Feeling unhappy with some aspects of your work life? Making mistakes at work is inevitable and can leave a sour note in the organisation and for the individual but it’s not a lost cause. Good news is, mistakes can be remedied if you learn from your experience and avoid making them again. If you want to pave way for a successful career life, there are blunders you will need to avoid.
Let’s look into the 5 main career mistakes that could dampen your professional journey:
Lack of Self-Confidence
An individual who does not have trust or faith in his or her own abilities, it will significantly affect how he or she feels and act in public. There are various factors that contribute to the lack of development of self-confidence. It can come from home, school or the workplace. Studies have shown the behaviour of parents and teachers have the most significant influence which develops a child’s sense about themselves and it can become a solid foundation in their adulthood.
For any individual who is constantly feeling insecure about what they do can be a real struggle. It can even turn into a major challenge for an individual who wishes to achieve their desired career life. Despite all the challenges, self-confidence is an essential part of our daily life and it is important to control, overcome and adapt to your surroundings by keeping your confidence in check. Focus and learn to control your insecurities by shifting from low to high; especially in a professional setting.
Tip: There is a multitude of methods, tips and tricks to boost your self-confidence at home and at work. The most simple remedy to building your confidence is to pick one aspect in your life that will elevate it. It could be hitting the gym before or after work, placing a photo of your loved ones on your work desk or that amazing cup of coffee to kick start your day at work.
Your skills are outdated
The job market is highly competitive and there are a lot of unemployed individuals out there searching for a job, and the underlying issue is either being under qualified or having outdated skills. Most employees tend to focus on maintaining their financial status while overlooking the potential need of fine tuning their skills.
If you are not placing your expectations that are equal to the industry needs, it will be exceedingly hard to land yourself a job and you will find yourself spending months finding a position that fits your skills. Not to mention automation and advanced machinery are replacing human workers. For instance, insurance executives in Japan are getting replaced by artificial intelligence to perform the payouts calculation to policyholders (source).
Tip: Regardless of your professional background, it is never too late to learn new skills, to unlearn outdated skills and pick up new ones or refine your skills that are still relevant in today’s work environment. But first of all, you will need to figure out which aspect you want to focus on.
Mediocrity at work
When you spend the majority of your career in the same role and your desire to explore the unknowns is fading away, you will realise that you’ve fallen into the path of mediocrity.
The most common aspect that leads people to this path is the workload that you have in your hands. Not everyone has the capability to manage stress and even fear of failure without losing the motivation to climb up the career ladder, which is also the root cause of this mistake.
Tip: Know your limits and plan out your work schedule appropriately. It will help to improve the quality of your daily work. If you are feeling stuck, take a break or work on a light task to reflect and unwind until you are back in good shape.
Cutting Off Professional Contacts
Build your network and continue to keep in touch with your professional contacts even after you have left a particular job or changed career industry. Most people tend to not maintain their connection with past contacts once they have moved on with their separate work paths due to company policies, but if the situation allows it, it’s worth maintaining the connection. What some may fail to see is the potential for opportunities to complement working together or building a strong string of networks that may be ideal to build your reputation in your current profession.
Tip: Stay in touch. Your network of contacts could potentially become your resources throughout your career. You might never know if one of your previous contacts could have the answer and guidance to the solution you will need to be successful in your career.
Understating your worth
Knowing what you are capable of will provide value through your expertise and can be advantageous for climbing up your career ladder. Unfortunately, most people find it difficult to effectively convey their worth due to the lack of communication and negotiation skills.
Knowing your worth is not enough if you can’t manage the expectations from the beginning, for instance, if you are negotiating for a job promotion. You will need to first understand the duties and responsibilities that comes with the career advancement and it is not just about your salary increment or additional benefits. The expectations of yourself and from the organisation must go hand in hand before you consider proposing for a senior position.
Tip: Make a conscious effort to find out more about a particular role you’re vying for. It helps to understand and forecast how your skills will be able to contribute to the job’s worth. From there, you can think about how the salary range can match it. It also helps to understand the company’s perspective of their internal job roles and how they value it. If that job role is something worth taking the plunge for, it is your right to propose what you should receive and can deliver to the organisation before making the move to progress further.