So, you are job-hunting for the first time or looking to make a career transition. To help you make the best decisions, you turn to Google or friends and family for guidance. However, with so much information out there, it may be tricky to differentiate between legit advice and terrible advice that is outdated or misguided. For starters, here are four popular career tips that you should ignore as they can do more harm than good.

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Career advice #1: Stay for at least a year
We get it. You stay in a job you hate because you’re afraid of being labelled a job hopper. Sure, the repercussions of a bad rep might affect your chances of landing another job, so we understand the logic behind this advice. But if your current job is making you extremely depressed or highly stressed — leave. Firstly, no job is worth your health. Secondly, negative feelings will affect your work performance, making it likely that you’ll leave your job on bad terms. Word might get around about your bad work attitude, which may taint your job prospects.

Career advice #2: Wait for the right time
Many of us assume that the appraisal period is the only suitable time to bring up work issues with our bosses. This doesn’t make any sense. Think about it: Why wait weeks or months to solve an issue when you can do it sooner?  More importantly, as an employee, you should make the effort to cultivate a healthy and open relationship with your employer.

Career advice #3: Know your worth
Another common piece of career advice dished out to fresh graduates these days is that they should not take up a job that doesn’t pay well or involves doing menial tasks. This is a dangerous mentality, as you run the risk of passing up chances to showcase your strengths. Seemingly low-level tasks are often great opportunities for you to demonstrate your organisational skills and emotional quotient (EQ). If you do these tasks well, you build your employer’s confidence in you, which may lead her to entrust you with bigger projects. But if you aren’t given the opportunity to tackle bigger projects after working in the company for some time, you may want to consider if you’re doing something wrong or if it’s time to move on.

Career advice #4: Go for the job that pays you the most
With financial commitments such as university loans, you may think that it is a no-brainer to choose the job with the highest salary. However, just because a job pays you well doesn’t mean that it is the right job for you. High expectations and a demanding workload may cause your stress levels to rise, the company may not be a good employer to work for, or you may be doing mundane work that makes you feel miserable. Instead, factors such as learning opportunities and room for growth will make your work more rewarding in the long run. Of course, make sure that you are up to date with the average salary for your industry before committing. You also don’t want to end up earning less money than your peers.

Image: Antonio Diaz / 123RF.com
Text: Katherine Teo
Additional reporting: Valerie Toh