Worst Career Advice Given That Stops You From Growing

Written by Faizan Patankar

Things changed between the 20th and 21st century. However the career advice given stayed the same. Here is a list of worst career advice that I still regularly come across in 21st century.

1. ‘Follow Your Passion’

I couldn’t agree more with Betty Liu (  ) when she wrote this post here on

“There are plenty of people who are extremely successful doing things they’re not exactly passionate about. They just happen to be very good at what they do. There are also people who are undyingly passionate about something, but they’ll never make a career of it.”

Follow your passion is one of the worst career advice. Very few of us are lucky who will have a skill that someone is ready to pay a good price for. I like writing, but it’s not going to make my career. It doesn’t matter what I am passionate about, if I can’t be pragmatic in my approach.

2. ‘Do What You Love’

Worst Career Advice

How often have I heard this being said – LOTS OF TIME. How often do we disregard this statement? EVERYTIME. Yet it seems to be given every hour of the day.

As Penelop Trunk (  find her on LinkedIn) writes in her article here

“I love sex more than writing. But I’m not getting paid for it, and I’m also not sitting around asking myself why I’m not getting paid for it, or whether I should quit my writing day job and go to full-time sex work. Because obviously making that change, while it might be fulfilling in some ways, would mostly prevent me from living the kind of life I want to live. That’s what career decisions are really about – not, “What do I love?” but “How do I want to live?”

I think she makes a very compelling case to put do what you love as the worst career advice given around.

3. ‘Cherish Your Current Role’

Kimberley Kasper (  find her on LinkedIn) has this great anecdote on this worst career advice she got

“When I was an administrative assistant, my boss told me that because I didn’t have an MBA, marketing was not in my future. I found another person to work for and began taking on marketing projects. Had I not been angry, I would still be an admin.”

I like that, it’s a true insight into how some people give advice to keep you from growing.

4. ‘Keep your head down, do good work, ignore ‘office politics’ and produce results’

Now then, where do I even begin to say why this is the worst career advice? I won’t even try explaining this, Dan Rust (  find him on LinkedIn) has written a really good piece on LinkedIn. In which he writes,

“…in addition to doing good work I have found it is important to find positive ways to “play the game” of office politics. You have to self-promote and ensure that leaders see the value you bring to the business. It is also important to be aware of the human dynamics around you; who has your back (and who doesn’t), whose star is rising, and who can be trusted.”

I strongly recommend you having a read of what Dan Rust has written on the topic.

And finally….

5. ‘Date the boss’s daughter’

Worst career advice 2

Umm, I don’t think I have to even explain this one, do I? Don’t give into this advice, no matter who gives it. And if you think I’ve made this one up, here’s the evidence, point 2.

So there you go, if you hear any of this worst career advice, take it with a pinch of salt, please.

About the author

Faizan Patankar

I started Career Geek Blog in 2011 to share my experience in job-hunting. I now focus on careers industry and blogging is just a tool to share that info. Love hacking careers. During the day I focus on my hobby - Engineering.