Career Advice You Should Choose to Ignore

Times are tough for graduating higher education students, but even the toughest applications don’t seem to be going very far. According to The Conversion, the youth unemployment rate is double the Australian national average.

On top of a weak job market, the affordability of housing and high living costs are putting more pressure on your (already slim) wallet. We can’t get you a job (as nice as that would be), but to help ease you into the job market, here is the career advice you should definitely ignore.

“Follow your heart”/”Follow the money”

Two opposite ends of the spectrum, both equally false despite what your mother/university lecturer/career book may tell you. While following your true passion is a lovely sentiment, passion and love for your work might not pay for the other aspects of life you may enjoy. Think travelling every year or spending a night out with your closest friends on Friday nights.

But we’re not advocating for your future job as a surgeon when you faint at the sight of blood. Making a blind beeline for the job with the fattest paycheck is a fool proof way to spend 40 hours of your week miserable and (somehow always) close to tears.

It’s all about finding the aspects of a career that you find valuable and enjoyable enough to fund the important parts of your life. A good bottle of red wine, for example.

“Dance like no-one’s watching”

The number of career guides that say this with a straight face is astounding, because nowadays there is always someone watching, and that someone probably has a smartphone that can shoot your drunken dance in crystal-clear film.


Particularly in smaller industries, you can rest assured that all of your bad behaviour will come back to bite your career’s metaphorical butt one day.

“Let your work speak for itself”

So uh, wage growth is pretty slow at the moment, you knew that right? Sure, there are still some companies that will offer you promotions or a nice raise because you’re doing a top-notch job, but we’re going to take a job market induced stab and say they’re likely far and few in-between.

If you have a strong case for a raise, or if you want to be seriously considered for that upcoming promotion, speak up (politely). It can’t hurt.

“Hard work will lead to success”

There are some people who work hard all their lives and for some inexplicable, unfair reason, are never rewarded for their time and effort. It’s because some career paths require natural talent and a lot of luck, and luck tends to short-change a lot of people.

Other senior jobs require a person who can work smart and efficiently, not just for a mindless 12 hours a day.

“You’re too good for that job”

This is possibly the worst advice in the bad career advice haystack, because whether we’re 22 or 44, we can always learn from new tasks at work, no matter how mundane.

Attack your responsibilities with vigour (and an oversized clown grin) and you’ll never have a bad workday.