Career mistakes to avoid
Everyone needs a mentor or someone who guides you through out your journey as a professional.
The problem with seeking or getting career advice is that not everyone is qualified and when given, you need to be sure the person you’re taking it from is experienced in the said career i.e. has succeeded in using the said advice.
This is not a theoretical argument. Most of what you see out there is either so generic it’s obvious or so narrow it’s irrelevant. And it’s usually self-serving, meaning someone’s trying to sell you something.
There are mistakes that you should avoid like the plague because they are career limiting. They’ll forever keep you from fulfilling your potential. They will make you regretful, bitter, resentful and miserable. This post is about those types of mistakes to avoid:
- Personalizing Work- Business is about business; it’s not about you. It’s not about what you want, what you like, what you think of your boss or your coworkers, or even your principles. If you don’t like where you are and what you’re doing, quit and go somewhere else. It’s a free world, you can even start your own business where you can finally do whatever you want.
- Sticking with a Non-Performing Company/Boss- Organizations are like BRT buses, you’re not the driver and you didn’t design or build it. You just go where it goes. All too often, that’s either a circle or basically nowhere. You get complacent and before you know it, your career has flatlined and you’re out of time. You need to think of employers as business opportunities; you want as many as possible to be winners. Maybe your boss doesn’t like you. Maybe he’s a loser, his boss is a loser, or the whole division is going nowhere. Whatever the reason, don’t waste years trapped in a cubicle cage by a loser boss. Find another job where you’ve got a chance of going somewhere.
- Lack of Adequate Knowledge- When in the university, you find out that you don’t do well in a course, you most times feel bad but probably fail to go ask why you didn’t well in your course. If you retake the course, and did well, congrats! but this attitude should not be carried to the employment world, as it is a sure thing that you’ll keep failing, until you sought the reason for the failure. This is the key that unlock all sorts of opportunities. Just so you know!
- Your Communication with people- The way you communicate with people could make or mar you. This is funny isn’t it, but it goes beyond talking to people. The way you address people and situations in your mails, in your texts even as simple as those WhatsApp messages you so easily discountenance. You best watch out! You don’t want to know the length people silently judge, and the connections those people you have spoken, chatted with, texted or even sent messages on whatsapp to have taken offence. Be very careful and mindful of the way you communicate.
- Trusting that your employer will take care of you. There are so many things wrong with that sentence. Don’t trust your career to anyone but you. Your employer most likely sees you as an expendable, replaceable, at-will worker. You know, trust is built on two things in corporate America: a pattern of behavior and legal agreements. And I wouldn’t trust the former without the latter.
- Thinking you’re entitled to more- You’re entitled to what you earn. No more, no less. If you expect more than you work for and deserve, you’ll get nowhere and end up blaming everyone but the one person who could have done something about it: you. That’s just how it is, like it or not.
- Not taking enough risks- No risk, no reward. The only real risk is not taking any. The poet Robert Browning said, “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp.” Pick your phrase and own it. You need to take risks. And if you take more when you’re younger, you won’t have to take so many when you’re older.
- Thinking it’s not about the money- It’s absolutely true that you should do what you’re passionate about; that is the best way to achieve success. Just don’t make believe money doesn’t count. In Nigeria, you see all these notable business moguls like Mike Adenuga, Aliko Dangote and the likes, they didn’t get where they are today by ignoring the money.
- Only Asking for Money- Whether getting a new job or asking for a raise, you should never just ask for money, “Most people are negotiating on too few variables, instead, consider asking for something else you want, like more vacation time or flexible hours. Give the person you’re negotiating with a way to say yes.
- Being afraid of change- A lot of people make a career blunder simply by taking action based on fear or ‘what ifs.’ When people are guided by fear or what they think they should do, it keeps them on an unfulfilling path, says Jenny Blake, career strategist and author of the book “Pivot.”
- Lying on Your Resume- This one seems obvious, but some people still do it. Even putting a “white lie” or slight exaggeration on a job application could come back to hurt you, career experts tell CNBC. For some other important resume tips, check out the findings of a survey of hundreds of HR professionals.
- Over Thinking It- Thinking you’ve already missed your chance to succeed, not every successful company was founded by a guy in his twenties. In fact, individuals turn to entrepreneurship throughout their lives. If you think your only opportunity to build something great is behind you, think again.