Your career can hinge on making the right choices, but some professionals make certain mistakes on a day-to-day basis. They might not cost you your job, but they could affect promotion—your long-term prospects. You may not even be aware that you are making them.
Advancement is only one of the benefits you may derive from overcoming these mistakes. According to Forbes magazine, unhappy employees outnumber happy ones, two to one. But ending bad habits can make you more content at work. And that in itself may make you more successful.
Not having a game plan
You don’t need to try to anticipate every eventuality, but you ought to map out a general career direction. If you want a promotion, understand that it is a continuing process, not an immediate goal. Express your interest, but don’t be pushy. Without pestering them, you want your employers to understand your desire to stay with them, and move up.
Overestimating and underestimating yourself
Underestimating your abilities is as bad as overestimating them. Take pride in what you do, and understand your role in the company. This will allow you to avoid apathy, and give you courage to stand against unfair circumstances. On the other hand, you don’t want to overestimate what you contribute. This can lead to your feeling conceited, and you may paint the wrong picture to your employer. What Napoleon supposedly said is worth considering: “The graveyards are full of people the world couldn’t do without.”
Not understanding the company’s direction:
Before even applying to the job, you should research the direction of the company. Research the salary and advancement opportunities, and what current employees have to say about the company. This could avoid being stuck in a bad job, or an even worse situation.
Choosing a job for the wrong reasons:
When you take a job, money shouldn’t be your first consideration—unless, of course, you’re desperate. As long as you can meet expenses, job satisfaction is more important than more money. After all, you’re going to be spending 40 hours a week (at least!) at your job. Hating every minute just to get a little more money usually isn’t worth it. But it’s also a mistake to take a job because you think it will be easy, or because someone pressed you to take it.
Leaving a job for the wrong reasons:
Quitting a job because you are not getting what you want—a raise or a promotion, for example–can backfire. Though some changes at the workplace may be very important to you, you must also accept some give-and-take.
Your current career situation might not be ideal, but by following these tips, you might be able to achieve more success.