Friday, April 6, 2012

7 career advice myths

Steve Tobak

(MoneyWatch) COMMENTARY From your parents telling you the early bird gets the worm to that personal branding blog you read just last week, everyone and his brother has advice on how to advance your career.
There are only two problems with that.
First, to say things have changed over the past few decades is a bit of an understatement. What was once conventional wisdom is now laughably outdated. Second, the Internet is full of blogs and tweets designed to rack up clicks by quoting clueless people and bad research.
To help clear up all the nonsense, here's the truth about seven career advice myths that have somehow managed to become conventional wisdom. Don't drink the Kool-Aid.
If you're not an early riser, you're a loser. Granted, the deck is sort of stacked against you, but that doesn't mean you're doomed. I haven't had a coherent thought before noon in decades and somehow managed to have a remarkably successful career. And I'm certainly not alone. Instead of trying to be a zombie drone like everyone else, here are some easy tips on how to succeed when you're not a morning person.
It's not what you know but who you know. This old saying has given more people an excuse to give up on their careers than anything I can think of. Yes, it's true that networking and work relationships are key to your success, but now more than ever, that's entirely up to you. It's your responsibility. If you aren't willing to do the work, don't blame it on anyone else. Also, what you've got going on under the hood means more than anything; it always has.
You need to kiss up to get ahead. I've known hundreds of successful executives and very few got there by kissing up to management and being worthless yes-men. If you know what you're doing, you don't have to kowtow to anyone. Learn how to manage up and how not to manage up, instead. Managing your boss is not the same as kissing his behind. Not even a little.

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