Everyone makes missteps when navigating their career, it’s how you learn and become better at what you do. Today, I wanted to share 5 mistakes you don’t have to make.
1. THINKING THAT YOUR CAREER IS IN YOUR EMPLOYER’S HANDS
Very rarely does a person simply get promoted without any effort being made, even when it looks that way from the outside. The only person that is going to propel your career is you. Start by keeping track of your accomplishments as they happen. As the year ends it may be difficult to remember all the things you’ve accomplished. This is important to have when discussing your value to your employer and serves as a reminder to yourself. Most importantly, ask for conversations on what you can do to take your career to the next level. If you feel like there are no more opportunities for you to advance your career don’t be afraid to resign. Gone are the days of ladder climbing, today’s workforce is more like a jungle gym. You may need to go from job to job to get the raise, promotion or job you want.
2. STAYING AT A JOB THAT DOESN’T FULFILL YOU
At the time you applied for a job it seemed like a really cool place to work. Then you started working and you don’t get along with your co-workers, the job description doesn’t match what you actually do and you genuinely dislike your job. Maybe you finally landed your dream job and now that you’ve spent some time in that industry you realize it’s not what you want to do or you’ve found a new passion. You’ve put so much effort into getting your career to the place you wanted that it now feels silly to throw it all away.
The average American retires at age 63 and I’m sure as life expectancy increases, so will the age of retirement. So, you’ve already dedicated 5, 10, 15 or even 20 years to a career. Do you really want to spend a minimum of 40 hours a week until age 63 or later in a career that doesn’t fulfill you? I hope the answer to this is no. It is never too late to start over, even when it feels like it.
3. GETTING CAUGHT UP IN OFFICE GOSSIP/DRAMA
I’m going to be honest here, I love myself some office gossip. I’ve been privy to some amazingly good office gossip – oh the stories I could tell you! Here’s the thing about office gossip and drama, you hang around shit stirrers long enough and it won’t be long until you step in shit yourself. I learned this the hard way, fortunately very early in my career. Trust me it’s not the type of reputation you want for yourself.
Set boundaries and let your co-workers know that you won’t get involved in office gossip or drama. Keep your interactions with drama starters limited to work. Most importantly, never send any gossip or drama in writing whether it be via text message, email or instant message. Everyone is your friend until they aren’t. You don’t want anyone to have physical evidence that you are a problem starter.
4. NOT NETWORKING OR MAKING FRIENDS AT WORK OR IN YOUR INDUSTRY
It’s not what you know, but who you know. Pretty sure you’ve heard that before right? Well its been repeated so many times because it’s true. Your network can take you places your talent can’t. It’s unfair, but it’s the way of the world. Networking is a great opportunity to meet others in your industry and what better place to start than the people at your job. They know your work ethic and can vouch for you when it comes to recommendations for other jobs, promotions or even raises.
5. NOT SPEAKING UP IN MEETINGS
Speaking up in meetings helps boost your visibility. If there are people in the meeting that don’t know you or work with you regularly, they don’t know what you can do. This limits your ability to develop important work relationships with people who can take you to the next level. Get rid of the idea that you’re going to say the wrong thing or have nothing else to add to the conversation. Come prepared to the meeting with at least one thing to say and show confidence when you speak.
What are other career mistakes we can all avoid? Let me know in the comments.
If you enjoyed this post, click the box below to get more career tips directly in your inbox. I promise to never spam.