“A step backward, after making a wrong turn, is a step in the right direction.”- Kurt Vonnegut
Anyone seeking to grow in his or her career will make mistakes along the way. Some of the mistakes made as one seeks to grow career wise will be costly. Some of them will hardly be noticeable. Regardless of the mistakes you have made in your career, there are valuable lessons that can be learned by reflecting on the mistakes, owning them and learning from them. If you are just starting out career-wise, here are some of the mistakes you need to look out for and avoid:
#1: Pursuing Status at The Expense of the Growth of Skills
In a world that is increasingly becoming image oriented, many people get lost in the pursuit of success. We interview candidates who want to look the part but do not want to do the hard work. In the process, they lie, put in very little or no effort yet they desire to be applauded for barely showing up. The problem with this approach is that it keeps you from taking advantage of some useful career opportunities that do not necessarily come with a high status. It is often said that opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed as work. That entry-level marketing job might be an opportunity to develop meaningful networks that will help you grow two or three years down the line. The drab accounting job could be an opportunity to hone skills that will help you become an auditor.
Pursue the skills that matter, the status will come. Pursue the status, you will never develop the skills you need to succeed in your field.
# 2: Staying in the Comfort Zone
It is easy to get comfortable in one’s current position. You rarely take any risks in your comfort zone. The environment is predictable. There is a certain way of doing things which ensures that you get the expected outcome hence uncertainty is greatly reduced. Successful people are not necessarily the people who take big risks. They take small risks every day which prepare them for the big leaps that they need to take in their careers.
#3: Not Asking People for Help
You cannot get the help you need unless you ask for it. It is often assumed that the most successful people have it all figured out so they do not ask for help. This could not be further from the truth. The quickest way to avoid mistakes that would waste your time and effort is by asking those who have gone ahead of you in your field for advice. You just need to ask in the right way and you will get the help you need.
#4: Getting Distracted by the “Shiny Object Syndrome”
There will always be a position that seems more attractive than your current position. This position might be in your organization or outside your current organization. Because it is often said that all that glitters is not gold, the allure of a certain office or position can become a trap. Countless hours that should be spent being the best you can be in your current position can be wasted as you try and reach out for the elusive position. In addition to this, the “shiny object” might not necessarily be as attractive as you think it is. A higher position with better pay requires a certain level of dedication, skill, experience and commitment. You can only develop this by giving your best in your current position.
# 5: Assuming that Your Career Should Be Linear
The current job market is characterized by rapid technological changes as well as nonlinear career trajectories. Most successful people in this age did not just “move up the ladder.” Some of them have to “jump” in order to advance to the next level. The “leap” is different for everyone and can only be made based on a high level of self-awareness and personal drive. Successful people do not wait for their experiences to fit into a linear career trajectory. They seek opportunities to grow their skills and make the leap once the right opportunity comes along.
#6: Assuming That What You Have at Level 1 Is Sufficient to Keep You Going at Level 2
Most people assume that being good at their craft is enough to get them noticed. While it is important to grow one’s skills, it is equally important to go the extra mile. You need to be emotionally intelligent in order to grow. You need to learn how to identify gaps in your company and provide solutions. You need to learn how to work with people. You need to an avid reader who can tell where your industry will be in the next couple of years based on an in-depth understanding of current trends.
If you are ready for a career change, then reach out to us, as Crystal Recruitment is a Leading Recruitment Agency that connects top talents to top brands every single day.