What is that career advice you perceive to be outdated? What advice or suggestions should people discard once and for all? Many people thought that baking for a colleague on their birthday, or bringing brownies for no occasion in particular was poor practice, especially for women. Anyone who got involved in such activities was considered idle or having a lot of spare time. If one chose to think creatively during your free time, it was difficult to recognise the professional advantage. Here are several career tips that you must keep to yourself.
1. Do not expose your private life
Engage your boss in conversation, whether about small or big subjects. However, know your boundaries and avoid diving into private details about your life. You are not required to say what you did over the weekend, or carry on about the island you will be visiting during your vacation. Your manager only needs to know if you had a good weekend.
The above is an outdated advice that needs to be checked. You and your manager are human beings, and you have a life beyond the office. You should not keep your life secretive to the extent of avoiding your colleagues, so they will never get to know what your life is about. Opening up about your private life is a good thing, and you may gain some insights. For instance, you may have planned to visit a certain place during your vacation but have no information about it. Once you talk about your intentions, you may get great tips that may help you to enjoy the vacation far better than you would have otherwise.
2. Pretend to know it all, and you need no help
Fake it ‘til you make it when there are job skills you lack. Does it sound good to just sit back and pretend you know everything, or waste time while you try to figure out how to do something?
This is another misplaced idea. Have nothing to do with that kind of advice. You will always be on a learning curve in a new job. Your co-workers or manager will always have something to teach you, and you will have something to teach them. No-one has a monopoly over knowledge. Your supervisor should welcome questions and inquiries unless they are someone with no interest in leading your team (in which case, they should not have the job). Your supervisor will be pleased to lead a team of successful employees who understand every detail of the job. Pretending you do not need any help exposes you as a weakling, not a strong team player. Everyone needs help.
3. Shun social media and do not interact
Avoid following your boss on Instagram,and do not accept a friend request from him on Facebook. Twitter is okay and LinkedIn is a safe site as long as you use it professionally. Do not discuss personal issues on your social media pages.
This was once treasured advice. It was a time when you uttered one word when anyone asked about your holiday, or how you spent your weekend. What about today? As long as you are not displaying inappropriate things on your pages or talking negatively about your supervisor, the CEO, or the company, it is okay to befriend, like, comment, and follow your colleagues on social media. Everyone understands that you are a social being, and you should never live an isolated life because you are employed.
4. Have a good life-work balance
Your normal working day begins at 8 AM and ends at 5.30 PM. Avoid your emails as much as you can during non-working hours. Do not make use of any creative ideas that cross your mind. When you are in the office, behave as if you have no family or friends. Focus on only one thing: office work.
Theoretically, this life-work dichotomy can exist. However, it does not make sense in real life. It is interesting to ponder over a thought after work, and to seek to actualize it. Use your email to save documents and other important details you may lose easily. Use your phone to save important reminders so you do not need to wrack your brain trying to remember. Do not ignore any email. Sync your phone with your office email so you receive notifications of important emails that land in your inbox. If you try rigidly to draw a line between life and work - which are interconnected - you will have a very rough time. A comfortable life depends on the work you do, and a productive day in the office depends on a positive mind-set created during your out-of-office hours.
5. Respect authority and never challenge it
The word of your boss is final. They are the one in charge, and they require you to follow all instructions without questioning. Your boss is more knowledgeable than you, and that is why they are higher in rank.
This advice has been around for several decades, and many people are still struggling with it. However, if you understand how respectful pushback benefits the organization, you should be ready to speak your mind without fear of reprisal. Some companies treat the managers and supervisors like small gods, and this makes it hard for workers to speak about their convictions. If your manager is a good and intelligent person, one who allows you to grow and contribute to the success of the organization, they will encourage you to air your views.
6. Stick to your position, promotion is the preserve of the seniors
Once you are hired, you should not expect your salary grade to rise. The only person who can trigger your pay rise is your manager. You should accept the pay your employer gives you.
This is an outdated thought. You are not supposed to stay in a company where your pay is not commensurate with your work. If you feel your company is oppressing you or taking your services for granted, you are at liberty to request a pay rise. If the standard of living increases, and your salary remains fixed, you are the one to suffer. No one should victimize you because you are asking your manager to give you a pay rise. In addition, promotion is rightfully yours. If there is a vacancy at a higher rank and you feel qualified, apply. Do not stay in one position for too long. Career growth makes work interesting.
7. Your dress code should be official at all times
You cannot access the office if you are wearing jeans or any other casual wear. Customers view you as the first image of the company, and they prefer official wear.
Companies have held this view for a long time, and many employees have had to live with it. The current age of technological advancement has changed everything in the office. There are many trends that have come up, and many companies are not taking dress code seriously. Managers and supervisors are now encouraging their staff to dress less formally. Employees are only required to be presentable in their dress code. If you have held the above thought till now, observe the dress code of a renowned software developer. Go further and assess how the director of a popular organization dresses. You will realize that your company needs your brains more than your way of dressing.
There are many outdated career tips you should ignore. Some of them have been around for decades, and it is important to critically analyze each before accepting them as truth. There are some that are still applicable, but others are old-fashioned. Moreover, not everyone can give you professional advice if you are not sure of their background.
Can you think of any other tips? Let us know in the comments below.