What to Do When Your Grandmother, Father or Mother Try to Give You Career Advice

I often wonder why people think they can offer career advice when they’ve been out of the loop for

awhile.  Well-meaning family and friends may offer their input on how to land a job, even though they haven’t had a job in over 10 years, or have been retired for the last 5 years, and/or have been in the same job for the last 10-15 years.

Sure, their advice might have worked for getting a job awhile ago. But you need advice for getting a job NOW, in today’s job market.

Don’t get me wrong, listening to your family is always a nice thing to do. Your family loves you more than anyone on earth; however, taking career advice from them might not always be the greatest idea. So simply say “thank you” but don’t follow their advice.

I have worked with many people looking for work over the past 20 years, and it always worries me when clients listen to anyone who hasn’t actively looked for a job or who has actively looked for a job and is still unemployed after a year or more. I am not judging people who have a hard time getting a job, I just don’t want my clients and anyone job searching to take career/job search advice from anyone less than a professional.

Let me ask you this: Would you seek piano lessons from someone who doesn’t know how to play (though has intentions of playing someday)?

It’s very hard for people when they hit the sixth month mark and they still haven’t been able to get a job. They start to get really depressed. This is usually when unqualified people offer their advice. They mean well and just want to help. But what will really help is people who have had recent success. So your job now is to seek these people out.

Follow career advice from the following people:

Career Expert

Hiring Manager


Human Resource Professional


Job Seeker who has just landed a job in the last six months


These are the people to listen to. These are the people who can help you attain job success TODAY.

Life changes—constantly. So does the job market and the process of getting a job.  In today’s market, it’s important to hang out with people who are employed, hire a coach, attend job search support groups, and work with recruiters. These are people who are positive and successful in today’s job market and can help you the most. When you are around these types of people, you can ask questions and model their behavior. You can learn and see firsthand what actually works TODAY.