A career error can be costly in time, money and opportunity. Making a major career decision for the wrong reason can set you way off course and affect your ultimate goal.
Here are a few of the deadly career mistakes to avoid.
1. Becoming too comfortable – Change is difficult, but necessary. When your job, personal or professional environment and routine become too comfortable, it’s very difficult to see the future. You may not see the brick wall coming your way, or the lost opportunities gone by. Be a realist. It’s the long road, over time, toward your ultimate goal that’s important.
2. Afraid of change – Fighting change is a losing proposition. Change is never static. Careers are destroyed when you’re blindsided by change. Look over the horizon and anticipate the changes that are coming. Be prepared ahead of the change. It’s better to influence the changes that affect you before the fact, than to be overwhelmed by them.
3. Incompatible values – Be careful about changing jobs with a company where your values will be compromised. Working under policies or practices that you can’t support is almost impossible to maintain. Your ability to modify the culture or practices is remote. It’s better to find another job or company than to suffer under values you can’t support.
4. Jumping too quickly – One of the things to understand is a recruiter can make a new job sound so terrific that you don’t ask the right questions of the hiring manager. The result is that the job offered is not entirely what you thought. Assumptions not clarified can be a career mistake that is very costly and could have been avoided.
5. Dollars or title over all else – Making a career change exclusively for money or title is a very bad idea. Careers are optimized through a long-term strategy of accumulated experiences and skills. Accepting a new position for money or title is short-term thinking. Ask the question, “Why am I being offered this title or dollars out of the average to the marketplace”?
6. Too small or large a pond – Two questions to ask yourself. 1- “Are my skills and experiences translatable across many organizations or to a narrower field?” 2- “Am I most comfortable in a very large or very small organization or somewhere in between?” The answers will determine your greatest value and target opportunities.
7. Not keeping ahead of technology – This career mistake is the most deadly of all. The rate of change in technology affects everyone. It’s the factor that decides who is offered a job and who comes in second place. Being at the forefront of your function technologically gives you the edge over all others. This is one mistake you can correct yourself.
Career mistakes are driven largely by emotion, not intellect. Do your research and think through the implications, thereby optimizing your ability to reach your ultimate goal.
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