Last year, when asked on a Twitter Poll by Adam Grant about the worst career advice they'd ever received, Monica Lewinksy's response was that she'd once been told "an internship at the White House will be amazing on your resume". Joking apart, who we choose to ask for help is so important to getting the answers we need, rather than those we want. The last few months feel like quite a big deal. Change that was irreversible but likely to take years is happening before our eyes. Culture wars are flaring up all over the place. Jobs will be lost, career paths changed, skills lost and re-learned. At times of career stress, taking advice from the right people can be critical to making the right choices.
This article by Adam Grant is fascinating about who to seek out when wanting advice. Do not go to people just because you like them - that is too easy. Make sure you understand the motives of the people giving you advice. My parents have lots to share about their time - but it was a different age. Make sure the people advising you are qualified to do so. Equally, choose advisers who ask questions. Those that are curious to "unpack" the challenges you are facing are much more likely to help, compared to those who are super keen to give you the "answer". It is also fascinating about how to give advice. As ever, listening is a much underrated skill.
One of the most important things I've learnt though, of course, is taking advice is one thing. Acting on it, something else!
When we turn to others for advice on major career decisions, they sometimes steer us in the wrong direction. Warren Buffett’s father, along with his mentor, discouraged him from entering the securities business. Walt Disney’s brother and wife both tried to talk him out of making “Snow White.”