I blush to think how I dutifully followed one of the advice-givers published in one of those brandname business newspapers. She hammered the importance of networking. So I poppped for the membership fee to a trade association and went on to make a terrible impression with the heavy hitters in my field. I had nothing to trade with them in exchange for their attention, never mind insight and referrals. It took two more years trying to learn the new marketplace in the early 21st century for me to become a player with who others found useful to network.
I know I am not alone. The path to success in these volatile times is littered with foolish professionals like myself who followed the must-dos promoted by the advice industry. In the process we, I contend, suffered harm. I wasted money and time. My brandname took a hit. I slipped into a clinical depression.
Hungry lawyers or just those bored with the usual can file a novel kind of lawsuit. That had been done with applying public nuisance to traditional product liability and claiming fraud on the part of law schools which published rosy job placement figures. Those particular tries hadn't panned out but they could have.
Even the threat of such a lawsuit could force the advice industry to be more cautious in how it frames its content. There could eventually be disclaimers such as "This advice has been found to hurt the careers of those not sophisticated in how to play the game."