The other day I got an email from a woman who recently graduated from my alma mater. She found my contact info through the alumni database and was asking if I could spend a few minutes talking with her about my career path. Of course I said yes — yes, I want to help, but who doesn’t like to feel like Miss Smarty Pants for a while?
We’d scheduled a call and I started thinking about things I wanted to make sure to tell her. Don’t go into venture capital before having some operating experience. Consulting is a great way to learn how to process information quickly and to become a whiz with financial spreadsheets, but don’t stay for too long. If you’re thinking of joining a start-up do your homework on the team (they should be smart, hardworking, and fun to spend 18 hours a day with) and the financial plan for the company.
And then I started to think about all the things I wanted to make sure to NOT tell her, the cliche career advice I often got when I graduated from college, or truly bad career advice, that I also got and in most cases didn’t realise was bad until years later. I thought I’d share some of it with you and see what you think — is it bad advice and what other horrible career advice have you received?
1. As a woman, you will have to work harder than guys to get the same recognition at work.
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