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Building a successful professional career is a long and difficult journey, especially in case if your decisions are not chosen carefully. For example, if you think that you can get to the desired position without experience and apply for it, your chances of getting are very low. So, one needs to proceed very carefully to reach all career goals because there are lots of mistakes that can be hazardous for your success.
In this article, we will review some of the most common career mistakes people commit on daily basis and explain the reasons why you should avoid them.
Mistake #1: Too many ambitions
Everyone wants to be the best. Of course, wishing to be on the top is a natural thing, but believe us, you don’t want to rush things and aim for it before you are absolutely ready. Imagine this: you are hired to do a job that requires a huge leap in your current skills, so you cannot adequately perform your role. As the result, after a month or even less, you go down, wishing you had never accepted the job in the first place.
There are a number of warning signs that you are overly ambitious. We like the five outlined by a blogger Jennifer Gresham: frequent overwhelming feelings, constant comparison of yourself to others, lack of time for vacation, feelings that you are entitled to rewards for your effort, and moral compromises.
Let’s discuss one of these signs a little bit more. For example, frequent overwhelming feelings are bad for you because they will eventually lead to anxiety, which is incompatible with happy and productive life. Moreover, feeling overwhelmed too much may also mean that you take on too many difficult tasks and need to slow down a little bit.
Mistake#2: Switching jobs frequently
For some, switching job frequently means that they have to find their sweet spot they love in order to start a meaningful career. While this can be acceptable in the early beginning of your career when you want to try yourself at doing different things but it becomes increasingly unwanted later. Why?
Imagine this: you are an employer looking for a candidate for one of your departments. The turnover in your organization is high, so the performance is far from ideal. As the result, you need a person who will stay and improve your company before leaving for another job or being promoted. However, when you look at the resume of a candidate, you see that he/she worked in four different companies in the last 6 months!
That means that the candidate is not the best option for you because he/she changes jobs frequently. The reasons for this are many: lack of commitment, lack of reliability, money-driven mind, inability to stick to one role, and inability to get along with people. Would you want to hire this candidate? Of course not!
There are many more other risks of switching jobs too often, so think twice before you decide to change your company.
Mistake#3: Dismissing criticism and feedback
One of the major reasons why people flip their jobs is the unwillingness to accept criticism and feedback from their colleagues and management. This is inevitable on every job because there is always going to be somebody who achieved more than you did. This person may provide some constructive criticism or feedback, so you need to accept it.
Many people, however, prefer not to accept the feedback and perceive it as a sign of hostility and bad criticism. While this may be true in some situations, most of the times people just want to help you to get better, so there is no reason for you to ignore or dismiss the feedback. If you perceive this feedback as a sign of lack of appreciation, your desire to leave will most likely to take over the reasonable judgment.
Learn to take constructive criticism like a champion and stay on the job. It will be worth it, you’ll see.
Mistake#5: Getting cliquey with colleagues
Getting used to new people is difficult because you need to learn about their personalities and views before you arrive at some reasonable conclusions about them. However, with time you will make friends in the office, and those will be the people you feel most comfortable with. While this sounds like a good deal, it’s not. If you get too close with one group in your office, it means that your communication with other members suffers.
What if that group you are friend with fails? What if some of these people get fired? Then you will have to turn to others, but they may not treat you as you want because you did not communicate with them well before. To avoid this mistake and make sure that your career is going in the right direction, you need to make friends with everyone.
So go ahead and make friends across the entire office (here is a good guide how to make friends at a new job for you). This allows to build your name and reputation in the company plus your network of connections grows.
Mistake#6: Setting low expectations
Many people do not want to conquer the world and would just rather stay in one place that provides security and good compensation. However, they might be missing great career opportunities because the price of feeling safe might be growth and a higher salary. I personally know a person who worked as an essay writer and stayed at one company for years because she thought she couldn’t do better. Setting low expectations for yourself is a mistake because you might get stuck at one job that does not offer any benefits and opportunities for growth.
If you think you have what it takes to perform the roles of some other, more ambitious job, then you might just take it. Ask yourself: “does my company offer me enough opportunities for growth?” If the answer is no, leaving might be a good option for you if you want your career to be unlimited in opportunities.
Mistake#7: Comparing yourself with others
It is a good thing to get inspired by someone who accomplished a lot. However, you start worrying when you begin to compare yourself to that person very often because it may lead to frustration and even panic. For example, if you are 29 but you have not accomplished what that person have at this age, you might get really disappointed and even angry at yourself for not doing your best.
This is a horrible mistake! Every person has a unique way, so you should not compare yourself with others. By doing this, you might be crippling your ability to do great work and hurting your motivation in a very bad way. Instead, you should focus on your own career and stop thinking that someone accomplished more at your age. There are lots of people who have not accomplished what you did, so don’t let negativity and frustration to stand in the way of your success.
Need some pointers? Here is a great guide on how to stop comparing yourself to others.
The Bottom Line
Your professional career might be crippled by many mistakes. By avoiding the ones we described in this article, your chances for success will improve big-time. Just do your best, focus on your journey, and be positive. And the success will come!