You probably already know you’re not an expert in everything. If you are honest with yourself, you know you can’t always go it alone. When you face a new problem or situation, you need someone who is an expert — someone you trust to help you understand your options and coach you to a successful result. But how do you know you’ve found an expert? How do you know you can trust the advice you receive? It’s enough to give anyone a headache, and it’s particularly hard when the stakes are high.
Most of us turn to family or friends as our first step. We know them, like them, and trust them. Sometimes their advice is good, sometimes they have nothing to offer, and other times they can refer you to someone they believe can help you. Once you leave your immediate circle of trust, it can be difficult to know if you are getting sound advice from an expert.
It’s always best to seek out an expert when the stakes are high, because you have to trust that the advice will be helpful and get the results you want.
I got a call for help from a job seeker last week. I get requests like this all the time, and this one was from someone I had met at a networking event a few months ago. She asked for five minutes of my time for some help with a question. That’s not unusual; what was different is that this person had already sought advice from others but it didn’t feel right to her, so she came to me as an expert.
I don’t always say yes, because those requests for 5 minutes are usually more like 30 minutes, and it’s just not possible for me to say yes to everyone. This request felt different so I responded to her call for help. This time, the 5 minutes was more like 15 but in that short amount of time, we created a relationship built on trust, mutual respect, and honesty. And that is valuable currency in today’s business world.
This job seeker had accepted a new position in another state and wanted advice about how to resign from her current position. She wanted to approach her current employer not only with her two-week notice, but also with a plan for a smooth transition. She had some ideas about how to do that and needed some help working through the best way to present her plan. That alone speaks to the loyalty and integrity of the job seeker. Don’t we all wish our employees would be like this?
The job seeker shared the advice she had received, gave me some background about her situation, and talked about her transition plan. I listened to her story and what I heard was that she was a very loyal, committed, and ethical person who wanted to do the right thing by leaving her current employer in a good situation with no adverse impact from her departure. Unfortunately, the advice she received had the potential to destroy the trust her current employer had in her.
We talked through her ideas for the transition and came up with three different approaches to her departure from which her employer could choose. We were able to work together to create a situation where she could feel confident that she was leaving her employer in a good place, and her employer would continue to feel that she was a valuable and trusted employee even though they were losing her.
From this situation, we can learn three key things about where you get advice and how you decide whether that advice is right for you.
Anyone Can Offer Advice
Advice is everywhere, but you have to know the difference between good advice and bad advice. There is never a shortage of people ready to tell you how to handle a situation. My job seeker knew she had received advice from someone who was not an expert in recruiting and human resources. She recognized that there are times when you have to have advice from an expert to keep you from making huge mistakes. Experts have spent years gaining their knowledge and expertise, and can help you navigate through new and unfamiliar situations. Anyone can research an issue on the Internet, but that doesn’t make them an expert who knows how to apply that knowledge to real life situations.
Trust Your Instincts
If the advice doesn’t feel right, keep searching for an expert you can trust. You’ll be glad you did. My job seeker knew the advice she got didn’t feel right. She trusted her instincts that something was out of alignment and came to an expert for a second opinion. And I can say from experience that every time I didn’t listen to my instincts and took advice that didn’t feel right, things never went well. Sometimes, that was okay because it was a lesson I needed to learn. Other times, the results of that advice were painful and in a few cases, expensive, which leads me to my final point.
The Costs of Bad Advice Are Significant
In business, the stakes are high most of the time. In the case of my job seeker, there might be a possibility that someday she would return to that area and need to find a job. She knew that she couldn’t burn a bridge and risk damaging her reputation. We all know that a damaged reputation and a loss of trust is difficult to repair or rebuild. These costs go far beyond money and can impact all aspects of your life. A damaged reputation can affect you for years.
Getting good advice is worth its weight in gold.
Don’t trust your future to amateurs. Find experts to support you when you face those tough situations. I promise you will be glad you did.
If you’re looking for expert advice from a recruiting and human resources expert on how to find your dream job, create job descriptions, craft your hiring strategy, understand how to attract your ideal employee, or how to conduct Insightful Interviews™ that reveal the truth about your candidates, please schedule your insight call today.