10 Career Mistakes to Avoid in 2020
Avoid these 10 mistakes to push your career forward in 2020
A new year is the best time to reconsider your career direction and make smart decisions that will help you succeed. Along with making ambitious plans, it’s equally important to stay away from the common career pitfalls. These mistakes can be costly for your earning potential, your professional well-being and the course of your career in general.
Most wrong career decisions stem from the wrong career attitude, undervaluing yourself, not developing professionally or poor professional interactions. Our team of professional resume writers will guide you through these mistakes and recommend how to avoid them. By the way, if you’re in need of a new resume to find a new job, we staff the best resume writers editors. Our professionals will gladly assist with perfecting your resume and helping you attract the attention of the top employers at a highly affordable price.
10 common career pitfalls to avoid in 2020
Whether you intend to stay in the same role, get a long-awaited promotion or to change the course of career completely, be sure to stay away from these mistakes:
- Failing to grow and nurture your network
Let’s be honest – in many cases, it’s more important to know the right people in your industry than to have an impressive skill set. Even if you don’t plan to change your job anytime soon, be sure to keep meeting new people and staying in touch with the key professionals in your network. Don’t limit networking to peers in your company. An extensive professional network is a great source of new job offers, opportunities for professional development and valuable industry insights. However, remember that it’s a two-way street. Effective networking also assumes the willingness to help out your contacts if necessary.
- Displaying the wrong attitude at work
Even if you dread your job or hate your boss, it’s not an excuse to show poor work ethics. Missing deadlines, shying away from the urgent assignments, and being constantly late damage your professional reputation in the first place. And when you finally decide to move on, you’ll be at risk of getting not very flattering recommendations. Let alone the fact that the negative attitude can actually cost you a promotion or learning opportunities. So, do yourself a favor and opt for a more positive attitude in the office. Be willing to cover for an absent coworker, help with an important project and avoid gossiping.
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- Staying away from challenges and responsibility
If you hadn’t had any management experience, an offer to replace an absent manager or take the lead in a new project might freak you out. But, in fact, this is how you grow professionally – by embracing the challenges, stepping out of the comfort zone and trying new, unusual things. On the other hand, when you shy away from taking initiative and extra responsibility, you close doors for career development. This might be very costly for your career in the long run, as you might not get promoted or regarded as a competent employee. Just take the next opportunity, and see what happens.
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- Not continuing to learn and grow
When you feel comfortable with the course of your career, you might be reluctant to make any extra effort. You’re good at what you do, so why go the extra mile and force yourself to learn the new software or skills? In fact, when you don’t learn something new and don’t take extra responsibility, your career starts to stagnate. When you start searching for a new job, you will lag behind your peers with stronger skills and a more versatile experience. Don’t get comfortable too early. Identify the areas for improvement and work on the most crucial skills – it will help you stay an in-demand professional and eventually request higher pay.
- Declining from an overall course in your career
When making career decisions regarding landing a new job, getting a promotion or choosing the projects to work on, make sure they are aligned with your long-term career target. Otherwise, you may get stuck in the dead-end job that doesn’t make you closer to the big goal. In the hectic business world, it’s easy to get up to your ears in projects or accept an offer for not very rewarding but lucratively paying position. What is important to do here is to realize why you take each particular step in your career and to prioritize your commitments in a way that helps you move in the right direction.
- Being a self-centered employee
While a healthy competition is good, being a single-minded person in a teamwork-oriented environment will definitely push you back. When you reject to cover for an absent coworker, mentor an intern or to stay late to help with a group project, it all reflects negatively on your professional reputation. This might not bother you so far, but if you intend to move through the ranks, you’ll find it hard to manage people who believe you’re a difficult person. Try a whole different approach. Be willing to give a piece of advice, help or encourage people working next to you, and your supportive attitude will definitely pay off.
- Changing jobs every few months
Unless you’re a freelancer, frequent change of jobs is not quite good for a few reasons. Firstly, despite the fact that HR managers get more receptive of job-hopping, they still prefer candidates with a steady work history. And secondly, a few months’ tenure doesn’t allow you to deepen into the company’s processes and develop professionally. If the frequent change of jobs sounds like you, challenge yourself with staying at least for a year with the same company. And, before you make the move, be strategic and do your homework first so that your choice of an employer and industry is informed and well-weighted.
- Not working on your soft skills
At a certain point in your career, soft skills and emotional intelligence will overweight the importance of knowledge and hard skills. The ability to lead and motivate others, resolve conflicts, build relationships and communicate efficiently matter more for leaders at all levels. Thus, if you are not focused on developing these competencies, you might close doors for opportunities of getting a leadership role. Working on soft skills is especially important for tech and other highly-specialized professionals who are mostly concentrated on building on hard skills. By developing the soft skills simultaneously, you will improve the effectiveness of workplace interactions and will be able to qualify for a wider range of jobs.
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- Undervaluing yourself
You cannot achieve genuine professional success without understanding and communicating your value. If you downplay your contribution or shy away from recognition, you might end up feeling underpaid and not fully appreciated at work. Don’t hide your professional value. Ask for credit when it’s due, highlight your contribution to management, and don’t be shy to market yourself, either in your current company or when looking for a new job. Also, know your market worth and don’t be afraid to ask for a raise if you’ve grown in skills and experience. Shyness won’t push your career forward, and the fact that you are valued and appreciated will make you more confident.
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- Staying on the job you secretly hate
Your current job might have fallen short of your expectations or your new boss turned out to be impossible to work with. If the job makes your life miserable or affects your quality of life, you don’t have to stick to it. Don’t stay on the job that isn’t a good fit because of the paycheck, convenient location or whatever other reason. These illusory benefits matter nothing when you feel burned out, frustrated or experience mental health issues. Start exploring new opportunities while on the job and use your free time to schedule interviews and apply for new jobs. The earlier you start looking for new opportunities, the smoother the transition will be.
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