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November 01, 2010

Two Reasons to Not Listen to Free Advice

Has anyone ever come up to you and asked you if you wanted some free advice? This happens to me once in a while. Why someone thinks that I want free advice I don't know. Perhaps I should get a t-shirt that says "No, Please…Give Me Your Free Advice." But I think I stand in another camp. I guess my camp t-shirt would be more like my ninth grade track coach's shirt.

It said:

"If I Want Your Advice I Will Beat It Out of You"

As I remember this t-shirt displayed the picture of a bear ready to maul someone in front of it.

In job search as in life I think you should take free advice with a grain of salt and here are two reasons why:

1. It's Free! Nobody has a stake in giving you this advice. The last time I was in Vegas I got a lot of free gambling advice. John, if you play blackjack just bet your whole cash stash in two hands. Hey John, you should always double down on…it goes on. If you ask anyone including your spouse or a "well meaning person" about advice about a subject they will usually get it to you. But be careful. 

2.  It's Usually Contradictory. Have you ever watched a financial show on CNBC, read financial headlines or looked at any issue from the so-called pundits' points of view. You have? Well the so-called pundits always disagree and that can send anyone into a confusing loop. 

The bottom line? Listening to and taking action on all the advice you can get can make life, job search and anything else you do very confusing. If you can get as much advice on an issue or a problem as possible then sift it out and make a reasoned decision that's great. But look for advice from people who have a track record and case studies in giving good advice over many years. 

What important  decisions in your life need an informed advisor? Think about those critical decisions and ask people who know, have your best interests at heart and a track record of performance to help you. 

A few areas where professional advice might matter:

– Buying A House or Making a Big Purchase

– Your Career

– Your Life and Family

– Any Decision Related to Your Finances

Free advice can be found anywhere. But finding good advice with someone who is accountable to you may be the best way to start. Hey, you don't have to listen to my advice on this subject!

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Posted at 5:31 PM in

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