Photo Credit: Amelia Stewart, Creative Commons/Flickr

No more career porn

Photo Credit: Amelia Stewart, Creative Commons/Flickr

A few weeks ago, Brent Besher at Forbes wrote a list of startup porn — “a collection of entertaining, stimulating, and worthless activities that distract an entrepreneur from focusing on what really matters, hindering future achievements” – that founders need to stop focusing on.

While the list is humorous, I found strong parallels in many of actions we take when it comes to career development. We assume the things we do are moving us forward but they are actually distracting us from the bigger picture and things that matter: building strong networks, getting hands-on experience, and being excellent.

There are a few activities I have not found helpful and generally cringe when I hear others doing them.

  1. Taking ONE MORE class or workshop
  2. Making business cards
  3. Drawing diagrams to figure out your passion
  4. Thinking passion is innate instead of developed
  5. Creating a five-year career plan
  6. Attending networking events
  7. Waiting for your boss to give you a good assignment instead of actively seeking or creating it
  8. Bragging about how busy you are
  9. Signing up for a bunch of random, unrelated, and unchallenging activities to “stay busy”
  10. Applying unselectively to jobs
  11. Comparing yourself to others
  12. Worrying about work/life balance
  13. Connecting your self-worth to your job
  14. Focusing on your personal brand instead of focusing on excellence
  15. Saying no to everything
  16. Saying yes to everything
  17. Acting against your values
  18. Thinking you can only learn from certain people
  19. Refusing to ask for help

What would you add?