Everyone longs to achieve lifelong success in their careers. Success in itself is a function of courage, action, good strategy and persistence all these colliding with opportunity.
To the contrary, certain actions could guarantee you failure in your pursuit for career success.
Any professional seeking success and fulfillment in their career path should avoid making the following 7 mistakes.
1. Not upgrading your skills
When pursuing a particular career, it is crucial to know what set of skills you need to gain to be successful if not outstanding.
Finding opportunities to develop certain skill sets will lubricate your career path.
You can research your specialty and focus on gaining the necessary qualifications that can be required.
The more specialized your career plans, the more specific the skills you need to gain. This can play a role in what you focus on during your educational experiences during and after university.
Once you get on the right path in your career, you can continue to focus on developing your skill set through continuing education or other professional development programmes.
To move progress in your career, you need to identify as early as possible the obstacles that could prevent you from advancing.
Having these in mind empowers you to enroll for the relevant educational courses that help you expand your skill set and takes you closer to your career dreams.
2. Failing to networking
Developing a strong professional social network is one way to build the appropriate support system you need to advance your career. At each job in your career, you can focus on gaining new contacts while maintaining previous ones.
When kicking off your career, you should seek out to partner with other professionals in your situation to share their progress in their jobs or organizations. Later in your career, you can then identify other members of your workforce to network with and create specific teams to complete projects.
Having professional confidants to discuss and share challenges with, can allow you to identify issues that might arise during the course of your career.
You can develop mutually beneficial professional relationships that can be supportive during more difficult periods.
3. Failing to define achievable goals
You should establish achievable goals upon which you can focus your energies for a productive career pursuit.
Prior to or once you join the labour market, you can create a list of SMART goals which after a period of execution time, should then be reviewed to find out the extent of success ad re-plan where necessary.
Making reasonable action-oriented goals can allow you to clearly plan what you need to achieve to be promoted in your career.
You can assess what you have done in the past and use this information to move forward into areas you can excel and also learn new concepts.
Keeping your personal professional goals in line with your day-to-day work allows you to focus on how to develop a more successful career.
4. Solely focusing on money benefits
Considering your passion when choosing a career can help you avoid making the mistake of overly focusing on the money returns of a job.
While salary is one of the determinants of choosing a job, it should not blind you from making a wise decision of choosing a job that will offer great learning and growth opportunities besides what you have a passion for.
The immediate monetary reward might be lower but the long term benefits will eventually outdo the sacrifice and great decision that you made.
5. Ignoring professional advice
When you start working, you MUST find mentors to get advice from to enhance your professional prospects. This are senior professionals who will help you see beyond you current horizon line.
Mentors will provide real world advice and give an opinion that you can use to make your progression less difficult.
Balancing the opinion of others against your own personal work experiences can allow you to find optimal strategies for growth.
Identifying and then working with mentors will help you grow more rapidly within the ranks of an organisation. It can be time-consuming to find people in the work environment to mentor you but the reward will be worth the struggle.
6. Ignoring personal career research
You should research the various career paths that are available to avoid pursuing fields that might not be conducive to your interests.
You can search online sources and discuss your interests with trusted individuals to further discover unexplored career opportunities. This will allow you find unique paths that you didn’t know before.
Regardless of your area of specialization, you can continually look for new trends or opportunities that could arise in your specific field. This constant inquiry can uncover opportunities not be widely known.
You can also predict professional and technological trends that might be affecting your chosen field and be better prepared for any future changes that could occur.
7. Failing to market your personal brand
To have a fulfilling career, you must learn and know how to sell yourself, you must know how to present your worth or value to the right “buyers”.
For instance, some people do not have the confidence to deal with getting a promotion within a very short time. Such people don’t put a lot of effort into standing out at work.
This leads them to remain at a certain position for longer than normal. As expected, this will hinder their career advancement plans.
The right thing to do is to develop the ability to express the energy and ideas that you bring to the work environment. This gets you noticed by your superiors and in due time, the rewards will come.
The above mentioned mistakes can injure you career ambitions. Discovering the solutions will instead guarantee you a more fulfilling career.
The good thing is that most of these mistakes can be avoided with prior knowledge and mentorship. The fact that others made these mistakes doesn’t mean you should have to deal with the same issues. Rather, consider it a learning curve.