Are you unhappy at work but don’t know why? Have you been waiting for a raise that never comes? Do you know what you need to do get ahead?
If your career isn’t heading in the direction you want, you may be making mistakes you aren’t even aware of.
Here are 10 mistakes that can put you off course.
Trust Your Head and Heart to Make Good Career Decisions
1. Putting your career ahead of your life
Your career is important. There’s no question about that. But life is all about balance.
You’ll be happiest in your job if you take care of yourself in all aspects of life. Your family, friends, hobbies, passions, mental health, and social life are all important too!
Continue to work hard at your career, but try to find a work-life balance that’s best for you.
2. Staying unhappy
Pursuing a career you love can make you happy, but not every job you can have in that career can be an ideal fit.
If you find yourself unhappy at work, you’re not alone. If your job is making you stressed and miserable, it may be time to move on. If that’s not an option, you’ll need to change your outlook, plan for change, and find ways to make your work more rewarding.
3. Staying stuck
Careers don’t have to be forever.
If your work no longer brings you satisfaction and joy, it may be time to launch a new career. Stay focused on learning new marketable skills and keep an eye on opportunities that interest you.
Ongoing learning and development are important even when your current career suits you fine. To get ahead, you can’t stay stuck in one place. You’ll need to take on new challenges, embrace new opportunities, and work on keeping your skills up to date.
4. Fearing failure
Failure can be a better teacher than success, but the fear of failure can hold you back. If you’re afraid of failure, you’ll never be able to learn from your mistakes.
Even the most confident people can be afraid sometimes, but they use proven strategies to manage their fear. You can do this too.
5. Neglecting your networks
Networking is important no matter where you’re at in your career. The connections you make with other people can enrich your life, improve your skills, and even help you get a promotion or a raise.
It’s important to build your networks both inside and outside your company.
To build relationships at work, be a good team player. Be friendly, positive, and ready to offer a helping hand. And don’t miss out on office events like lunches or volunteer days.
To build your network outside the workplace, join a professional association. Get involved and attend events.
Using social media can help you stay in touch with your network. You can create a group to share industry information and updates about your career. But always remember that social media is a public space. Keep your posts professional!
6. Behaving unprofessionally
Professional behaviour in the workplace includes the way you look, speak, and behave. It should go without saying, but professional behaviour includes being polite and treating people with respect.
We’ve all had days when we don’t look our best, but those should be the exception. The way you dress is especially important if you have a new boss or you’re meeting a new client. It could make or break your chances of getting a promotion or landing a new account.
Professional behaviour means that you’re helpful, positive, ethical, honest, responsible, and reliable. It means you show up on time. You work hard. You don’t waste time. And you don’t miss deadlines.
7. Not setting career goals
TIP: It’s important to share your career goals with your boss. Your boss can be a mentor who gives you invaluable guidance and advice.
Setting goals can help you stay focused and motivated. It can help you plan and set priorities, and it can keep you on track for ongoing growth and learning.
Setting goals helps you stay in control of your future. Short-term goals can grow your skills and boost your self-esteem. Long-term goals can provide a path to advance your career and a framework for monitoring your progress.
8. Not negotiating
Before you accept a job offer, you should negotiate your salary and benefits. If you’re laid off from a job, you should negotiate your severance package. Negotiating can often get you more than what your employer first proposes.
When you’re offered a position, let your employer know your salary expectations right away. Make sure you’ve done your research first. You’ll need to support your negotiation with statistics about what’s standard in your industry and what’s fair for someone with your skills and experience.
9. Not seeking a mentor
Having a mentor is important for your personal and professional development. A mentor is a trusted advisor who can answer your questions, guide you, encourage you, and offer resources and advice. Having a mentor can make your work life more satisfying and help you succeed in your career.
10. Not asking for a raise
Asking for a raise can be stressful. But if you want to grow in your career, you need to know your worth.
You shouldn’t be afraid to ask for a raise. In fact, most bosses will respect the initiative and confidence it takes to ask. But it’s important to be prepared and ask the right way.
Do your research. Pick the right moment. And present yourself with confidence and gratitude.
You’ve got nothing to lose.
If you’re a great employee and you have the right attitude, you won’t get fired for asking for a raise. And if you don’t ask, you could be hurting yourself.