2 Types Of Career Advice That You Should Be Aware Of

Aatir Abdul Rauf


Aatir Abdul Rauf


Sep 26, 2022

2 Types Of Career Advice That You Should Be Aware Of

Unpopular opinion coming through: Just because one has bucket loads of experience doesn't mean we should give them the license to dish out career advice.

Let me explain this with a "Prison Break" analogy.

In this TV series, Michael Scofield voluntarily commits a felony to get arrested to get placed in the same penitentiary as his brother, who was wrongly convicted of killing a high official. Michael, being the original structural engineer of the facility, devises an elaborate plan to use his knowledge of the place to break out with his brother and a number of other cellmates.

Now, assume Michael makes it out.

15 years later in a dusty town in Mexico, somebody seeks him out with a similar situation. They want him to share his playbook of breaking out of the jail.

Even with Michael's photographic memory, here's why his advice may not work out:

  1. He only went through the experience once with specific circumstances in play. Attempting to extract general principles may or may not be effective.
  2. That was Michael's calling. Michael is supremely aware of his own capabilities and limitations. His motivation to break out his brother was intense, like none other. The person seeking advice might be on a completely different wavelength, unwilling to make the same sacrifices.
  3. The landscape has changed. Even if this person was planning to break out of the same jail as Michael did, the reality is that several variables might have changed. The layout of the jail, the personnel, the guard shifts, the security measures etc. Michael would be in the blind to tailor his advise to cater for all these developments.

Catch my drift?

Seasoned professionals can certainly share their journey. They can highlight what the career demands, what traits work well, how you can grow in your skills set.

But then there are other questions that job seekers ask: What offers should I take up or reject? Should I transit my career line? What certification or course should I take up to get this job? Should I go for my MBA or pick up this startup role? Should I launch my own business OR stick with this desk job?

So, when it comes to such career advice, there are two types of approaches:

  • Type 1: They'll share what they did in the past or what THEY would do if they were in that situation.
  • Type 2: They take the time out to truly understand your socio-economic, emotional, psychological, family and financial situation. And then they tailor their advice for what would work best for YOU.

Naturally, you'll find very few who qualify for Type 2. I don't think I personally fall in that category either.

Thus, one has to be careful when seeking career advice from someone who is accomplished.

Seek out the Type 2 advisors OR solicit help from people who are meant for this: Career Coaches & Counsellors.

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