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Friends and Family May Not Be the Best Source of Career Advice


Looking for career advice? You might want to steer clear of your family and friends, new research finds.

Whether it’s being told by their parents not to be friends with their co-workers or having a friend suggest that resumes should be long and detailed, many employees admit that those closest to them have given them bad suggestions on how to get a job or advance in the workplace, according to a study from the staffing firm Accountemps.

Specifically, 35 percent of the employees surveyed said their friends have steered them in the wrong direction when it comes to their careers. Additionally, 14 percent have parents and 10 percent have other family members who have offered up bad career advice.

“Whether you’re a first-time job seeker, an experienced professional trying to climb the career ladder or someone looking for a career change, it’s not uncommon to ask a trusted confidante for guidance,” Mike Steinitz, executive director for Accountemps, said in a statement. “Friends and family members typically have good intentions, but they may steer you in the wrong direction.”

There is one family member whom employees can usually count on to set them straight. The research found that just one percent of employees have gotten bad career advice from their spouse.

The study shows that employees are much less likely to get poor recommendations from those they work with. Just five percent of the employees surveyed said they were given questionable career guidance from co-workers and only four percent said a manager or supervisor gave them problematic advice.

When employees do need some guidance, they should make sure the person they ask for help has the experience to provide helpful tips, said Steinitz.

“Cast a wide net when reaching out to those in your network and ask specific questions pertaining to each person’s experience,” Steinitz said. “Weigh all the pros and cons in any situation and make the decision based on what is best for your career and your personal priorities.”


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