Best Career Advice

It’s Thanksgiving Day in Canada, so naturally, I spent a bit of time this morning thinking about what I’m grateful for. There are the obvious things—the things I give thanks for every year, like my health, Sephora, my family, Jake Gyllenhaal, and my friends. But this year, I’m also feeling particularly lucky to have such wise people surrounding me. I’ve written recently about how I’ve reached a bit of a crossroads in my life–and not the fun, Britney Spears kind of crossroads, but the super shitty, what-in-the-hell-am-I-even-doing kind. I’m lucky to have friends and family who have not only rallied around me but have also offered me a lot of great advice about clearing my head, figuring out a game plan, and getting back on track.

But when it comes to career advice—concretetangible career advice—well, I haven’t gotten much. That’s not to say that my friends and family aren’t successful people with interesting and fulfilling careers because they are. But when pressed to talk about how they landed those careers, they’ve been giving me a lot of noncommittal, “Well, things just kind of fell into place,” and “I just followed my heart, and it all worked out.” So, that’s great, and all, but I think I could really use something a little more specific, you know?

So that’s where you, smart and accomplished Gloss readers, come in. What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever been given? Who gave it to you? Did you follow the advice right away, or did it take you a while to figure things out? Where are you at in your career now, and where do you hope to be headed?

I’m also kind of interested in hearing some of the worst career advice you’ve ever received. I know I’ve heard a ton, like “Don’t use the Internet to job search—all of the good jobs are posted in the newspaper!” and “Money doesn’t matter—just do whatever you like.” I’m not even going to touch that first one because it’s so obviously wrong that it’s not even worth discussing. And the whole thing about money not mattering? That’s a sweet sentiment, but my bath bomb collection (not to mention my retirement) isn’t going to pay for itself. So, yeah, money matters.

I know I’m not the only lost soul adrift in the “follow your passion” sea. So, let’s talk about careers: how to get one, how to keep one, how to figure out which one you want. Share all of your career wisdom—or all of your career woes—in the comments section below.

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