If you want to succeed in your career, you probably know that you need to work hard and be as indispensable as possible to your company. While different companies and bosses will value a variety of skill sets and personality characteristics, most employers are looking for candidates who have contacts, credibility, and competence, according to Undercover Recruiter. If you have these three qualities, you have a good chance of obtaining and keeping a job.
However, if you want your career to advance, you want to avoid certain career mistakes that can slow you down, or even cause potential employers to pass you over for a new job or promotion. Some mistakes you can come back from (like bombing an interview or settling), but other mistakes can be detrimental in various ways. Here are four mistakes you should try to avoid.
1. Changing jobs/careers too often or too early
This career mistake really depends on the circumstances. If you have been working your way up a certain career ladder for many years, but you recently realized that you hate your line of work, or there is no room for advancement, you might need to change your career. However, regularly changing careers, especially if you are completely jumping to a different field, can potentially make you look impatient, unsettled, and even ungrateful.
The same is true when changing jobs. According to Undercover Recruiter, there are necessary hoppers, boredom hoppers, opportunity hoppers, and career hoppers. Sometimes job hopping can be a good thing, but you don’t want your resume to look like you are someone who changes jobs every time a new opportunity arises. Make sure that you are prepared to explain your job hopping, and try to only do it when you really need to.
2. Leaving on a bad note
Sometimes you have to leave a job. The reasons can vary: you may be ready for something new, you might have a better offer, or maybe you even hate your boss. Especially if your boss has treated you poorly, it can be tempting to neglect your duties during your final weeks, or even tell your boss off. Even if you think you will never see your boss again, resist the urge to leave on a bad note. This is especially true if you are taking a job in the same field, because you risk having your boss talk to other people who you may run into or work with. You also never know if you may return to your company for a different opportunity down the line.
According to Quintessential Careers, in order to diplomatically resign from a job, it’s a good idea to write a resignation letter. It’s also important to give enough notice, keep doing your work, and thank those people who have supported you and whom you want to keep in contact with.
3. Making decisions solely based on money
A good offer with a high salary can often be hard to refuse. However, it’s best to really think about your career decisions, and not make your decisions solely based on how much money you are going to make. As important as money is, you will also want to enjoy the job you are doing. If you are faced with a decision between taking a job you would love, and a job that pays a lot but you probably wouldn’t enjoy, you may find that the bigger mistake would be making more money doing something you hate. Also, even though jobs with more responsibilities often pay more, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes you may be better off taking a job that pays less but will teach you more skills and is more visible, rather than a job that pays more but has no opportunity for advancement.
According to Salary.com, especially when you are taking a filler job, you need to be careful to know yourself. If you can handle a soul-crushing job, then maybe you will be fine. But if your self-esteem will be damaged, then you may need to pass on the job. Also, while a job may pay well, you may get stuck in the job and neglect your other career goals.
4. Lacking confidence
Everyone has to start somewhere, and we all have skills and duties that we need to learn in our jobs. However, it’s important to proactively go after new roles and learning opportunities, and to be confident in your ability to learn and master necessary skills. It’s also important to be confident that you can succeed in your job, and that you are valuable to your company. Confidence is a great way to set yourself apart from other coworkers, and to show your boss that you are worthy of new opportunities.
According to The Money Expert, a lack of confidence can hurt your career. They review an audio program called Core Confidence, which is one way that you can improve your confidence. According to Chron, finding training for skills you need to do your job, understanding your strengths, setting goals, and avoiding negative inputs can also help build your confidence.
If you’re like most of us, you want to succeed in your career. Avoiding these four common mistakes will help you do that.