Advice: Timeless and Timely

As is rather obvious by . . . well everything . . . I work hard to give career advice.  It's possible you do as well, passing on hard-earned lessons to people so they can learn from you.  A lot of us do it, some of us make a career or hobby out of it.

It's a great thing to do, but one warning is that you have to know the difference between Timely and Timeless.

Timeless advice is that that is going to be good for the foreseeable future and was good in the past.  Timeless advice is something that doesn't change much year to year, decade to decade, generation to generation.

Network.  Have good communication skills.  Keep up on technology.  Work hard.  All that is Timeless advice.

Timely advice is career advice that is relevant to the time now or times to come.  It's situation, limited, and based on current and future trends that may not last or are not expected to.  Timely advice is relevant to the now or to-be, but can't be counted on past those – it may even become dreadfully wrong.

A given startup that is looking for people.  A company on top of a hot new trend.  A brand new technology everyone just has to use.  Those are examples of Timely advice.

When you're helping others out you need to keep in mind what is Timeless and what is Timely.  Mixing them up will only cause confusion at best, and disastrous choices at worse.  Confuse the Timely with the Timeless and you'll miss important changes.  Confuse the Timeless with the Timely and you'll give up on advice and principles relevant to your career for your lifetime because you feel they're no longer relevant.

We need both.  We need a foundation of the good Timeless skills and knowledge and principles to make a solid foundation – and to communicate with others with proper actions, choices, and methods.  We need Timely advice to surf the waves of change we're always facing in this world.

– Steven Savage