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Ten Career Mistakes to Avoid

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It’s pretty easy to make mistakes when you are attempting tasks for the first time, are placed into a position of responsibility or have to work out complicated structures and hierarchies at a new role or job. Often, we look towards getting advice from seniors and peers, to provide reassurance that the decision we are making will be the right one.

Recruiting expert Hays shares with us their list of the ten most common career mistakes to avoid and therefore help keep our professional career on the right step.

 1. You are coasting

When everything’s going right for you and you get yourself too relaxed and stop trying to make things happen. This is coasting, a situation when you just feel too comfortable and let complacency takes over.

Take heart and remember that we have more to offer regardless of age or experience. Pick yourself up. By doing more for the job, you can revive your career and get a fresh start.

2. You cannot see the big picture

Do you understand and appreciate what your organisation does? Certain businesses pride themselves on having mission statements and values for a reason. As working individuals we need to understand the mission and direction our company is heading towards. Understanding what the business wants to achieve is essential to distinguishing a deeper sense of ownership and purpose, and evokes passion in yearning for more success.

3. You are burning bridges

In a business world of relationships and networking, credibility and reputation are virtues to live by. Disavowing these virtues might kill your chances for referrals and recommendations that can help your business progress or career advance.

4. You are putting your career before your life

We have mostly read about having the right work-life balance. Putting things in perspective, we wouldn’t be any happier if we stayed home while work piles up at the office. The same can be said for missing an anticipated family outing due to an unforeseen time-extension at work. Remember to plan an effective work schedule so that you can leave work on time. It’s a choice whether to sacrifice more time on work or to achieve the right (personal) balance.

5. You are blurring the line between personal and professional

It is always a decent thing to have friends and working relationships at our workplaces. We need to have a practice of knowing  where the work boundaries are when we enter the office environment. Remain professional so that you can perform your tasks to the best of your abilities. Personal and emotional indulgences merely add to office politics and theatrics.

6. You always think the grass is greener

Unless you have done your research and have sufficient information to understand what is really happening on the other side, the grass is never really greener. We were all made to believe that something else is better. People were not brought up and taught to complain about how messed up their working lives are, and therefore your peers would probably tell you they are doing “better than before”. Individuals likely to do well would be those who spend more time upgrading themselves and doing what they can to perform better in their respective scopes so they never see the need to compare with what’s happening on the other side.

7. You are allowing your skills to become out of date

Competency in Microsoft Office is no longer a header in your resume. One way to keep up is to seek progress in our knowledge of new technology and adapt to it. Start off with courses to acquire new skills that help you to remain relevant.

8. You didn’t trust your gut

There are times when we have landed in trouble for not understanding better the task, role or outcome. After some time building in-depth knowledge, we find that we are able to tap on our understanding to accomplish a solid outcome. It might be good to trust these instincts when making crucial decisions as they impact your career decisions.

9. You aren’t focusing on projects that will drive the most value

The key is to be focused. We may dedicate a lot of our time to assignments and tasks on a daily basis, but which of these items are actually relevant in pushing us forward? It will be good to be more selective. Concentrate on the right projects that add real value to your business or your work-scope and create more impact to drive business growth.

10. You don’t believe in yourself

We might have experienced a roller coaster’s ride in our careers, or it could have just been smooth sailing for some of us. But it is essential to remember what kept us moving in the first place, and what landed us in that high-flying seat. That self-confidence and belief is key to re-igniting that spark in your career. If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody will.



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