Career Development Mistakes

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Written By Adrian Cruce






Selecting and progressing along a particular career path requires careful consideration and networking; however, sometimes professionals make errors that impede their chances of advancement.

If you want to advance in your job, don’t be intimidated by asking others for feedback on yourself and how best to perform your duties. Receiving impartial opinions about both strengths and weaknesses will allow for maximum growth potential in any career field.

1. Not Setting Goals

Many people have an abstract notion of their desired career path but fail to create an actual plan for themselves. This is a mistake as creating an action plan can help identify all of the necessary steps necessary for reaching it, as well as highlight any skills or experiences you may need to develop further.

Realistic goals should also be part of your goal setting process. For instance, if your desired career goal is becoming a manager, research the responsibilities involved to see if this position can be attained within your current company or create goals to gain the necessary skills to transition into another manager role at another firm.

Make sure that your goals include a timeline. Doing this will keep you on the right path and prevent procrastination or losing focus; this is especially crucial if your long-term goal involves something such as attaining promotion. Without an agreed upon timetable in place, waiting may feel like forever or you could end up heading in another direction altogether.

Do not let others influence your goals; set goals that suit both yourself and those around you. For instance, if your parents want you to become a teacher but do not feel obliged to fulfill that desire; choose an occupation that resonates with both your personality and interests – this will make it easier for you to stay motivated while enjoying every day at work – which in turn helps your career progression plan! So start creating one now if it hasn’t already!

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2. Not Asking for Feedback

Feedback can be an invaluable way to learn more about yourself and identify strengths and weaknesses, as well as help determine what the next steps in your career should be. Unfortunately, many individuals make the mistake of not seeking feedback when needed.

No matter the purpose, feedback can provide invaluable information. Don’t wait – ask! You might be amazed by what comes back!

Be careful when asking for feedback. Nothing erodes a hiring manager’s impression more quickly than being argumentative or desperate for employment, which not only may decrease their willingness to provide feedback but may also hurt feelings and reflect poorly upon your company.

One of the key mistakes when seeking feedback is being unprepared. If seeking input from a manager, be ready to discuss both your current performance and future career goals. It may help if you make a list of skills you would like to develop as well as projects or moments where you excelled as well as areas in which improvement might be possible.

Once again, choosing the appropriate person to provide feedback can be crucial. Make sure they share your values for professional behavior, self-awareness and learning; provide honest and insightful comments; coach through this process as necessary; once received sum up what has been discussed as well as any open questions such as “is there anything else I should consider? Thank them for their time before promising any actions items.

3. Not Asking for Raise or Responsibilities

Failing to ask for a raise or new set of responsibilities can have devastating repercussions for your career development. Not asking can often result in stagnant positions and lead to feelings of frustration when colleagues around you receive promotions without your input.

One effective strategy to combat this issue is building strong relationships with your manager and senior employees, and communicating your goals to them. This gives them an opportunity to provide feedback or mentor you – both of which can assist your career growth.

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Document any additional responsibilities you take on, and be prepared to demonstrate their benefits when asking for a raise. When asking, “argue how these extra duties have increased your value while saving the company time or money,” advises Dan Hindhaugh of Future Workplace; he adds that requests shouldn’t serve as “sob stories”, instead emphasizing why you deserve more compensation.

Prepare yourself for possible rejection – If your boss denies the increase in pay, try to understand their reasoning and offer ways to improve things in the future.

Build yourself a support network – people who will advocate for you when asking for promotions or new responsibilities – this can make all the difference, providing fresh perspectives and outside views of your progress. Build these relationships through volunteering in projects or company initiatives or simply reaching out to trusted peers.

4. Not Taking on Board Your Mentors’ Lessons

Mentors offer invaluable guidance when it comes to career development. Their advice can help you to grow professionally while making wiser choices for your professional future; unfortunately, however, many professionals fail to heed their mentors’ words of advice and instead make their own costly errors that hold them back.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in your career is failing to listen and ask for assistance when needed. One way you can improve your communication skills is by attending courses or seminars, or asking coworkers or supervisors for feedback on your work; this will keep you on the path toward achieving your goals.

Mistake #2 is failing to create a career progression plan, which can severely limit your development and prevent you from reaching your goals. When creating such a plan, you will gain visibility into exactly which steps should be taken in order to advance your career and realize its full potential.

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Finally, one of the biggest mistakes to be avoided is failing to expand your networking outside your workplace. While building relationships outside of work may take more effort and takes up more of your time than expected, networking outside will provide additional opportunities for career advancement.

As a professional, it is key to avoid these common career mistakes in order to be successful and enjoy life more fully. Emeritus offers skill-oriented online courses which may help professionals discover more ways to develop themselves professionally and enjoy fulfilling lives.

5. Not Taking Action

One of the key aspects of career development is taking action. No matter how much we learn or try, reaching the next level requires taking some form of action – as long as it’s the appropriate type and doesn’t repeat past errors. This is what is meant by “learning from our mistakes”. Recognizing when mistakes were made is far more effective than trying to cover up or avoid the problem and repeat it over again.

Another part of career development involves setting short and long-term goals. At GetFive, our Seven Stories Exercise can help clarify exactly what you want from your career before creating a plan to realize them.

Unfortunately, many individuals fail to take such actions when it comes to their careers. This could be due to lack of time or resources; or possibly simply not wanting to move forward. Henry David Thoreau once observed, “Men generally lead lives of quiet desperation”. While all careers may not be perfect for every person’s situation, those struggling in their current job often do not realise there may be better solutions available to them.