The rat race is consistently fast-paced and overwhelming. You have to deal with deadlines, social dynamics, and yes – a lot of unfairness. Throughout this time, it is easy to get complacent, which can turn your career into simply “your job.”
Today we’re going to talk about some mistakes that can be easily avoided with a little foresight and confidence. We’ll explain what not to do and advise you on a better way to proceed so that you can move forward in your career and get ahead – as you deserve!
What Exactly Is a Career-Limiting Mistake?
A lot of things can fall under the category of career-limiting mistakes. What it means is simply a mistake or a bad habit that lowers your chances of being promoted or otherwise empowered on your chosen career path.
Let’s see some examples of common mistakes that you should avoid.
Learn When to Say No
One strong example is making the mistake of taking every project that is thrown your way. Yes, you are good at what you do, but your boss is sometimes going to ask you to do more than you can handle, and if you say “yes” then you are making a huge mistake.
The better thing to do is this. Tell your boss that you would be happy to work on that project, but that you also have other projects that you are working on. Ask him to decide who should wait.
Your boss might surprise you and tell you to put other projects on hold. Sometimes they too, are busy, and might not know you were otherwise engaged.
More often than not, they did know, but when you force them to choose which client has to wait they worry about repercussions from their boss and they will respectfully back off.
Never Try to Hide a Mistake
Sometimes you make a mistake at work. It’s inevitable. A deadline is approaching and you know very well that you cannot possibly meet it. The worst thing that you can do is to try to hide this.
When you fail to meet a deadline, it affects the people above you as well. They really do not like it when you make them look bad.
If instead, you fess up and tell your boss that you need help to meet the deadline, they can often get a coworker or other resources to help you to get the job done.
They will respect you for not trying to hide things (as long as it’s not a habitual thing).
Management deals with people hiding their mistakes every day and if you are a hard worker and you simply made a mistake, you need to tell them right away and your career will be better for it. Trust us on this.
Don’t Be Afraid to Make Judgement Calls
Very often you are heading a project and something comes up that needs to be dealt with NOW.
For whatever reason, you can’t get a hold of the person that you report to and resources need to be obtained or a judgement call needs to be made.
First off, relax, you’ve got this. This is your career. You know how things are done and you probably know already what your boss would do, so make the call.
Yes, it might be wrong, but more often than not your boss will be pleased that you can make the hard decisions because that is the mark of a leader.
Don’t Pass Up on Useful Training
Too often we get complacent in our jobs. We could do the job in our sleep and that’s a comfortable thing. So, we simply just keep doing our jobs well and hoping that eventually, we’re going to get noticed and promoted.
That’s not always how you get promoted, though. And it’s a dangerously passive-aggressive way to promote your career.
Most companies offer free training that is there to take advantage of. Ask your boss about it if you aren’t aware of any training options. You might be pleasantly surprised. Next, do all the free training that you can which you feel applies to your career.
The more you know, the more your company can use you. When they see that you are willing to be the best, they will take notice and you will rise in the ranks.
After all, if you were in charge, who would you promote? The ambitious go-getter that constantly develops new skills that the company can use or the person who simply does their job every day?
Some Final Words
Getting ahead in your career is not something that you can do from a standstill, so start taking charge today!
- Learn when to say no.
- Fess up to your mistakes so that your boss (and you) can learn from them.
- Make those hard judgment calls.
- never turn down a free chance at career-enhancing skills.
By taking a proactive approach you can take the boredom out of your career and start feeling that ambition again that you felt on your first day working there.
Don’t make those career-limiting mistakes that we’ve discussed today and you will find yourself on the path to a career that you can truly be proud of.
You can see the prize… now go out there and get it!
Image credit:[Poppy Thomas]