Hi all! I honestly believe that people have become more ambitious, more driven and more career minded than a few decades ago. We want to strive to do better in relation to our profession. I meet many young people who are business minded and career driven. They won’t settle for less. However, there are many of us who make avoidable mistakes. For this reason, I’m sharing the 10 career mistakes to avoid.
Pursuing a Career For Others
Many of us have fallen ‘victim’ to pursuing a wrong path as a result of the advice and judgements of friends, family members, peers and colleagues. Whether it is because they want the best for you, they feel threatened or want to steer you in the wrong path, you should never make decisions solely on the opinion of others.
If you are certain of what path to take, ensure the necessary research and work is done and endeavour to reach your desired goal.
Being led by others can be a recipe for disaster as you’re not allowing yourself to use your own intelligence. If someone says turn right, you’ll turn, but if they say ‘no wait, turn left’, you’ll go back and turn left. You will end up becoming like the wind and wavering in the air.
Uncertain Career Goals
It can be very frustrating when you’re unsure of what path to take. This can result in undertaking jobs purely for financial gain, instead of working somewhere you will enjoy. It can be easier said that done, but you must figure out which profession you should pursue,
A good tip is to ‘dig deep’ within yourself and find out what you’re passionate about and what you’re good at. Envisioning what you would like to conquer in the near future ie five years from now can help you to gain an understanding of the type of job that would interest you. For example, desiring to have a huge collection of clothes may insinuate the desire to work in fashion retail.
Lack of Focus
Your CV is a piece of you. It tells employers a bit about who you are, what you do, what skills you attain and what career path you are taking. If your CV appears to be inconsistent it may send red flags to potential employers.
Freelancing or progressing on to new jobs within a specific field is absolutely fine. Nonetheless, having jobs in different sectors can indicate that you are uncertain about your profession. Most companies use their own resources to train employees and would not want to spend their finances on training you if they feel you may divert career paths after a few months. To add, many employers will not hire people they believe lack focus.
Assuming “It’s not personal, it’s business”
I used to believe this saying. I believed that friendships and relationships obtained from a work environment shouldn’t and wouldn’t ever interfere with your job. What occurs at work, stays at work and being hired is purely depended on whether employers deem you to be fit for the role. I was wrong. Business is always personal. From the moment you meet your interviewer, you are being judged. They judge you on how you look, how you present yourself, if they feel they will get along with you, if they like you as a person, if you will get along with your colleagues and so forth.
As a freelancer, I’ve had experiences where I would solely focus on my job at hand. I would rarely go to work related social gatherings and meet ups because I wanted to focus on my job and thought that it was ‘unprofessional’ to attend such events. I behaved this way until I was told to ‘work smart, not hard’. You have to be hard working, but you also have to build relationships with your colleagues and bosses.
Working whether in a business, creative or organisational environment is about having a balance. As the saying goes, ‘it’s about who you know’. Additionally, you have to be concerned with who is promoting you when you’re not there. Who is singing you praises?
It is important to be a person of many skills and talents. It may sound like I’m contradicting myself in relation to the ‘Lack of Focus’ point, but I’m not. Striving to learn as much of the job you’re in will put you in a great advantage. You should want to learn additional skills and job roles within your field. Doing this will help you with future job opportunities and pay increases.
It puts you at an advantage, particularly as the job market is always changing and more people are looking for multi skilled individuals to recruit. There may be instances where managers will want to put you ‘in a box’ but that shouldn’t deter you. Increasing your knowledge and experience will always be a good thing.
Those are the first five career mistakes to avoid. Subscribe to my blog to be kept updated about part two. In the meantime, what are your thoughts?