How do you ensure that you do everything right for your career? The trick is simple – just avoid everything wrong. Building a career is as much about doing the right things as it is about NOT doing the wrong things.
Here is a close look at the mistakes you need to avoid if you want a successful career.
Applying for Jobs and Attending Interviews
1. Applying for every job you come across: Even if you are desperate for a job, it is best not to send in applications for jobs that are not the perfect match for you. It may lead to even more disappointment when you don’t get them.
2. Spelling errors, typos and mistakes in job correspondence: If you are careless in your correspondence when you are seeking a job, a hiring manager would be convinced that you would do the same when you are handling correspondence after you are hired.
3. Forgetting your manners is seldom forgiven: You may be the most qualified candidate for a job, but yet never get it if you arrive late for an interview. Maintaining proper etiquette is important when it comes to making a favorable impression.
4. Under-dressing and over-dressing never work: It is not a good idea to go for an interview in a T-shirt and a pair of jeans. However, it is also not the best idea to wear a tuxedo because it’s formal. Wear something suitable that you feel confident in.
5. Choosing to ask the wrong questions: Focus on the most important point – how you can benefit the company. Postpone anything about how the company can benefit you (salary, incentives and allowances) until you have made a good impression.
6. Not giving due importance to your worth: A candidate can negotiate the salary when he/she gets a job offer. There is nothing offensive about it. However, this is only a good idea after you are sure that the recruiter is impressed by your profile.
Learning and Growing
1. Failing to utilize your contacts: Doing everything on your own often leads to setbacks. Ask for help from others; consult a mentor when you face a hurdle; talk to a friend when you want to switch jobs; discuss your choices with a senior about professional courses.
2. Being uninformed about the latest: If you are not aware of the latest updates of your industry, you are way behind others in the race to bag the best jobs and pay packets. A recruiter appreciates someone with knowledge of the latest happenings in the industry.
3. Not remembering that social media has an extensive reach: Before you comment on Facebook or Tweet something, always think – is it appropriate? Anything you write may come up on an online search; you don’t want everything you think to be seen by recruiters.
4. Stopping to learn new things: If you think that your qualifications are adequate for your career, well, you are stuck in a rut! You can excel in your chosen career only if you pay attention to how you can learn and grow.
5. Not giving professional networking its due worth: Staying updated on industry trends, building industry-based contacts, documenting your achievements can be done using your professional networking profile on LinkedIn. Just pay a little attention to it.
Being a Success in the Workplace
1. Becoming the office gossip or the social castaway: Going to an extreme, either way, is going to make you extremely unpopular! It is a good idea to maintain cordial relations with your colleagues; this way, you can get a professional ally whenever you need one.
2. Complaining ceaselessly about your job: A tiresome schedule, a horrible manager, a seriously low pay package – the reasons for complaining can be any of these or more. If you are so not satisfied, try for another job. And quit complaining.
3. Neglecting people skills: No career-conscious individual is an island; you need to understand how your words and behavior affect others. Failure to do this may lead to problems and conflicts in the workplace, which is the last thing you need.
4. Working when you are sick: Unless there is something urgent, it is not necessary to act the martyr. When you are ill, take a break and get well. Physical ailment is often accompanied by mental fatigue; and you are at a risk of making the worst mistake at work at such times.
5. Keeping to the clock: It is a good thing to arrive at the office and leave on time; however, don’t let your employer or your colleagues think that the clock, and not your work, is your priority.
6. Failing to meet deadline: An employer is only impressed by an employee if he/she can complete his/her work on time. Any failure in this regard may lead to problems in the workplace. And don’t expect your manager to save you every time you fall short.
7. Failing to produce quality work: Again, a deadline is no excuse for poor quality work! If you complete the work on time but it needs to be revised a hundred times before it can be of any use, the entire effort is wasted.
8. Keeping busy with your personal life: It is a good thing to give your personal life the attention it deserves! However, it is not a good idea to do so during your office hours; after all, the recruiter is paying you to work during those hours.
9. Relying too much on your success: You never know when the tides will turn! Keep informed about the industry, keep in touch with your contacts and keep your resume updated. You never know when an economic downturn may require you to begin another job search.