Everyone wants to strive for excellence in their careers. People work hard to achieve their dreams and some would even kill to climb up the professional ladder. However, no matter how skillful you are in your field, it’s possible that one can make these mistakes at work.
We’ll tell you the five biggest career mistakes that you should avoid for the sake of your beloved professional career.
1. Not knowing how to say “no”
Your boss or a fellow coworker asking for a favor from you is a common situation in the office. Saying yes to these requests is always appealing to the eyes of others as it shows that you are a hardworking employee with a can-do attitude, passion, and enthusiasm to take on new challenges at work. However, it could lead to unpleasant situations that you don’t even want to dream of.
For example, saying yes but not delivering to your promises can affect your reputation at work. They’ll think you’re all talk and no action. The next time they look for someone to do certain requests for them, you can be almost sure that it won’t be you.
Suppose that you do have the capability to accomplish all the tasks they give you. People will think you’re reliable and skilled, and worse, they will take advantage of you. This could lead to exhaustion, overworking, depression or even anger and bitterness towards the other person.
People who don’t know how to say no usually have low self-confidence and are people pleasers. You might make others happy by being their puppet, but that’s going to take a toll on you.
What to do instead:
Be confident and keep in mind that you have the right to say “no,” especially if it’s out of your skill’s range and if it’s not really your original task.
Being brief and concise when rejecting requests can help you stay confident. You don’t need to have a long list of reasons. Just simply say, “No, I can’t do it right now,” or “No, I’m busy. Sorry.”
You don’t need to feel sorry, though. Remember that it’s them asking for favors and it’s not your responsibility to do everything all the time. Focus on your original task and if you have a lot of time in your hands, then you’re free to lend a helping hand.
2. Letting your skills go stagnant
Most of the time, office workers get drowned in their work. The same tasks require the same set of skills and knowledge. Working 8 hours a day and boring routines could either make you feel comfortable or bored.
Being used to what you’ve been doing since day one might make you feel like you’ve mastered your field already, but learning is a never-ending process. There’s always something new to be taught.
What to do instead:
During your free time, sign up for seminars and courses online. Thanks to technology and the internet, the whole world sits on the palm of your hands. You can even attend lectures in your comfortable bedroom!
If your company is also providing free training, you might as well grab the chance. Companies want employees who are hungry for knowledge and opportunists.
Remember that being stagnant at work makes your skills get rusty. Look for promotion opportunities in your company! Getting a promotion means having more responsibilities and new skills to acquire. This would assure you a better profession and a better future.
3. Neglecting your network
It’s a big mistake to say entirely “no” to building your network. Most people don’t like networking because it clashes against their personality. If you’re an introverted person, you’re likely to avoid interaction with new people and just stick to close friends.
Connections are important wherever you are in the world. It could determine your future jobs and the bigger the network you have, the more chances of winning in the professional world.
Another mistake people make is not maintaining relationships with others. Employees usually try to be friendly and approachable by chatting with colleagues, but come next week, they’ll stop mingling with them, thinking those chats are enough.
The important thing is to be consistent. Befriend others just like how you want to be befriended. You don’t want a person who warmed up to you and then one day, he suddenly stopped talking to you.
What to do instead:
Take care of your network; you’ll never know when you’re going to use it. Check on them. Call, send a text message or email them once in a while to let them know you still care.
You’ve probably heard of LinkedIn, so go ahead and make a new account. Try to connect with people you’ve worked with in the past. It’s a good solution for introverts since you can like and comment on other people’s posts instead of going out of your comfortable home to attend a scheduled coffee date.
Of course, don’t forget to also give your connections something that could help them in their endeavors as well. It’s a mutual relationship so provide talent, other connections they haven’t connected with, and even job opportunities.
4. Writing bad work emails
Emails are always there to help you send important reports, files, and any other information to your colleagues. It’s easy to use, but if you’re not being cautious, you might make some email mistakes people fail to realize at work.
One mistake people do is writing work emails as if they’re sending it to a close friend. It’s true that friendships are treasured in the workplace but think twice if you’re sending it to someone in a higher position whom you’ve never talked to before.
Long emails are also dreaded by some when it comes to discussing important matters. No one wants to read a whole essay constructed with long sentences and complicated words that make your readers turn to the dictionary.
What to do instead:
Pause for a moment and think of your reader. Who are you sending this email to? Instead of using a friendly tone, switch to a professional one if you’re writing to CEOs, executive directors, and other people you don’t know.
Be concise and direct to the point. Prioritize important information and put them on the top of your letter to avoid wasting your reader’s time. Writing shorter emails will also save you the time so you can quickly send it and focus on other tasks at hand.
Most of all, never send an email when you’re angry or emotional. You might just type something you don’t want others to read, such as awful comments about another colleague. Do not underestimate what negative emotions can do.
5. Fearing change
Some people feel the need to avoid success by rejecting certain job offers, all because they’re afraid of the consequences it may bring. Some even let go of promotions thinking they might not be able to handle the new role well. This can lead to unhappiness, regrets, and a decrease in self-confidence.
When people don’t want to get out of their comfort zone, they become forever scared of the world outside. Some people think that they could maintain the status quo forever but truth be told, nothing lasts forever. Everything changes at the right time and we have to brace ourselves with no choice but to adapt.
What to do instead:
Embrace change. It is inevitable and is a part of life. Accept the fact that every single thing around you changes and you should too!
Do not hate yourself or the people around you as it will hinder you from changing. Instead, learn from your mistakes and try again.
But most importantly, never fear making mistakes. To err is human and everyone makes grave mistakes at some point in their lives. If you ever make one, don’t dwell on it. Focus on what you can do to solve the problem and move forward.
We should take a good look at ourselves and be aware of the situation to avoid these mistakes at work. As one would expect, honest mistakes happen from time to time. What’s important is that one knows how to get up on their feet and get back on track.