Five Common Career Mistakes You’re Likely Making

In this season’s first episode of the popular HBO series “Hard Knocks,” Cleveland Browns linebacker Christian Kirksey asks the Browns defense what their “why” was for playing football. The players were encouraged to write these down and put it in a place where they can see it first thing when they wake up and last thing before going to bed. Answers ranged from taking care of family to the love of the game. By writing this down, the players can visualize what they play for and have motivation for their success. This is something that everyone can relate to – figuring out how to achieve success in their own careers.

On the path to a successful career you want to limit making mistakes. Sometimes mistakes are bound to happen as we are all human. However, also intrinsic to being human is that we can make mistakes without knowingly doing so. In order to better your chances of reaching your full career potential, make sure you aren’t making any of these common mistakes.

Keeping Yourself Offline

In recent weeks, athletes have made headlines for some social media blunders ranging from burner accounts to controversial tweets. Because of this, it may be tempting to go off-the-grid and take yourself off social media altogether. However, according to Cheryl Palmer of Call to Career, “the majority of recruiters now scour online sources for additional information on candidates. Positive online information about you will improve your job prospects, since that is what recruiters will be looking for to determine who they call for an interview.”

Managing and leveraging your social media presence can improve your future job prospects. The key is to maintain a sense of professionalism and leverage your personal brand.

Bonding With Co-Workers

Considering you spend 40 hours a week with your co-workers, chances are you will develop close relationships along the way. These relationships can be made both in the office and through bonding events such as company-sponsored outings and happy hours.

Libby Kane of LearnVest notes that this bonding can become problematic when you become close with some co-workers and not as close with others. This can create a cliquey office environment that can lead to a somewhat toxic environment. To avoid this, switch up who you hang out with both in and outside the office.

Championing Make-Ends-Meet Jobs

Side hustles have become an increasingly popular way to make some extra cash outside of your typical 9-to-5 job. While your bank account might benefit from this additional gig, your sanity and future job prospects may actually be hindered. According to Robert Meier, president of Job Market Experts, “As a job hunter, you should be looking at yourself as a candidate through your potential employer’s eyes. And to an employer, a side job is a distraction from your primary position. A Fortune 500 company simply isn’t going to appreciate your time as a night manager at 7-11.”

That said, it is perfectly okay to have these side jobs. When it comes to your resume, however, Kane says that you can minimize them to a line on your resume or leave them off all together, unless it could be valuable for a future opportunity.

Relying On A Pros And Cons List

If you’re an analytical mind, chances are you’ve made a pros and cons list when considering career moves. This is a good way to weigh your options, but relying on it too much can do more harm than good. If you’re wondering whether or not you should accept a job offer, sometimes the best thing you can do is listen to your “gut feeling.”

An interview is a chance for the company to decide if you fit their culture, but also for you to see if you would fit into the company culture. If your first impression of the company and potential boss is not that great, it might influence your decision when it comes to your job offer. If you have doubts right away, this might be a good enough indication to pass on the role.

Being Perpetually Available

Thanks to smart phones and laptops, we can be connected to our jobs around the clock. As a result, it is tempting to be available to your bosses even after working hours. To some, waiting on your bosses’ call and beckon and dropping everything to get something done may be tempting as it shows that you are reliable and hardworking. To others, this is a detriment to your work-life balance.

More often than not, these tasks can wait until the next morning. If not, it is okay to agree to getting it done outside the office every once in a while, but being able to say “no” is a key skill to have. If you cannot get it done yourself, learning how to delegate tasks will benefit your career as it is a good skill for managers and future managers to have.

As you progress along your career path, you might be making these common mistakes unknowingly. Thanks to Libby Kane, becoming aware of these can help you right the ship and avoid falling into a career funk or trap.

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