Not such hot advice

Jun 18 2007 by Derek Torres Print This Article

Yahoo's Hot Jobs web site frequently has career advice, not just for finding a new job, but, cheekily enough, for putting up with the one you have. Generally speaking, the advice therein is spot on, but I just couldn't abide by some of what was written in this gem.

The problem du jour here is the kleptomaniac and the recidivist boss and how to work with both.

If you've got the kind of boss who likes to poach ideas, this is an article to check out because some of the points are fair; for example, you may want to think about any "political" ramifications, as well as making sure that you're not overstating your own case for credit.

Where it all goes awry is when the writer suggests that at some point, we are "expected to make the boss look good in front of the company's top brass." Rubbish. A team is only as strong as its weakest member, and if your weak link is the manager, it may be wise to document these weaknesses and ethical transgressions for later down the line.

After all, I'm sure you didn't spend exorbitant amounts of money on your advanced degrees to prop up someone who couldn't stand on his or her own two feet!

The writer also mentions that it may be enough to just think that "hey, your ideas are helping the company." This is all well and good, but undervalued or unnoticed contributions that don't resonate with the bottom liners certainly won't help your career anywhere Ė and before anyone quips that it's better to help the company than yourself, just remember that you need the company more than they need you.

Loyalty and appreciation shouldn't be a one way street Ė if you're the cog making the wheel work at your office, you should use some of Hot Job's advice, but think twice about taking any of the more "passive" bits of information.