Whether you are several years into your career or just starting your first job search, there are a number of potential mistakes which can be made along the way. Making and learning from these mistakes is an important part of workplace development, however some can be more damaging than others.
Being aware of these pitfalls is the first step to avoiding them, so take a look at our guide to five of the biggest career mistakes.
Having No Plan
Failing to have a life plan in place could prove to be problematic. Whether you have it laid out in your mind, or written down on paper, it is useful to have something to refer to if you lose your way. Of course, as life goes on, plans inevitably change, so bear in mind that you can alter and nurture any existing plans you have in place to accommodate these changes. And your plan doesn’t have to be perfect – think of it like a loose framework to guide you through.
Failing To Take Advantage Of Opportunities
From not applying for that dream position, to not signing up to relevant training at work, failing to seize opportunities that come your way could be a big mistake. Bear in mind that things are unlikely to change unless you make it happen. You can make sure you don’t get left behind by keeping your skill set updated, networking with relevant people, and keeping an eye out for opportunities that match your abilities.
Remember, chance favors those who are prepared.
Not Recognizing Your Mistakes
Blaming others for your mistakes is a mistake in itself. Not only will those around you (including your boss) know that you are culpable, but you will be unable to learn the error of your ways, and could easily make the same mistake again. Accept where you went wrong, try to correct it, and take that knowledge with you to avoid a re-occurrence. Blaming others is the surest way to fail in your career.
Not Recognizing Your Achievements
Failing to realise where you have excelled or achieved a goal could hold you back from developing in your career. Recognize and reward your successes, and engage in a spot of self-promotion. But don’t go overboard – let your colleagues/boss/department/industry know of your achievements through a bulletin board, case study, or by forwarding a positive email.
This can be essential if you are getting a review (or writing a self-review as many companies now require), applying for a job, or seeking a promotion.
Not Asking For Assistance
Whether you need emotional support, ideas for a new campaign, or input on a project, refusing to seek guidance from others is likely to hold you back. All jobs can be tough at times, and having a support group around you can help you through these difficulties. Not only this, but having a second pair of eyes look over your work, or asking another person to contribute ideas, could also improve your chances of overall success.
This can include a boss, a peer, or a mentor. Bottom line – reach out. You are most likely not alone and don’t need to struggle through things by yourself.
What do you think of these career mistakes? Anything you would add or change based on your experience?
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here and here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.