The danger of what "they say."

I often speak with stressed people.

They're stressed because they've lost their way. Or their jobs. Or their fire. Or their confidence.

Or a combination of several of these things.

They're also stressed because they've turned to family, friends, the Internet with the hopes of finding input that will alleviate the stress and set them on a more productive path.

Only to discover that this often results in a tidal wave of divergent advice and "quick fix" solutions:

"You really should back to school."

"Maybe you should stop dreaming and be responsible."

"You just need a better resume."

"In this economy, you should just be glad to have any job."

"You just need to send out more resumes."

"You really should forget the resume and make an infograph instead."

"You need a headhunter."

"Maybe you should go into healthcare. Lots of jobs in healthcare these days."

"You just need better breath."

Blah blah blah blah blahhhhhhhhh.

Yes, I get it. I am a purveyor of career guidance and job search support. I dole out advice with the best of them.

But what differentiates me from some of the others, who are quick to dish up wisdom on what you "must do" or what you "ought to do" or what you "owe it to your family/friends/whoever to do?"

I want you to choose your path.

I want you to choose your methods.

I want you to decide what you need, what you want and what you damned well deserve in your professional life.

I'm here to help you navigate. I'm here to inspire.

I am not here to force my way, my will or my agenda on a single person.

And you should beware of those who try.

Know who "they" is, and consider their background, motives and expertise carefully as you ingest their advice.

Certainly, seek information and counsel along the way. Acquire tools. Learn stuff.

Just be damned careful of what "they say."

You are the expert on and captain of your own story.

They? Are not.