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Nancy Zhu commented on

Career-Limiting Moves

Here are 2 common CLMs that are holding your career back.

Oh, what's a CLM? Career-Limiting Move.

CLMs are the behaviors that make your friends / peers / boss go "Goddammit Sahil, not this shit again." Some of these are obvious: 

- Drinking too much at an event 

- Slightly cringeworthy joke 

- Being late all the time 

- Acting like an asshole

But the ones below are non-obvious, so they don't get called out. That means you're likely not aware of them:


1. Being proven wrong, refusing to admit it:

I see this one ALL the time. You argue it's going to rain tomorrow. Your friend says it's not. 

Tomorrow AM: ☀️ ☀️ 

Your friend says "See I told you it wasn't gonna rain!" You respond "The weather forecast said it would rain, so it's not my fault! You just got lucky anyway!"


It makes you look SO small.

The right response: "You were right; clearly I was wrong. Question: how DID you know it was gonna be sunny??"

Now instead of arguing why you weren't wrong (useless), you're learning something new!💡 

Plus you'll avoid looking like a small, little person with a teeeeeny tiny ego.


2. Being bad at something, then giving advice to others on how to do that thing:

I see this on the golf course all the time. Some hack golfer shouting advice at another hack golfer about how to swing. 🤦🏽‍♂️

It's the blind leading the blind. So why do we do it?? Lack of self-awareness.

We don't recognize that we ourselves are unskilled, and thus not in a position to offer advice on the topic at hand.

There are some very cool psychology principles that explain why this happens. My favorite is the Dunning-Kruger Effect, which states that stupid people are stupid enough to think they are good at something, while smart people are smart enough to know there is still much to learn.

Thus, smart people tend to underestimate their abilities and stupid people tend to overestimate theirs.

Sound like someone you know?

Here's an easy litmus test to use when deciding whether to give advice on a topic: Do others ask for your advice on this topic unsolicited??

If you are truly in a position to give advice on something, people will recognize your skill and seek the knowledge themselves. If no one asks for your opinion on a matter, but you keep throwing it out there... maybe, just maybe, nobody wants it.


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Great tips! This reminds me of a story Sheryl Sandberg shared in Lean In -- she used to have a communication coach and one of the biggest pieces of feedback she got was to not give any advice unless asked to. 
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