6 Career Mistakes To Avoid If You Want A Long Career•
Once you’ve found a career path that you are interested in, the last thing you want to do is to mess it up. And “messing it up” could be a number of things, from giving a bad impression to current or potential employers, to having a confusing employment history. The important thing to know, though, is that messing up here and there is OKAY. Because when it comes making smart career choices, it’s not about being perfect, but about setting yourself up for long term success.
For instance, in 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said that the median number of years that the average person spent with an employer was 4.2 years. However, the reality is that if you stay longer at a company, there’s a good chance that you could benefit from more opportunities for seniority and leadership opportunities, more stability, and sometimes even an increase in job benefits that will really matter as your career progresses.
It’s one thing to find a job industry that’s right for you, and then it’s another thing to build a lasting career in it. Here are 6 important career mistakes to avoid to help ensure you have a long and successful career in the industry you love:
Don’t Be Afraid to Take the Plunge
If you love the type of work you are doing but are not crazy about the company that you are working for, it is important to know that you are not locked into that company. Many people get scared about the unknown and end up staying at a job that they do not like. If you find yourself in this position, do not be afraid to make the jump to a new role and a new company. Spend time looking for the perfect fit and make sure that during the interview process, this is something that you are evaluating.
Don’t Slack on Your Current Job
No matter what role you are in and even if it is not the role that you want to be in forever, make sure you knock it out of the park. The only way you can move up into a better role is to show that you have really mastered the one that you are currently in. These are things that managers look for when they are considering someone for a promotion and when you are looking outside of your current company, the interviewers will want to make sure that you are currently doing your job very well. They may even go so far as to verify that information with your current employer before making you an offer.
Don’t Write Bad Emails
Email communication is a huge component of business these days and if you are not good at writing emails, then you should invest some time in a class to help you with your business writing skills. If you write bad emails, it will make you look less professional and you will find it difficult to move up in your career since you will not possess this valuable asset. This is something that companies are now expecting so you need to be honest with yourself about this skill set and make sure you are always putting your best image in every email that you send.
Don’t Ghost on a Job
If you do find yourself in a position where you do not like your job or your manager at all, you should still make sure you remain professional. You may be tempted to simply walk out on the job but you should always stick with the industry standard and provide a two week notice. This is never a requirement but it will look good and then you are also not burning any bridges or messing up any potential references that you could use to get another job. Two weeks is not very long and it is definitely something that is worth it in the long run.
Don’t Quit Before You Have Another Job
To go along with the previous tip, you never want to quit a job without having something else lined up and ready to go. It is much easier to get a job while you already have one than it is to try to find one while not working. The job market is very unpredictable and you do not want to lessen your chances of being hired in a new role simply because you look like you are unemployable due to being unemployed.
Don’t Forget About Work-Life Balance
Your career is important but so is your sanity. No matter what job you are working, you want to make sure you have a work-life balance. This is important for you to keep going for the long term. You also run the risk of not enjoying your career if you are constantly running yourself ragged. While it is important to get the job done and to do it well, you should make it a point to have some fun outside of work and leave work on time as much as possible. Part of this is also finding the right company that values this as much as you do.
Keeping these ideas in mind will help you make sure that you can succeed in your career and will allow you to go to places that you never imagined.
Linda Le Phan is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at kununu US, a place where job seekers can get an authentic view of life at a company and where employers have a trusted platform to better engage talent. When she’s not creating content about the modern workplace, company culture, and life & work hacks, she is probably going out to get an iced coffee (even in Boston winter), raiding the snack drawer, or jamming to kununu’s Spotify playlist.