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Terrible career advice you shouldn’t follow & what to do instead

Below, we’d like to share with you episode twenty-ninth of The Tea on Recruiting, our bi-weekly video series for recruiters, along with its transcript. The topic we’ll discuss in this episode is: Terrible career advice. It is a wide topic so we serve it as the one and only piece of content for this episode. We hope you have a good time watching (reading)!


We’ve all had, at some point, that one friend who never failed to give us terrible advice. Remember? The one who told you that it was a great idea to give your scumbag ex another chance. That went well! Well, Sophloces said that no enemy is worse than bad advice, so grab your cup of tea, because today we’ll fight a few suggestions that are the ‘James Moriarty’ to our ‘Sherlock Holmes’.

Welcome back to the Tea on Recruiting, where we share insightful and thought-provoking content that can help you shape your recruiting career!

Here’s today’s first piece of content! Well, actually… Today’s episode is a bit different. The article we picked was quite rich, so we figured we’d make an exception to our usual structure and use it as our only piece of content for today. I truly hope you won’t mind and that you’ll find it as insightful as I did upon reading it.

7 Pieces of Bad Career Advice Women Should Ignore

We’ve read Harvard Business Review’s “7 Pieces of Bad Career Advice Women Should Ignore” by Cindy Gallop and Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic. You don’t identify as a woman? No problem. In fact, I can promise you that you’ll learn a thing or two whoever you are, and that it’ll help you be better informed during our collective efforts toward creating a world that’s more just. Ok, so… Crappy advice. Are you ready? Let’s go!

  • Find a mentor.
    We associate the idea of a mentor with nice chats, advice, and a shoulder to lean on, when, really, you need to find a champion: someone who makes things happen for you. Women need what men get all the time. I’ll tell you what helps: the support of a committed sponsor who can influence people at the top and will use it to help even if it jeopardizes their reputation.
  • Change the way you speak.
    Women are told to be less apologetic and more assertive, but, truly, the world would be a much better place and the workplace a lot happier, if men were encouraged to say sorry a lot more.
  • Be more confident.
    Well, here, too, there’s some confusion. Having low confidence is just as bad as overestimating your abilities. Every human being should aim to be as confident as they are competent. Brace yourself confidence and competence overlap only 9% of the time!
  • Find work-life balance.
    Although there are ways to help ourselves, it’s important to also choose a workplace that cares about us. Statistically, businesses that are female-founded or female-led are more rarely ridden by the plague of micromanagement.
  • Fake it ‘till you make it.
    No. Why lie? Just do justice to your actual accomplishments. Talk up your intention and vision, too, in a way that gets you recognized.
  • Just be yourself.
    Well, yes, but to do it safely, it’s important to, first of all, choose a work environment that understands and delivers psychological safety.
  • Ask for advice.
    Instead of asking around, what’s important is to sharpen our intuition and follow our gut instinct.

CandE Crash

The more barbaric your treatment of candidates, the more embarrassing their screenshots!

Shoutout to a company we won’t name. Let’s read this out loud. Hold tight!

“Good afternoon and hope you are well plus staying safe. Your profile was identified as a potential match for a Sr. Visual Desiger role with XX (a Cisco company).

Full job description attached for your review. I am specifically looking for minority talent for this role. Location: San Franciso; Comp: Up to 180K plus 15% bonus for OTE 208K.

For immediate consideration please send updated resume and salary requirements to YY and we will get you submitted to the hiring manager. PLEASE if this role is not for you, refer to any other minority candidates in your network. Thanks for your time!

Leading the charge to facilitate and link top minority talent to corporate clientele!”

The response: “Thank you for reaching out but I’m currently not looking forward to being the token Asian working at another tech company. I’m really surprised that you would use the word “minority talent” as if you’re only reaching out to me because of what I look like vs. my skills.”

And she’s right! She’s right! But then the response is: “Have a good day Juyi, clearly you don’t get it.” The audacity!

Got something to say about this? Drop a comment below, we’d love to pick your brains. Help us get better at helping you get better: with your help!

We also love it when you reach out to us with fresh ideas – send me a DM on my LinkedIn, or send me an email at

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