There will always be people who will give us terrible pieces of advice which seem to be helping but they are really not. It could our friend, teacher, or boss who has influence in our lives, and we instantly believe them because of the close relationship.
Author and executive coach Jason Womack has a term for these kind of people: momentum saboteurs. They express doubt and dull our shine at times that we are excited about something by giving misguided advice, without them knowing it. Sometimes, they even mean well, but it’s just they have no idea how much their words give impact to us. Womack details more about this in his book “Get Momentum: How to Start When You’re Stuck.”
Engineers have a fair share in this. When it comes to personal and professional decision, we often consult others and submit ourselves to whatever they say because they are convincing. But Womack thinks that there are 3 common pieces of career advice that we should conveniently ignore, because they are not geared towards bettering ourselves and reaching our goals:
“You’re moving too fast”
And you have to slow down. This advice often comes in pair, and it’s not really the best advice.
Why? Because this negative behavior can be really detrimental to what you really want. If you have found something you are passionate about, go for it and do not let anybody stop you from doing it. Let the say whatever they want to say, but do not adjust your level of excitement and commitment.
“The person who says that may have a different personality from you,” Womack says. “People around you may not be as deeply interested as you are in what you are talking about.”
“Don’t do more than you are asked”
This advice has a social stigma because work-life balance is often the trend, and that you shouldn’t be working more than you should.
That’s where they got it wrong.
“Even if you don’t have the title of a leader, you are taking initiative, which will pay off in the long run,” Womack says. Indeed, when you put extra work that is not part of your job description or outside of your work hours, it shows your ability to meet goals. Sooner, that trait of yours will translate to a promotion, higher salary, or a good recommendation.
“Don’t try so hard”
Why is trying so hard a bad thing for some? It actually shows your efforts that you really want it and you are in it to win it. That attitude goes a long way, especially if you are an engineer.
On this matter, Womack has this to say, “When people give you advice that seems to slow down your momentum, pause and ask yourself if there is any truth to what they are seeing.
Though they may mean well, “intention isn’t enough. Surround yourself with supportive people who will encourage you to move forward.”