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Outdated Career Advice Part 2 of 3: On the Job

Though you’re bound to hear plenty of misguided job search tips when you’re actively seeking new employment, outdated career advice doesn’t stop coming once you’re happily employed. Following modern career advice is just as essential as understanding modern job search tips in order to remain competitive and engaged in today’s ever changing employment landscape. In the second installment of our Outdated Career Advice column, Nelson’s recruiting experts cover some modern “on-the-job” career advice.

Outdated Career Advice: Separate Work and Home

In the past, business professionals working in corporate offices rarely discussed their personal lives for fear of burdening co-workers with family affairs. This rule was particularly vital for professional women, who routinely had to go above and beyond to show their commitment to work and the job. Talking too much about home or family matters was interpreted as a lack of dedication.

Modern Career Advice: Blend Work and Home

According to recruiting company experts, most modern work environments are much more relaxed when it comes to discussing work and family matters. People spend a lot of time at work, and it is only natural to build rapport and form friendships there.

Not understanding this changing landscape may cause colleagues to view you as cold and unfriendly, which could negatively impact your career. By forming professional relationships with co-workers, you have the potential to come across opportunities to take on new projects and will be viewed as a team member.

Though work and personal lines can sometimes blur, be sure to maintain clear boundaries. When in doubt about revealing personal information, err on the side of being cautious, particularly if you are a new employee or working for a temporary agency and have yet to establish yourself.

It is common to connect with friends and even managers on social media accounts, but be mindful of what you share if you choose to “friend” your boss. Calling in sick and then posting photos of you and your BFF at the beach might not be a wise choice.

Outdated Career Advice: Get Ahead by Multitasking

In the early days of the Internet, “multitasking” was a big buzzword. Many believed that the better you were at multitasking, the more you could get done in a day. As such, employers wanted to hire workers gifted at multitasking.

Today, the workplace view on multitasking and productivity has changed. Though most people are guilty of checking email on their phones while waiting in line at the grocery store, multitasking in the workplace has gone the way of the fax machine. If you’re working for a temporary agency and trying to prove yourself, talking about your talent for multitasking is unlikely to impress.

Modern Career Advice: Prioritize and Plan Your Work to Get Ahead

From temporary agencies to full time employers, most companies today would rather see that you can prioritize and manage time well instead of multitasking. Evidence has shown that in most situations, multitasking is not more efficient than focusing on one task at a time. In many cases, it can even decrease your productivity and increase your rate of error because you aren’t focusing effectively.

According to recruiting company experts, the new buzzword related to workplace productivity might be “prioritize.” Modern career advice now suggests that by prioritizing your work assignments and focusing on the quality of the few rather than the production of the many, you can accomplish more with fewer mistakes.

Multitasking can make a person look rushed and harried; in the old days, this was viewed in a positive light because it made you “look busy.” Today, being overwhelmed by work and not focusing on a single responsibility may have a negative effect. Modern career advice suggests that success in the workplace is less about appearing busy and more about producing actual results.

Modern Career Advice Requires You to Roll with the Changes

While advice about topics such as separating work from home life and multitasking may have applied to the business world in the past, it is important to be able to adapt to modern environments. Experts from Nelson advise that today’s workers can be a bit more lenient when it comes to compartmentalizing business and personal life. Additionally, those following modern career advice know that prioritizing and accomplishing important work tasks is more important than looking busy from multitasking.

Stay tuned for part three of our Outdated Career Advice blog series: Managing Your Career Path.

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