Poor Career Advice For Young People.


I got a couple of emails recently. Both had graduated from the same school decades apart.  One introduced to me a young man who had recently graduated and was looking for a job.

A solid networking strategy is to reach out to your Alumni.  I went to the University of Western Ontario which is a long way from where I sit in Orange County, CA.  Yet I can do a LinkedIn search and plug in my zip code and the school name and over 100 people who went to Western pop up.

I quickly got a LinkedIn invite from his young friend.  I of course immediately accepted.

He had recently graduated with an advertising degree and was looking for a job.  I looked at his LinkedIn photo.  Not a selfie, but not much more of an investment.  Didn’t feel like an ad guy.  Somebody told him to get a photo taken with a tie.  Obviously somebody who never worked in the Ad Game.

Not many ties in advertising these days, unless you are a hipster.

He immediately asked me “Which Agencies Are Hiring?” I wonder where he got that advice.  The person obviously didn’t teach him how to look for Jobs on LinkedIn. More naive advice from the past, passed along only to go nowhere in the New Normal.

No I don’t I silently answered.  I am not looking for an entry level job at an Ad Agency.

I know of many jobs my friend, I could write.  Everyone is looking for SEO people that they want to be in the weeds.  Same for developers. Same for other skills many young people don’t have.  The ones that do, don’t email me asking me which agencies are hiring.

I sent him a link to one of my videos on Why Young People Shouldn’t Try to Get a Job. (See Below)  I never heard back.

Some of the best career advice for young folks that I can give is to disregard the entire career planning of the past and come into the New Normal. Much of that advice can come from well-intentioned folks who got their job in a Newspaper.

“You know son……when I was a young lad” advice doesn’t get much runway in the New Normal.

Getting a job in the New Normal is a mixture of a head and heart strategy.  Since it is a tough job market, invest as much in your heart and internal voice and passion as the traditional road.  Why not?  What have you got to lose?  Rejection?

When I meet people from the Old Normal who have lost their jobs they tell me that they have sent out 60 resumes and didn’t hear from anyone.  How is that working for you I ask?  Think you are going to tell your kids to do it the same thing?

So try something new. Where do you want to go?  Where do you want to be? When I graduated the world was the same wrong place.  That’s just the way it is.

I still remember my first career advice. I was pretty young and listening to the second side of a single by the Rolling Stones.  It told me where I wanted to go.  I Am an Under Assistant West Coast Promo Man.  Sitting on a Bus Stop in Down Town LA Mick sang.  Sounds like a plan to me I thought.

I never once thought my career goal was unachievable. I have been an Under Assistant West Coast Promo Man all my life.  I have lived in CA for a very long time. I go to LA all the time.  I often like to sit at bus stops and soak in a little sun.

Sometimes the people I am with ask me, what are you doing?  I sing them a lyric.  They think I am crazy.

When I created my future I didn’t have a lot of people talking to me.  I only had my voice.  It was easy to listen to.  There wasn’t much noise. I still give myself career advice today.  That is why if you Google Hank Blank I will never Fade Away.

Who are you listening to?

Connect with Hank on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook:


Watch Why Young People Shouldn’t Try to Get a Job:

Read How I Went From the University of Western Ontario to CA.


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