Have you ever asked for advice about your career? And did you take that advice?
I’m a big believer in consulting experienced, knowledgeable people before making any big moves in your workplace. It’s good to get a variety of perspectives, and possibly more information, before taking a significant step.
Tonight on Dragons’ Den, one of the Canadian entrepreneurs pitching for investment won’t listen to Kevin’s advice about how to proceed with his product.
“Why aren’t you listening to me?” Kevin demands. “What’s the matter with you?”
Whether or not this entrepreneur should listen to Kevin could be debated. Certainly all of the Dragons have been incredibly successful in business, so any bits of wisdom they share should be considered. But at the end of the day, everyone does have to make their own decision, since we’re the ones who will bear the consequences.
A good friend of mind once acted on some bad advice. He’d been having difficulty in his workplace — the boss was having an affair with a member of the team and that person seemed to be getting the best assignments. My friend consulted another colleague, who worked in a different department. “Go to your boss’s supervisor,” he was told. “This is a bad situation, and someone higher up has to intervene.”
But what my friend didn’t consider was that the person giving him advice was as new to the company as he was. Neither realized that the badly-behaved boss had worked for the company a long time, and was able to command a higher level of loyalty than he was as a junior employee. Shortly after making his report to the top executive, my friend was told his contract would not be renewed.
Maybe his boss got a stern lecture about the affair; maybe not. The point is, my friend was ill-advised, and ended up being out of a job.
It’s important that if you do want some guidance, you speak to people who you respect. And even then, you have to feel comfortable with the action they recommend. Again, it’s YOU that will have to deal with the outcome, good or bad.
I think we should also be careful about giving advice. It’s easy to shoot from the hip about what a person should do in any given situation, but if you’re not truly confident about your recommendation, don’t give it.
Watch tonight, and see if you think Kevin’s advice was good or bad!