How Applicable is Career Advice from Senior Leaders?

Most of the time when we are seeking out career advice from others, they are more likely than not more senior then ourselves. This is great as it creates new insights into the “how” of navigating a successful career and hearing their advice on what to do is never a bad thing, but how applicable is it really? I came across a great blog post on this and it really got me thinking on this topic.

Most of the time we hear these pieces of advice or these guiding directions from senior level women and take them of nuggets of wisdom to remember and potentially get to use as guiding principles. Except, more often than not we hear advice from these respected senior leaders who are leaps and bounds in front of us career wise and when you really stop to analyze the feedback it can be completely irrelevant for where we are now in our careers.

This isn’t saying that all of the advice is, of course not, but when young women such as myself are at the bottom of their career path just starting out, hearing about how someone 20 years ahead and many levels above us manages their career and advice on how to be successful, there can often be oversight of the daily struggles us young women may be facing daily both in our jobs and personally with the different life decisions that come our way that many of these senior level women have long sense tucked away as a distant memories.

In listening to the advice of these brilliant senior level business women on what we should be doing to be successful, the advice can often be so far beyond our grasp for where we (young women just starting our careers) are at now, that they are great aspirational goals to someday hope of achieving or hope to be able to put into practice, but not relevant or realistic for where we are right now, in our current position in our personal life and career. Instead of hearing about these pie in the sky pieces of advice, which don’t get me wrong are still great to hear and again use as future long term goals, but hearing more about the struggles and key lessons learned that these senior women leaders went through in their younger years when they were first starting out their careers would be so much more beneficial.

Hearing of the times when those tough life decisions came their way, how they determined their decisions and the criteria they looked at when making those life changing decisions….if we could only hear more of this. The relevant stories and lessons learned from both the triumphs and disasters they encountered when starting back at the beginning of their iconic career journeys….more of the real stuff and less of the broad high level “someday I can hope” to be able to use advice is the type of career mentorship young females desire and quite frankly need.



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