They say, “One of most important aspects of life is career and you should not be making any mistakes at least in this.”
To that advice, I often answer that if I know that this is a mistake I am about to make, I will not do it in the first place. And, most of the time it is near impossible to predict whether the things that we are doing are right or are mistakes of a lifetime that can threaten our entire career growth. The most inconspicuous professional decision or behaviour might also turn out to be a fatal one.
What worked for your best friend in a similar office situation may not work the same way for you.
The gems of wisdom that your government employed father offered to you may not make much sense in the contemporary corporate environment and you might feel trapped by your own decisions and choices.
Who will tell?
How am I supposed to know that this is exactly the way I am killing my own chances of growth?
This is a dilemma that traps every young professional since the moment they draft their first professional resume to apply for jobs.
Not all career mistakes can be summed up in one article as a lot depends upon the industry, sector, field, designation, and other individual factors. Nevertheless, here are a couple of mistakes that we all end up making unknowingly or sometimes despite knowing, out of habit.
These mistakes can kill growth prospect for anyone of us.
#1. Not Negotiating Salary:
This is an unspoken diktat that you should not negotiate your salary while taking up your first job, you should be grateful that you have got a job and that’s about it. But, a recent survey says that most of the hiring managers are open for negotiation. In fact, the same survey also revealed that the employers do keep room for an increase of salary by 5 to 10 percent.
This survey is conducted by NerdWallet and Looksharp. This survey covered 8,000 fresh graduates entering into the job market between 2012 and 2015 and also 700 employers. Following infography presents other findings of this survey.
# Know your worth, be realistic, and try your luck by negotiating salary.
#2. Following Someone Else’s Footsteps
After graduating, it is a natural process to know what your peers plans to do, what you college or course seniors are doing or have done; and if you are employed what your colleagues plans to do or what your best friends plans are.
But, knowing and following their plans is not a healthy exercise for your career. Everyone’s life is different and so are their skills, interests, career choices, aspirations and definition of success.
Following someone else’s lead will not really result into something that you might consider success and be happy with it.
# Do not be afraid of creating a career path for yourself rather than following someone’s footsteps which may not lead to the place you wish to reach.
#3. Taking A Job Out Of Desperation:
Yes. Most of us have done this and regretted the same. Scepticism that this might be the best offer out there, believing rumours about the job market scenario, or simply the fear of failing to pay the bills on time makes one take decision without proper consideration. Desperation is the worst reason to take up a job and it can delay your career growth.
Choosing a job that truly serves nothing in terms of growth can be a major career bump. So, before accepting any offer letter do think about the reasons why you are taking up that job.
#Do not let your personal dilemma be the reason for accepting an offer letter that bears nothing but temporary respite.
#4. Taking A Job Without Knowing Your Exact Role
It is exciting to get a job and it the salary package looks good who would think twice before accepting the offer letter. But, this excitement should not overshadow your curiosity about your exact job profile and what all your key result areas and key performance area.
To do a good job while you are in your job, you must know what you are expected to do and what kind of results the company wants from you. This piece of knowledge will help you to plan your targets while in that job and also contribute to the growth of the company. It is not important to do too many things what is important is doing those things that makes a difference.
# Know your basic key results area (KRA) to deliver realistic goals and also plan your own career objects.
#5. Being Comfortable In Your Job:
Being too comfortable in one job that does not really offer any chance of personal growth is a huge career mistake. It is good to be loyal to your employer but not to the extent of sabotaging your own career prospects. Do not forget to keep your resume updated and keep a check on your dream companies and profiles.
Reaching a comfortable state of mind sounds enticing but being there for too long is serves no purpose whatsoever.
#Do not give up your aspiration because you are afraid of leaving the comfortable position. Be brave and keep on exploring unless you find what you are looking for.
#6. Failing To Set Career Goals
Okay, so by now you must have realised that not all your plans will come true or goals will be met. But, it is important to have the plans and goals set so that you know where you wish to go and how far it is from where you stand. Also, setting the goals will help you to know whether the present place you are employed in can help you or not in achieving those goals.
No matter where you are right now, how far your goals looks like, or you have no idea how will you reach there, but drawing a roadmap is important and everyone in any stage of the career should have it.
#Having a goal always makes the journey interesting, exciting, and fulfilling.
#7. No Job Hop Or Too Much Of It
Gone are the days when retiring from the same company was the ultimate plan for every job seeker. We live in a time when job hopping is a trend and it means better designation, enhancement of skills, and better increment of salary. Thus, job hopping though looks like a risky idea but actually it can be quite useful in climbing higher in the career ladder.
But, here is a catch too much of job hopping can prove harmful for your career rather than being fruitful. Firstly, if you spend less time in any company you fail to show any visible contribution to the growth of that company; secondly, it become difficult for your prospective employers to bestow trust on you for long-term company goals; and thirdly, you fail to create effective network that can help you in future.
# Changing job from time to time is important for career growth but too much of job hopping means slowly poisoning your own career.
#8. Competing And Comparing Your Professional Life
It is a natural tendency to be curios about what peers, ex-colleagues and others in your field of professional are doing and staying updated about all that is a good networking policy. After all, you never know who might be of what help in future. But, comparing yourself and competing with someone else is not at all a healthy career decision.
Every individual has their own skill set, plans, goals, reasons, passion, likes and dislikes; which most certainly are different from yours. Set your own goals and do not let someone else’s career decision dictate your choices.
# Career is absolutely different from school or college wherein coming 1st, 2nd or at least 3rd in class was the goal of life; in career what matters is what you want and how you want.
Heard a wise man telling that career is not your academics that will get over in a couple of year; career is what will stay with you for the rest of your life, thus the choices that you make will have their repercussions that only you must bear.
Nothing comes easy, but what makes you happy is worth putting an effort for.