The world’s smartest women offer some career advice for 2018. It goes like this: Be your authentic self. Confidence is key. Be open to opportunities. Surround yourself with good people. Find the right balance for you.
I love all of these women, but this list is recycled garbage. Everybody knows that you can’t be your authentic self at work. Most of us would get fired or spend all of our time engaged in petty conflict. And it’s okay to be confident, but you’re not that great. Tough to be sure of yourself when you have personal work to do.
I’m also not a fan of telling women to surround themselves with good people. I mean, yes, create a personal board of directors and load it up with excellent advisors. But you don’t control your work environment; you only control your reaction to it. Maybe not even that.
Finally, there’s a special place in hell for people who aren’t Madeleine Albright and tell people there’s a special place in hell. But, there’s another special place in hell for women who tell other women to find balance. Okay, sure, I’ll find the right balance just as soon as a board of directors appoints me CEO and my choices are better. Let’s not pretend that 98% of working men and women have options.
So, what’s the best career advice for women in 2018?
Don’t take career advice. Let’s end that sentence there. Advice is a form of nostalgia that has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the speaker. If you need clarity in your life, seek guidance or coaching from someone who isn’t building a personal brand.
Competence is key. If you’re good at what you do, which means doing your job + building relationships at work, you’re unstoppable. In fact, the order is flipped. It’s build relationships + be good at what you do.
Be safe. Lots of women spend too long in a job that starts out dodgy and grows riskier and riskier by the year. Now is the time to end this bullshit. We’re at record unemployment until the president ruins it, and everybody is hiring. If you’re in an unsafe working environment, this stops now. Contact me. I’ll help.
Finally, if you don’t have balance in your life, take it back however you can. Learn the art of saying no a little more. Take a lunchtime nap in your car. Learn to breathe. Play the long game and realize that this busy time in your life is temporary and start planning for the day when you have five minutes to poop in private. Or, just be honest with yourself. That’s always a smart place to start. You have no balance. Life is out of control. Now find a professional to help get some balance back.
My best advice for 2018? The people closest to a problem are the ones equipped to solve it. You don’t need internet advice to fix your career. You just need some space and time to think about your core values, your personal goals, and how you get from here to there. But if you’re looking for internet advice, I have one more gem for you:
I believe that a job is just a job. The only meaning it has is the meaning you give it. Let go of your ego, get a hobby, and your life might be a little less stressful and a lot more enjoyable in the new year.
Hope that helps!