3 outdated career tips that don’t belong in today’s office

Your resume can only be one page, you shouldn’t look for a job during the holidays, couch your weaknesses as strengths – there’s a lot of career advice out there that doesn’t fit today’s workplace. 

But for one reason or another, it’s still passed down from one generation to another.


Thirty years ago, if you baked a cake for a colleague’s birthday, it was considered poor practice, especially for women. After all, if you had that much time on your hands, it should be spent working, right?

Nowadays, things are a little different. With flexible and modern work environments, the tables have turned – yet some career advice just won’t die. Check out these three career tips that need to be put to rest once and for all:

  1. Your personal life should stay private

“Don’t talk to your boss about what you did over the weekend or the vacation you have coming up. All your boss needs to know if when you’re taking off and that you had a good weekend.”

Back in the day when workers were thought of as just workers – not human beings with lives outside of the office – it wasn’t a common practice to talk to your boss or colleagues about anything non-work related. But now, offices are focused on morale and employee engagement.

A bit of small talk keeps communication flowing in the office, allowing you to build relationships with your team members.

  1. Pretend you don’t need help – ever

“Sink or swim. Fake it until you make it. Just pretend you know or you’ll end up wasting more time trying to figure it out.”

Back in the day, asking for help was seen as a sign of weakness – but not anymore. In fact, it’s quite the opposite in today’s workplace.

The phrase “No question is a dumb one” outweighs this old-school career advice. Modern companies are all about learning and furthering employee careers – and encourage people to ask questions to help them learn.

  1. Social media and co-workers shouldn’t mix

“Don’t ask to be your boss’s or employee’s friend on Facebook, and don’t follow them on Instagram. LinkedIn is the only safe social media site to follow anyone in the office.”

When social media started to really take off, this advice was respected and followed religiously.

But now, there’s a lot of benefits to “friending” your boss or team members: setting up private groups for networking, tagging them in helpful articles, introducing people, etc. As long as you aren’t posting anything inappropriate, there’s no reason to avoid work people on social media.

Are any of the three pieces of advice above lingering in your office? It may be time to do some revamping – out with the old, in with the new. After all, eliminating these outdated tips could result in stronger relationships with your team.