Do Me A Favor And Take My Advice Will Ya!

Vantage Points Header Joel Elveson

“For G-d’s sake will you just do me a favor and take my advice for once in your life!”

FEW PEOPLE HAVE BEEN as many places as I have been, done the things I have done, or had the experiences I have had. So for once in your life can you just do me a favor and take MY advice for a change. We both know I know so much more than you not to mention being so much smarter than you are.

Back in July of 2014, I wrote an article where I made strong reference to the late Abigail Van Buren better known to millions as the beloved advice give Dear Abby. Dear Abby made her living giving advice to the lovelorn, forlorn and others who sought her advice on how to solve one problem or another that they were having. Unlike the arrogant egotistical know it all above, Dear Abby only offered advice on subjects she knew about plus had the sense not to force her opinions upon anybody. She knew what spots to pick.

The advice giving process tends to get a little sticky when your advice is unsolicited. When you do that you run the risk of incurring somebody’s wrath for butting into their business. If you are one of those people who like nothing better than to get involved when they are not asked to, you better make sure you know beyond a shadow of doubt you are well versed in the matter at hand. If you are not, and your counseling effort goes bad to a point where there is an adverse effect, make sure you have a good lawyer.

Being approached for advice on matters involving the entire spectrum of a person’s professional life is quite common in my line of work. In my case, I am very careful in what I say to people so that I don’t mislead them or offer up false hope. On many occasions, when I have been unsure as to what to advise to give to a client, job candidate, friend, or relative, I let the person know I am not the right party to answer their question but they may want to seek out answers from a friend, spouse, social worker or their local religious leader or another qualified source of information

One example would be if somebody were to ask me which of the multiple offers they should take. The only advice I would feel comfortable offering up I simply to tell them go with the one that most appeals to them. For me to tell them to take offer “A’” over offer “B” is to thrust myself into what could be a very “ticklish” situation meaning no matter what offer I tell them to take they could very well come back at me later on if things don’t work out. In other words, I am telling that person to do what they feel is best for them

Don’t get me wrong by inferring that I am saying not to try to help out another person especially at a critical time in their life when they really need help. We are taught to care and to try to help wherever possible.

If it were you that needed help and you turned to the person(s) that you thought could or would help only to be spurned for fear of getting sued or unfriended would leave you confused as to what happened or put a very bitter taste in your mouth.

Here are some last pieces of advice on the matter of giving advice. Number one, what subject are you being asked for advice on and how familiar are you with this subject? Number two, before you present your advice be sure to think it through. Number three, is do not get upset or angry if your advice is not taken. As I’ve previously stated, at the end of the day, people will do and have to do what they feel is best for them, not what you feel is best for them.

Lastly, face up to the fact that you do not know everything nor should you try to convince somebody that you do. If you should happen to be made aware of a situation you think you can help with or would like to try to help with your approach should be one of concern with a genuine interest in helping.

“Do me a favor and take my advice Will Ya!” Do yourself a favor before you give advice that you want others to take and follow through with make sure you yourself have followed solid advice that was provided to you. If you can’t do that, my advice would be DON’T GIVE ADVICE since you have shown all you want is control over another person.


Joel Elveson
Joel Elveson
INDEPENDENT Executive Recruiting By Joel is an "up and coming" Executive Search Firm formed and headed up by Joel Elveson whose visionary ideas, leadership & creativity have brought to life a more "user-friendly" approach to recruiting. His clients and candidates form powerful strategic partnerships that we use to help you. Joel’s Firm offers Permanent, Temporary (case by case), & Temporary To Permanent staffing solutions for all of your Human Capital Requirements. Contract IT/Consultants are available if needed. Above and beyond they are experts (by way of their personal industry work experience) with mortgage, mortgage banking, middle-market banking, accounting, along with many others under the vast financial spectrum of disciplines. Their business goes beyond candidate recruiting as they also train, mentor and develop your internal recruiting staff with an eye towards helping you reduce the cost of hiring. They will also work in areas such as compensation, effective onboarding processes and alike. In other words, their business is to help your business by becoming an extension of you by filling in gaps that cause delay or waste. The recruiting methods employed by Joel’s team are time tested that results in a high rate of successful placements. Joel was trained in the art of recruiting by some of the top staffing industry executives in addition to the best recruiter trainers who to this day drive me to exceed the lofty goals he has set forth.

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  1. Joel, I thoroughly enjoyed the punchy humor and straightforward style of this article. Getting and giving advice can definitely be a landmine. I know the times people have tried to advise me (even professionals I was hiring for such) when it felt like they had no understanding of what it’s like to be in my shoes. I try to remember that feeling when itching to give unsolicited advice to others. I must admit I’m not always a paragon of abstaining (especially with my 32-year-old daughter). So your article was the kick in the pants I needed. 🙂

    • Milli, I have a 32-year-old son who needs a ton of advice. However, when you offer advice to him he rejects it. When things don’t go according to his plan he gets mad. I wholeheartedly agree with you that sometimes not giving advice may be the best thing to do. If I do give advice I try to make it clear I am trying to help but I do not know everything (or even close) so you may wish to consult with others as well. My humor has become a little bit on the punchy side as a result of some life experiences including those that I felt I SHOULD HAVE asked for or listened to advice. .When I was recruiting there were times I had no choice but to give advice (whether or not my client or candidate liked or asked for it) but as this was my livelihood I could not just sit there with my holds folded and my mouth zippered shut especially when there was a situation I had to address. Thank you, Milli, for both reading and commenting on my article. It has been a sheer joy having you in the group! I encourage people to comment (only a few do) even if they disagree with me. My only rule with that is they disagree with me in a respectful manner. One last word about what do I do when I need advice: I ASK THE CAT!

    • Joel, that’s hilarious about asking the cat for advice! And don’t lose your punchy humor. It’s a lot of fun to be on the receiving end of!

    • I think sometimes I get better results when I talk to her. She seems to know so much more than I do plus she actually listens except when it is time for her to eat which means no advice will be given or listened to. Thank you once again, Milli!

  2. Another good article, Joel. I really never offer an opinion unless I am asked and even then I always check to see if they really want to know what I think. I am very careful not to “tell” someone what to do, rather suggest they might want to consider this option if it appeals to them or feels right. As you mentioned, one certainly does not want to be solving other people’s problems or sending them in a direction that may not work out and then you become the “bad guy”.

    • Sandy,
      Thank you for your commentary. As far as not wanting to solve other people’s problems I am not sure if I was perhaps being selfish or heartless. Sometimes people need and want our help. If we can help them then perhaps we should. I too strive to make sure not to “tell” people what to do but if I can help somebody by pointing them in the right direction perhaps here again I may be wrong. No, I would not want to point somebody in the wrong direction or have my advice wind up hurting them. Basically, what I am doing is questioning my own statements to see how valid they were. Not to change the subject but I am very hard on myself. Once again Sandy let me thank you for not only reading my article but for taking time to offer your very astute comments.

    • Always my pleasure, Joel. And I agree that if we can help someone we should and I like to help people, that was why I went into Dental Hygiene and now I just help people to be better versions of themselves.

    • Bharat, These words that you wrote are so very kind of you. You are a very bright and gifted man. You are also a shining example of how good we can all be if we learn to put our differences aside while focusing on better ways we can live and work together for the betterment of all. Thank you once again for your incredible kindness.

  3. Good points. I find that advice when needed may not be wanted. Though rare, there are times where advice must be given because if it’s not someone could get physically hurt; escalation during a fight or trying to jam a thing-a-wig into a jacket-a-bob. There are times when advice must not be given because the advice itself becomes a distraction from what really needs to be focused on. One executive who I found had an engaging swagger and speech pattern was given advice on how to be a more powerful executive style speaker. He was so distracted by that advice during his speech he made quite a few faux-pas because he was focusing on the advice for talking, and not the talking itself.

  4. I recently attended a baby shower where each attendee was asked to give a piece of advice to the new mom. My advice was not to take anyone’s advice – but then I did offer advice that was safe and pretty generic. “Be involved in your child’s education and what they are doing at school.” But the truth is when someone asks for advice they often aren’t asking you to solve the problem – what they really need help with is the process of making the decision. If you try to brainstorm on your own, you only get a headache. But if someone asks for advice and you listen while they talk, that can often help then arrive at their solution without any advice leaving your mouth except, “Let’s talk it through.”

    • Jane,
      I want to thank you for reading and commenting on my article. Giving advice is tricky. Your advice can be taken and then your advice goes horribly wrong incurring the wrath of the person you gave advice to. On the other hand you could keep your advice to yourself and watch while somebody makes mistakes your advice may have prevented them from doing so.What if I may ask was your final conclusion about giving advice and of you would do it again?

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