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Nonprofit HR has a wildly successful staffing arm that makes its living partially by giving candidates career advice. There is good career advice and poor career advice and several different philosophies on how you should handle career advice when given it…and here is some more.

Dr. Tom Denham recently felt the need to drop 50 pieces of career advice in a column for timesunion.com. Here is his top ten or first ten:

  1. Apply, Apply, Apply – Set a goal of how many resumes you will distribute each week.  Continue to apply until it hurts.
  2. Ask for Help – “Refusing to ask for help when you need it is refusing someone the chance to be helpful.” – Ric Ocasek
  3. Avoid Burning Bridges – Burning any bridges will come back to haunt you.  Be nice to everyone since it is a very small world.
  4. Avoid Job Hopping – Carefully analyze the consequences in the short-term, but especially in the long-term from such a decision.
  5. Be Prepared and Persistent – Overestimate the amount of work you will put into this project.  In the face of adversity, press on.
  6. Become a Subject Matter Expert (SMEs) – Acquire all the necessary education and experience to be the Go-to Person.
  7. Believe and Succeed – You must: 1) Believe in yourself, 2) Believe in something, and 3) Have someone believe in you.
  8. Build a Dream Team – Nurture an Inner Circle of strategic partners and advisors that will encourage and help you.  Reach out!
  9. Build Your Credentials – Promote and maintain the credentials that make you a SME (Subject Matter Expert) in your field.
  10. Clarify Your Goals – Write them in the S.M.A.R.T. formula (Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Realistic, Time-Sensitive).

Good stuff but nothing that is going to provide you with a magic elixir for becoming or being successful. Quartz has published a bit less vanilla advice piece on Yahoo! Finance.

“Follow your passion” is the stupidest career advice I’ve ever heard. Why? Because my passion in life is for singing bad karaoke. My friend Dodgy Dave’s passion is for dealing crack cocaine. Some of my friends have many passions. Most of my friends have none.

“Do what you’re good at” is better, but still stupid. It gets things the wrong way around. For almost all activities, being “good at” something is the result of thousands of hours of practice and learning. In choosing a career, you’re almost always making the decision about what to become good at, not the other way around.

How, then, should you find a job you’ll love?

Here’s my slogan: ”Do something valuable.”

Let the problems in the world dictate what you do, rather than forcing a preconceived checklist labeled “success,” to be your motivation. Do something that genuinely helps others and makes the world a better place in a major way. That’s the way to have a happy, fulfilled life.

When I tell people this, half think it’s crazy and half think it’s trivial. I think it’s neither.

Sounds like Quartz is encouraging you to work at a nonprofit, doesn’t it? Read more.

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