Career advices can be very helpful in your career. They can help you take important decisions, boost your confidence, improve your performance etc. But as the matters affected by the career advice are of vast importance to a person, the question arises that how much you should rely of career advice?
This would depend on two major texts. First what kind of career advices are we talking about; i.e. where is it coming from? And the second is what the career advice is about. Let's take a closer look at both of these factors.
Type of Career Advice
Career advice can be generic; such as those found on internet or in books or individualized; i.e. those targeted at a certain individual such as those given by a career consultant.
The generic career advices can be found on the internet. There are career advices available for many differing situations. Although, not specifically targeted at a particular individual they can be helpful in a person's career. The challenge is to find the advices that are appropriate to your situation and even more importantly to recognize them. You should consider them carefully but should not rely on them excessively. Understand what they say and than make up your own mind.
The other kind of career advice is the individualized career advice. These are given by professionals at least those that claim to be professional and are specifically tailored for you. The actual content of these advices could be similar to those of generic career advices. When deciding on how much you should rely on these advices you should consider following things:
You should consider the reputation of the agency that you are receiving the career advice from. There are many consultant agencies that are little more than sales sharks and only interested in your money. Good references by people that you know and familiar with are one way to choose an agency that is reliable. When you visit a consultancy take every thing they say with a grain of salt and consider the credibility of the agency carefully before investing additional time and money in it.
- Adviser Credential
The second factor that you should consider before determining the reliability of a career advice is the credential of the person giving the advice. Besides considering the qualification of the advisor you should also consider whether the person is right for your needs or if he has experience related to your career line. For example, a person who is highly qualified to give career advice to people in fashion industry may not be equally suited to people in software industry.
Personal career advice is just personal. It is tailored and targeted to a person. In order to give correct advice the adviser must first know the individual. The personalized career consultancy process should include review of the resume and past experiences, some psychological and behavioral tests as well as face to face or at the very least a telephone conversation with the actual adviser. If you have received career advice that does not involve these steps, you should not expect more than a modified version of generic advices available for free on the internet. In any case do not put much faith in such career advices.
Besides the type and source of the career advice there is also the matter of what the advice is about. Let's look at the common topics that are addressed by career advices and consider them in some details:
- Choosing a Career
Choosing a career line is a major decision and has very long lasting impact. You should consider taking the help of a recognized career consultant for this. Don't rely solely on his or her advice but consider whether you will like working in that particular career line. It would be a good idea to take second opinions as you'll not be choosing a career line every day.
- Job Search
Career advice can be helpful when you are searching for jobs. You should consider the career advice and target the jobs that are well suited to you. In most cases you'll know what do you want to do or what you are good at without any career advice. The primary objective of career advice should not be to choose a job for you but make you aware of the opportunities and identify you strengths and weaknesses regarding the particular job. Also once your target is decided, you should try your best to get as many invitations for job interviews as you can. Submit your resume to multiple career consultancy as well as keep looking for the jobs by yourself as well. Unless highly recommended avoid agencies that charge money from you before you are selected for a job. A little registration fee is ok in most cases but more than that and it's likely that you are looking at a scam.
- Resume Building
A well prepared resume can increase the chance of your getting an interview invitation. There are tons of resume building tips as well as actual sample resumes available on the internet. You should take their advantages. Make sure that the resume is in the right format for the job you are applying for. Check multiple sources to get a better idea of what your resume should look like. Unless you have too much money, or you really want to, avoid paid, professional resume building services or websites. Take some time and build your resume yourself.
- Interview Preparation
Career advices can give you some idea about how to prepare for interview and how to conduct yourself during interview but you have to do the grunt work yourself. You should take advantage of interview tips and interview questions available on the internet. Individualized professional advice can help you identify your critical weaknesses but practicing mock interviews with your friends or colleagues can do that as well and without cost. In any case the interviewers and your prospective employers are interested in yourself and unless you are really terrible at facing interviews; online interview tips, some practice and using your judgment should be more than enough.
- Career or Job Change.
A career change is a major decision and should be taken after good deliberation. Career advice can be helpful for you in this. It's better to go for professional advisers who also have experience in your career line for this. Consider their advice but don't jump in or follow it blindly if you are not comfortable with what they suggest. In fact the decision of change should be made by you and the advisers should help you decide the right time for change or the best possible to bring the change into effect. In any event I would highly recommend against leaving a job before getting offer for a new one.
There is a lot more that can be said for relying or not relying on career advice or how much one should rely on career advice, but when all is said and done you'll be the one paying the price of the decisions and not the advisor. You should consider the advices; judge their merit as impartially as you can, and make up your own mind about whether to rely on them or not.