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ATTN: Read The Labels Before You Drink The Career Advice

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By J.T. O’Donnell

With the creation of blogs has come a wonderful opportunity for people to become better informed on a variety of topics. Just visit www.Alltop.com and you’ll find a ‘magazine rack effect’ of blogs on almost any subject you can think of. In fact, when you click on the careers tab, you’ll find plenty of content providing advice. However, not all of it is worth taking.

Blog readers beware! Some online writers aren’t giving accurate or sound advice. Here’s why…

As more blogs are created, it gets harder for sites to increase readership. So, the need to stand out becomes critical. It starts with crafting intriguing titles for their posts so they can capture a reader’s attention and get that all-important ‘click’ on to the site. But, when that doesn’t result in enough hits, a blogger may opt to go beyond the headline and into the body of text with advice and commentary meant to shock and gain attention. There’s an old saying, “any publicity is good publicity,” and many bloggers today are embracing that strategy. They believe that creating a buzz is more important than creating a valuable resource. Sadly, the result is a lot of bloggers offering insights that are more than just a little off-base.

So, how does an innocent reader do a litmus test to make sure what they are reading is viable advice? A few suggestions:

1) Confirm the author can back up their advice with reputable facts. A single success is an accident. 2-5 times could still be just luck. But, an ability to provide dozens of examples – now that’s a fact.
2) Assess the credibility of the source. What’s the writer’s credentials? Should they be giving you advice on this subject? What qualifies them?
3) Follow your gut’s BS meter. A simple but true test. If the advice flies in convention and makes you think, “Really? Why then aren’t more people embracing it?” Leave it alone and let someone else try it first.

When we reached out to the current career experts (all 15 of them!) donating their time to answer career questions from followers of the Twitter Advice Project (T.A.P. into CAREREALISM), we chose people with a wide range of experience. The key word in that phrase: experience. Better still, we chose a large number of experts to participate so those seeking advice could see the collective thoughts of the group on the subject. This enables us to offer advice consensus and deliver a comprehensive answer to each career question received. It’s a known fact the IQ of a group is always higher than the average of its participants. So, it only made sense that we would create a career advice tool that would leverage the power of a team.

In closing, I ask you this:

At the end of the day, would you take medical advice from a team of doctors with PhDs and a successful track record of healing, or would you go with the Witch Doctor in the crazy outfit who just landed on the scene?

It’s your career, treat it well. Seek advice from credible sources to ensure you get the right advice. The health of your career is at stake.

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