When I read a blog post by a career “expert” or hear a “recruiting guru” tout having worked for a large corporation as essential to the career success of young professionals, or college students preparing to join the workforce… I have to pause and take a deep breath… or I’d probably go throw myself out of a window.

Please… everybody just stop…

I am fully in support of job stability and all the benefits: (insurance, stock options and a 401k etc.) that come with employment at a big, established company. But only meteorologists and legislative branch members get to be wrong most of the time and still be considered “experts”.

Since our current economic situation began, you can probably count the large, mainstream companies that have increased their entry-level hiring on one hand of your favorite cartoon character (Mickey Mouse, Handy Manny and a few others only have three fingers… but that’s another rant for another time).

As evidence, consider the following, from “The Importance of Startups in Job Creation and Job Destruction” – a study conducted by The Ewing Marion Kaufman Foundation:

“New firms add an average of 3 million jobs in their first year, while older companies lose 1 million jobs annually.”

Now also consider that it seems that many Millennials would rather remain unemployed or take on a part-time or temporary job – and wait for the right opportunity – than take a job with a faceless mega-corporation on the lowest rung of the company ladder.

Good thing, since those companies aren’t hiring – unless you’re interested in entry-level sales positions with a heavy emphasis on commission-based compensation. Which leads the Kaufman study to conclude:

“When it comes to U.S. job growth, start-up companies aren’t everything. They’re the only thing.”

Robert E. Litan, vice president of Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation, concludes this argument well: “These findings imply that America should be thinking differently about the standard employment policy paradigm.”

That, I believe, includes career experts who apparently stopped watching the news in 2004.

Don’t get me wrong… there are a ton of “real” career experts out there: Heather Huhman at ComeRecommended (#internchat), Becky Benishek at MyPath (#careerchat) and Donna Svei at AvidCareerist (#HFChat) and Rich DeMatteo at CornOnTheJob (#jobhuntchat) – just to name a few who really “get it”.

In addition to seeking advice from these pros, I suggest (before you listen to what could be expensive “expert advice”) that you get yourself an account on Twitter (free), download TweetDeck or go to TweetChat (both free), and then join at least these three Twitter chats (also free). Here are a few to get you started:

  • #jobhunchat (Mondays at 10:00PM Eastern)
  • #careerchat (Tuesdays at 1:00PM Eastern)
  • #hfchat (Fridays at 12Noon Eastern)

During these chats you’ll learn current “best practices” that will help you move to the front of the competitive job seeker pack – and get a job, or internship. I’ve been involved with online recruiting since 1999 and I have never once participated in a chat where I didn’t learn something new.

As the real experts would say: “we can only help those who are willing to help themselves.”

The first step toward helping yourself: engage your Bulls#%t Meter when listening to “old-school” career experts dispensing decade-old advice.

About the Author: A passionate supporter of Gen Y talent, CEO and Founder of YouTern Mark Babbitt is a serial entrepreneur and mentor. Mark has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Forbes and Under30CEO regarding internships, higher education’s role in preparing emerging talent for the workforce and career development. Recently, Mark was honored to be named to GenJuice’s list of “Top 100 Most Desirable Mentors”. You can contact Mark via email or on Twitter: @YouTernMark.

image courtesy of Mash Potato

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7 thoughts on “Does "Old-School" Career Advice Ring Your Bull#%$@ Meter?

  1. Dia

    Hi Mark,

    Exactly, now the job market has changed and what once worked, might not work nowadays. Opening one’s business is the best choise anyone can make, way better than dealing with the job market. ;)

    Thanks for sharing

  2. Hi Mark and Bryce,

    Great read, my friend.Things are constantly changing by today’s standards in the job market. We must be three steps ahead at all times, in order to be proven as being successful, but I still believe that there are lessons we can learn from the more seasoned workers; depending on the industry and their success level in that field. Nonetheless, I agree with a lot of the pointers you made, and really enjoyed the post.

  3. Bryce Christiansen

    Thanks Dia,

    The job arena certainly has changed and old rules might not still apply.

    I recently read an article where a Fortune 500 firm has stopped taking resumes and instead just asks for links to your web presence.



  4. Bryce Christiansen

    Hi Deeone,

    Well said. Great to hear your thoughts on this one.

    The career arena has become a jungle. It’s constantly changing. One trail that may have been safe in the past could be completely overrun with snakes and marmots today.

    You may think twice about having Colonel Sanders showing you the best path to take.

    Thanks Deeone,


  5. Bryce Christiansen

    Thanks Rich,

    You’ve linked to us before and we have been thankful for the visits you’ve sent.

    I agree with Mark that you are one of the people who get’s it.


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