4 Mistakes Even Seasoned Employees Make at Work

Portrait of upset young woman

Work mistakes are easy to make, even as a seasoned employee | iStock.com/JackF

Once you have been working at a job for a while, you start to know your way around the company and the job field as well. One of the many advantages of becoming more experienced is being more comfortable; another is being more knowledgeable about your field. Unfortunately, although seasoned employees often know more than they did when they started out, and even make better decisions based on their experiences, they can still make costly mistakes.

The fear of not advancing far enough in one’s career, not making enough money, or being unable to get a job are enough to cause anyone to make poor choices, and even experienced workers can take their job for granted or are busy thinking about the next big thing. Occasionally, getting too comfortable can actually be detrimental to your job. Here are four mistakes to watch out for.

1. Taking your job for granted

Once you work at a company for a certain amount of time, you may become too comfortable. While it’s a great thing if you’ve proven yourself helpful and necessary at your company, it’s important not to get into the routine of taking your job for granted. If you find yourself going through your duties like a robot, and forgetting small things or not using the care you once did, you may be making a serious mistake. Even if your job is fairly secure, taking your job for granted may cause you to miss out on key projects or get passed over for a promotion. Signs that you are getting too comfortable include lack of interest in new opportunities, not sharing your opinion as much when you disagree, and being okay with the bare minimum.

2. Quitting too soon

Businessman Packing Files

Businessman leaving his job | iStock.com/AndreyPopov

Once you have enough experience to move from an entry-level job to a more advanced one, you might be in a hurry to quit your current job. Good employees quit their jobs for many reasons, including getting paid too little or struggling to get ahead. Most seasoned employees know that it’s important to have a new job set up before quitting your old job, or at least, to have a strong plan in place. Still, having a job in place doesn’t mean you should quit your current job.

If you have been working for a while, there’s a good chance you have more outside dependents or responsibilities (for example, kids or bills) than you did 10 years ago. You have to consider how well the new job matches your desired salary, but also your desired commute, hours, and benefits. Also, if you are tired of working where you are, don’t be too quick to accept just any job; taking a job that you are overqualified for could be an especially big mistake.

3. Being too chummy with your boss or co-workers

Three young businessmen in suits are smiling, talking and drinking beer

Getting along with your co-workers is great, but there’s still a line | iStock.com/GeorgeRudy

If you have been working with the same people for a long time, it can be easy to become too comfortable with the people around you. If you start seeing your job as a social environment rather than a chance to get work done, then you may be jeopardizing your job. This is dangerous in more ways than one; you can certainly look lazy, but you also might be getting too comfortable with your boss or co-workers. While getting along with your boss is great, if you get too chummy you risk unknowingly crossing an invisible line and offending him, or taking your comfortable relationship too far.

The same is possible when interacting with co-workers. Getting too close to co-workers can make it difficult to get down to business when necessary. It’s also possible that the people you trust with private information might choose to share that same information with others, or one of you might become co-dependent.

4. Being too free with social media

Businessman using smartphone and holding paper cup

Businessman using smartphone | iStock.com/Ridofranz

Social media isn’t exactly new, but it is still exciting and interesting to many people, and there are always new updates and changes to pull people back in. Social media is constantly causing problems in the workplace (either because people are using it too much or posting inappropriate things). While someone who has had a professional job for a long time might know not to talk on the phone too long, or take extended lunch breaks, they may get caught up in the excitement of social media and make poor decisions.

Several social media mistakes can cost you your job. According to CIO, these include failing to keep professional and personal separate, not considering audience or context, ignoring the permanence of posts, using social media at the wrong times, and having a poor first impression online.

There are so many advantages to having a lot of experience at your job or in your field; just be sure to avoid these mistakes.

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