Are You Making These Career Mistakes?


We all make mistakes, even when it comes to our career. Sure, we aim to work hard, dress appropriately, arrive early, work late, etc. We even try to make sure we keep up on the newest trends and technology in our industry.

But we’ve all probably made the following mistakes at least once in our careers. Does anything below look familiar to you?

We don’t let others know of our accomplishments. Sure, we don’t want to get a reputation as blowhards. But a little self-promotion is necessary, especially if you want a promotion. There’s nothing wrong with letting your supervisor know of successes. In fact, it’s a very wise person who sends regular updates to his or her supervisor regarding goals met (or exceeded). Some people send these types of reports to their manager weekly. At the least, you should send updates quarterly. Don’t wait until just before your annual review.

Speaking of accomplishments, another mistake we tend to make is to rest on our laurels. That is, we let our past accomplishments carry us along. Yes, it’s hard to always keep pushing ourselves for more and more. And it’s natural to take a “breather” from trying to do more and be more. But don’t get lazy and skate along for a couple of years, or even just a few months. Always aim to do more. (And then make sure your boss know how much more you do.)

Speaking of “resting,” it’s a fast-moving world out there. Exceedingly so. As much as we’d love to just do our jobs and go home at the end of the day, if you never take an extra class to upgrade your skills, if you never take it upon yourself to learn more, you’re sunk. We don’t mean you need to get a graduate degree or even certification in a new technology. Just be sure you’re always upgrading your skills and increasing your knowledge.

Don’t forget to reach out to others. Many people call this networking and, when done correctly, it doesn’t feel like networking but more like staying in touch, being helpful, asking for advice, giving advice, etc. In other words, don’t live in a vacuum, make sure you talk to people, meet with people, form solid relationships with people.

If you’re not making yourself absolutely necessary to your employer, you risk becoming redundant and at risk for layoff. Yes, yes, we know: No one is truly irreplaceable. But the more you work to help your boss look good in his or her boss’ eyes, the better. Offer to do those tasks your manager hates. Offer to take on the project you know the boss needs to get done but has no time. Look around you and see what needs to be done – or should be done – and then do it. Yes, you’ll still need to do what you were hired to do, so you may end up doing more, but it’s called work for a reason.

If you’ve found your career stalled – for whatever reason – and think finding a new job in Jackson might help, contact a recruiter at the Professional Staffing Group. We’ve helped hundreds of Jackson-area job seekers find great positions since 1994 and we’d love to add your name to our success files. Contact us today!