Stuck in a rut at work? Frustrated with the company you work for? Feeling like you’re not moving up? Maybe you’ve been making some career-limiting mistakes.
The path to establishing a career isn’t always as smooth for some as it is for others. Often times, we are mislead into believing that finding our dream job will happen sooner rather than later. At some point, most of us will find ourselves feeling trapped in a job that isn’t exactly what we expected. It can be stifling to creativity and can reduce overall productivity. The most critical thing to remember is not to remain stuck in that type of situation for too long. In his article, “10 career-limiting mistakes to avoid,” Steve Tobak explains the key reasons for lack of workplace satisfaction and career-limiting mistakes, and he also provides great tips on how to make positive changes in your career path with smart choices. With a little effort, you just might find yourself with the career you have been longing for.
Read about several career-limiting mistakes to avoid in an excerpt from this article.
Sticking with a loser company. Companies are like airplanes; you’re not the pilot and you didn’t design or build the plane. You just go where it goes. All too often, that’s nowhere. You get complacent and, next thing you know, your career has flatlined and your time has run out. You need to think of employers as business opportunities; you want as many as possible to be winners.
Not asking tough questions. When I was a young engineer, I got a mediocre review. I was upset, so I asked my boss and then his boss why. Finally, I was told that nobody knew what I was working on. So I made it my mission to work on high visibility programs that were of great importance to management. That was the key that unlocked all sorts of opportunities. Who knew?
Not putting yourself out there. The vast majority of people find a comfort zone and settle in there. They don’t aggressively manage their careers. That’s fine, as long as you don’t mind waking up 10 years later in the same job. If you want to get ahead, you need to network,schmooze and open yourself up to opportunities.
Trusting that your employer will take care of you. There are so many things wrong with that sentence. Don’t trust your career to anyone but you. Your employer most likely sees you as an expendable, replaceable, at-will worker. You know, trust is built on two things in corporate America: a pattern of behavior and legal agreements. And I wouldn’t trust the former without the latter.
Thinking you’re entitled to more. You’re entitled to what you earn. No more, no less. If you expect more than you work for and deserve, you’ll get nowhere and end up blaming everyone but the one person who could have done something about it: you. That’s just how it is, like it or not.
Not taking enough risks. No risk, no reward. The only real risk is not taking any. The poet Robert Browning said, “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp.” Pick your phrase and own it. You need to take risks. And if you take more when you’re younger, you won’t have to take so many when you’re older.
Making work about you. Business is about business; it’s not about you. It’s not about what you want, what you like, what you think of your boss or your coworkers, or even your principles. If you don’t like where you are and what you’re doing, quit and go somewhere else. It’s a free country. Or start your own business. Then you can do whatever you want.
Thinking it’s not about the money. It’s absolutely true that you should do what you’re passionate about; that is the best way to achieve success. Just don’t make believe money doesn’t count. In Facebook’s IPO filing, CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks a lot about the company’s social mission, but he didn’t end up with 28 percent of the stock after all those rounds of funding by ignoring the money.