Career Coaching Advice You Should NEVER Listen To

As a Career Coach, I make it my business to keep my ear to the ground. I make it a point to stay plugged in to coaching and business trends, changes in technology and the job market itself. I often peruse LinkedIn reading articles and blog posts written by other coaches expecting to learn something new and connect with like-minded professionals (anything that will help me to serve my clients better).

With this being my focus, I find it disappointing when I come across an article, update or blog post giving out horribly bad advice that encourages career and job seekers to do things that are unwise, unethical or puts them in a position to undermine employment laws in place to protect them!

As a coach and HR Professional I find the advice listed below to be some of the worst out there. Beware. Should anyone calling themselves a “coach” or “HR professional” give you advice that sounds anywhere close to any of these, save your money and run in the opposite direction.

Remove your wedding ring

If you are told to remove your wedding ring, engagement ring, lie about your marital status or family, run! Shady employers reject candidates for having a spouse of family using the excuse that they won’t be as committed to the organization or work as hard because their family will be their priority.

Being married, engaged or having a family shouldn’t turn an employer off to hiring you. In fact, it should be a plus that works in your favor. Those with spouses and families typically have better customer service skills, relationship building skills and perform better. Furthermore, your family should be your priority. Work doesn’t care if you’re sick, it doesn’t care about how tired you are, or whether or not you’re feeling burnt-out. Your family does. The kind of employer you want to work for would encourage you to maintain a balanced schedule and keep your family as a priority. Do not feel pressured to remove your engagement/wedding ring or lie about your marital status or family.

Pregnant? Be sure to mention it ASAP!

Going into an interview and blurting out that you’re pregnant is like going into an interview and mentioning your race, religion or sexual orientation right away. It makes no sense and puts you in a position to undercut laws in place to protect you. You open the door for discrimination which you definitely do not want to do.

The New Jersey Pregnant Worker’s Fairness Act (the “PWFA”) enacted in 2014, added pregnancy to the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (the “LAD”) which already prohibits employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of race, gender, age and disability. While this pertains to those in my home state, there are also Federal laws protecting pregnant women who work for companies with 15 or more employees.

Based on these laws and past precedent, it is unlawful for an employer to reject a candidate or refuse to promote an employee because you’re pregnant. Some managers may disguise it as concern, stating that they don’t want you to be overwhelmed or are afraid you may not be able to handle the unpredictable hours, work load, etc. Discrimination is discrimination. If you’re qualified then you have a right to be considered, taken seriously, hired or promoted.

Remove all experience less than 1 year

If the professional experience on your resume shows skills and competencies relevant to the job than it should be on your resume. If you were employed for 6 months and did fantastic work making significant contributions than you should show it. Some hiring leaders have more of an antediluvian mindset and will automatically turn their noses up at resumes that show shorter duration. There’s nothing you can do about that. It’s not about how long you were employed, it’s about what you did while you were there. It’s about what you brought to the table. Your knowledge, skills, experiences, and abilities are the meat of your resume not the years you spent in a particular role. Remember that!

It is my wish that you all feel empowered as you navigate the job market. Don’t give in to discrimination out of fear. Be informed. Do your research and be confident. If you feel you’ve seriously been a victim of discrimination, Lisa Guerin, J.D., contributor to recommends that you “…bring every document you have relating to the hiring decision. If you responded to an online post, print out a copy. If you have an offer letter, rejection letter, copy of your application and resume, or any other paperwork, bring that along as well. And make notes of any conversations you had, such as your initial contact with the employer, your interview, or a call to tell you that you didn’t get the job.”

Hi, my name is Pamela Shand and I want the best for you in your career. I started Offer Stage Consulting to show job seekers how to overcome the most annoying challenges and get where they want to be in their careers. It is possible to actually be happy at work!

Let me show you how. | Follow us on Twitter | Like us on Facebook | Instagram: @offerstage

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