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Top 7 Career Development Mistakes

Top 7 Career Development Mistakes

Some people tend to get complacent once they get a job. Many hope that the company will always give them their just rewards while others put their trust in karma. These are the professional mistakes that can make sure your career never reaches your desired level. When it comes to career development mistakes, there are some obvious pitfalls you should avoid.

HiCounselor is the best career accelerator for freshers and professionals with lesser experience. As part of our effort to help people reach their full professional potential, we’ve listed some career development mistakes you should avoid. If you need more help in boosting your career or acing interviews, contact us and one of our experts will help you out!

1. No Plan in Place

Some people like to have very well-defined career plans, while others have a sense of the career path they want. Either of those can work for you but what will not work, is not having a career plan at all. You should have an idea of what you want from your career at every stage, how much time it’ll require and what you’re willing to put in. Without a career development plan, you don’t really have any idea of where you’re headed. You also won’t have any way to track your progress and see what area requires more effort.

2. Getting Comfortable

There’s nothing wrong with being relaxed at your workplace but “settling” shouldn’t be part of your career development plan. If your job is dead-end or you didn’t get the promotion you were promised, move on to greener pastures. Sometimes people form emotional ties with colleagues or stick to a job because it’s closer to their workplace. If your colleagues are really your friends, you can keep in touch with them through a myriad of ways. If you prioritize your convenience, you might just slow down your career growth. 

3. Not Asking 

This is a big no-no when it comes to proper career development! You must ask in order to get, and that works in a number of ways. Say you’ve been told to do a task but given no guidance about how to do it. If Google can’t help you out, you should simply ask how they want the work done instead of risking doing it wrong. If you want a salary raise or promotion, don’t assume your manager will notice your hard work and reward you, ask for it! Not asking and just assuming can lead to a world of disappointment. 

4. Not Networking

This is another big career development mistake you should avoid. Keep in mind this Maya Angelou quote to stay motivated to network: “'I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

It can be harder to network when you’re an introvert or don’t have much in common with your colleagues but making friends with the people you’ll spend most of the day with can be very beneficial. Communication skills and teamwork are something most jobs require so it’s worthwhile to sharpen these skills. 

5. Ignoring Soft Skills

If you’re a bit of a go-getter, you might want to just charge ahead with your career development plan. Despite having all the right qualifications and experience, you can still hit hurdles if you don’t work on your soft skills. Soft skills include conflict resolution, communication skills, teamwork, decision-making and overall emotional intelligence. 

The higher you rise in your career, the more important soft skills become. It isn’t enough to know how to do your job and how to do it well, you should also know how to manage others and motivate them to get the work done. So, if you want your career development to be smooth, make sure you work on improving these soft skills. 

6. Taking Incompatible Jobs 

Sometimes we can end up taking a job that we’re not passionate about. The downside of this is that it’s going to be harder to pursue your career development when you don’t care about the job. Notice the people who pick and quit jobs with ease, and you’ll see that they usually don’t care too much about that field. 

If you’re confused about your career path, you can take an aptitude test to see which fields would be the best fit. You can then talk to professionals in those fields and conduct some research to understand them better. Pick a profession that aligns with things you like to also make sure you get a higher level of job satisfaction. 

7. Switching Industries Pointlessly

A career change isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes we realize something isn’t for us once we’re already in it, and it isn’t wrong to change course once you reach that realization. However, if you just switch industries without any plan, you might find yourself being underpaid while overworking for no good reason. You might also end up spending time and money on obtaining new certifications, which won’t help your career development.

Before you switch industries, make sure it’s really the job that you dislike or find uninteresting. Sometimes a toxic work environment can make us want to switch fields when we should merely switch jobs. Maybe an unhelpful team lead/boss is making you feel untalented? Maybe you just need to improve in some areas? Maybe your personal life is stressful and you feel overburdened? A career switch is a big deal so give it some thought before you do it. 

We hope this list helps you avoid some common career development mistakes! There’s nothing worse than having the potential but missing the mark because you didn’t think things through. If you need expert help in getting your career on the right track, HiCounselor might be what you’re looking for. Get in touch with us to see how we can help you get on the right professional path!