all times.
However, how kind is it to give someone BS job advice that doesn’t work?
Here’s debunking some advice:
1. It’s a numbers game.
Yes, and no.
If you mess up 1000 job apps, you are totally wasting your time. So the notion that it’s a numbers game is bad.
Plus, if you try to get the number of apps up too high you tend to be sloppy. So be careful.
On the other hand, you can’t expect to get the first job you apply to so when you don’t get the job, realizing that if you do things right you’ll eventually get a job helps.
My advice is to realize that you only need one job.
If you do a job app perfectly, you could get that job and work no more. So instead of trying to crank out the apps, find a single job you really want and pretend it’s the only one you need to apply to. If it takes three days to fill out the application, spend it. You’ll be further ahead of the loser who filled out 60 apps badly.
2. My skills/intelligence counts.
This is complete BS.
Sure you need to have some basic competency for the job you are applying to. This is obvious.
However, there are many applicants who are all qualified on paper.
But how many people have you come in contact with who seem to be a bit too dumb to have the job that they are doing?
If you are anything like me, you’d say “Almost all of them.”
The point is that you can’t rely on actually being qualified to get you anywhere save for the most low level screening. Once you get past this, you’re almost guaranteed NOT to get a given job because someone’s cousin has all ready been chosen for this job.
Thus you shouldn’t get discouraged.
Instead of wasting more time taking classes, beefing up your skills, etc, spend more time at parties with intelligent people.
3. It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.
This is 100% true.
However, I have not seen a single career advisor actually teaching someone the social skills that they need to get the friends they need to get a job.
I don’t know why there’s a disconnect between this obviously true piece of advice and the actual help one needs to implement it.
For many people, to get out there and to meet people is difficult and challenging.
The good news is that there are many books that can help.
Make friends with advice from a book? Crazy?
Perhaps crazy, but it worked for me. One example is,
How to Win Friends and Influence People (http://www.westegg.com/unmaintained/carnegie/win-friends.html)
There are many other books out there.
One caveat is to avoid “networking” events unless they are invite only, expensive, and exclusive. The free networking events are usually useless for networking because they are filled with needy people.
Oh, when you do go to parties, don’t tell people you are looking for a job right away. Don’t tell them much about yourself. Instead see how you can help other people. But don’t give advice. Ever.
For example, if they are looking for a job, and you know someone who is hiring in that field, hook them up with their info and recommendation.
Needy people are social lepers, and people can see pathetic desparation a mile away; they will run.
4. What’s inside is important.
This is total nonsense except for radiologists.
Otherwise, nobody else can see what’s inside, and they will judge a book by its cover.
This is actually a good thing because no matter how dumb and crappy of a person you are, if you put up a good appearance people will like you. Not for the real “you” but then again, nobody really cares about that person anyway.
This means that anyone who looks like celebrities or other attractive people from magazines will get ahead. Those who are naturally hot will have a big head start in the workplace.
Nobody will admit to this but, EVERYONE WANTS TO BE SURROUNDED BY BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE.
Sorry, PC police.
Again, everyone looks great on paper, and has basically the same resume so the most attractive and fun person is going to get hired.
What if you are fat and ugly?
You are in luck.
We are in a golden era where anyone could look good through the power of technology. So use it.
Think about it. People get into six figured of debt to get degrees so they can get rich then they refuse to invest in a comb.
Disclaimer: Consult your doc before losing weight, don’t be bulimic or anorexic. You are beautiful all ready, blah, blah, blah.
Note, I knew some people who were overweight but they were actually quite attractive because of the way they carried themselves. So it’s not just about looking like a model, but it’s about genuinely liking oneself. This is not easy to do, but if you make friends you’ll feel better about yourself.
So after you go to the gym, shower, put on a nice outfit, you should make friends with people who need them. Help out the less fortunate such as homeless people. Do lots of good deeds and people will like you. If people like you, you will like you.
Just don’t buy the BS that one’s appearance doesn’t matter because you’ll be disappointed over and over again. Accept reality.
5. One must be serious about success.
Yes and know.
When you are in student loan hell and about the be evicted, you will be very serious about getting a job.
On the other hand, if you are too serious, you will reek of the nasty cologne of Desperation, and you’ll scare away employers.
Thus, you have to loosen up.
I suggest some comedy. Again, I hated comedy at first because I was serious guy who thought he had it All Figured OutTM. But then I realized that I was actually an idiot, and I needed to laugh more.
Don’t be too serious about what comedy you listen to. Try everything. If you can’t find anything that makes you laugh perhaps you should go into law enforcement or work at a customer service or some other menial job where they have burned out all their human emotions.
Memorize other people’s jokes and tell them to people.
Pull out some jokes in a job interview.
This will make you different than the other loser applicants who are just trying to suck up. If an employer doesn’t like to laugh then you don’t want to work for them.
Of course you shouldn’t overdo it, but I shouldn’t have to say this.
People really hate full time comedians. A joke here and there is fine.
Also, laughing at other people’s jokes is even more powerful than telling jokes. Think about how good it feels to make people laugh. When you laugh at other’s jokes, you make them feel good.
But don’t laugh at jokes that aren’t funny. There’s nothing worse than some unfunny asshole who never got honest feedback. By laughing at their unfunny jokes, you are enabling that poor person to continue to make fools of themselves.
So that’s it. To summarize, most job advice is given by people who have not actually used the advice to get a job.
All the advice here has been tested out in the job hunting battlefield. Unless you misunderstand it or take it too far, all of it works.
I picked up the latest employment magazine which is chock full of nonsense and useless advice. I’ll debunk more soon.