Women In Business

The 11 worst career mistakes you can make

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Everybody makes mistakes. But businesswomen are often scrutinized for career mistakes that, let’s face it, the men simply wouldn’t worry about. Unfair? Yes. Reality? Also yes. And when it comes to your business and your career it can have detrimental consequences. So be savvy and secure yourself a successful future by avoiding these very common career mistakes businesswomen often make.

1. The trap of job certainty

No job is secure and everyone is replaceable. Accept that. Now move on. Do your best and don’t analyse every meeting your boss has without you, or every mistake you make, assuming it means you are out the door.

Certainly, people are attracted to confidence. Therefore remain confident in your job and in your abilities at all times. In such a competitive environment, employers want to see you take control and get on with it.

But always be prepared, always have a plan. And always watch your back.

2. Neglecting growth

When you start a job, the possibilities are endless. Whether you start at the very bottom or somewhere in the middle, the only way is up.

So, when you apply for a job, don’t limit yourself to only doing that job. Perhaps as early as the interview, have somewhere in mind that you’d like to go during your career. Just don’t say it IN the actual interview.

Take on extra projects that don’t only impress your boss (lets face it they may feel threatened by you doing this) but that also impresses their boss (the one that makes all the decisions).

Last but not least — make sure you dress for the job you want and not the job you have.

3. Making a career change without a plan

If you are thinking of leaving your current job, stop and have a think about what your plan is. DOn’t leave a job without another one to go to.

Remember too that the best time to get your ideal job is when you’re in your ideal job.

Having a job whilst you are looking for another one helps you with your negotiations at both ends and assists with you ability to call bluff.

If you are stuck in the job you are in then change your mentality. See it as they are paying YOU to learn so take on extra projects and try new things.

4. Burning bridges

Some mistakes can be fixed, others can’t — like burning bridges that you may need to cross one day in the future. It is a very small world, so be careful what you say to whom. People may pretend to be your friends but as we have mentioned before, there are no friends in business.

So even if you and your boss/colleague don’t get along personally, doesn’t mean the relationship is lost. In true professional fashion, you should both be able to put personal differences aside and just get on with the job. If they can’t, that doesn’t matter – you take the higher road. Who knows, they may end up working for you one day (nice thought isn’t it?)

5. Not challenging yourself

Don’t fall into the trap of believing that you know everything and that there are no more challenges ahead of you. There ere are always new things you can learn and new challenges to set yourself.

This may mean re-educating yourself, going to Uni, college or taking on a course somewhere. Learning should be a fun experience so see it as such.

On the plus side, this keeps you employable, ready for a promotion and even a better job.

6. Not networking

Making new contacts through industry and company events can be a very helpful thing for future work projects. In fact it is crucial to success in any career these days.

Don’t think it is just for the talkers, the marketers or the sales people. Make sure you introduce yourself (connect with) people in the ofifce at ALL levels (yes even the PA and the baord of directors) Also attend events, industry events and others outside of your industry. You never know who you might meet, what impression you’ll make on them (hopefully a great one) or how you might help each other in the future.

So, be brave, say “hi” we are all human and most of us enjoy polite conversation and meeting new people.

7. Not giving it your all

Don’t do the bare minimum work. Of course this doesn’t mean you bust yourself stupid and set a standard you can’t maintain. Although being strategic with your time and mixing up working hard and smart — you will come out on top and impress the right people. Putting everything you have into a project can go a long way to showing your boss what you’re made of.

And it can also show your boss just how hard you work, how well you use your skills and how well you challenge yourself.

8. Lacking confidence

A lack of confidence is just as oozing with too much ego-driven confidence. It may not seem fair although if people perceive you to lack confidence, it can hurt your career. Lacking confidence gives the impress you are uncertain about yourself, your skills and what your role is within the team and company you work for – when we know that it can be something as little as not feeling comfortable speaking up in public.

When it comes to confidence make sure you fake it until you make it and remember that everyone else feels the same way too.

9. Failing to delegate

The team’s workload does not have to fall only on you. If there are people around you (and there probably are), let them help you be delegating a few pieces of the puzzle for them to work on.

Also, not delegating could be a sign that you’re afraid to ask people for help or that you’re too controlling. So learn how to delegate and let people help you.

10. Taking a back seat

Don’t get pushed aside. If you always sit in the back and don’t raise your hand, you will never be noticed.

Also don’t be afraid to sit in the front row, show that you’re interested and know that you belong there.

So stand up and be noticed.

11. Doing too much for others

If you don’t value your time, no one else will. Ok. While there’s nothing with helping people out, at some point you will have to say no.

Because if you don’t, two things will happen: 1. You won’t get your work done when you want; and 2. People will think you’re a pushover.

So, for everyone’s sake, especially yours, say ‘no’ every now and again to set some boundaries of when it is and is not ok to ask you for help.

Making mistakes is part of life but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to avoid making them – especially the serious ones.

Basically, all the people who have gone before you should be the examples to follow and learn from, because they have made all the mistakes you shouldn’t make in your career.

 

About Rowena Nagy

Rowena Nagy is a Journalist at The Business Woman Media. A graduate in Journalism, Media and Communications, she is passionate about in writing, travel journalism, video journalism and Public Relations.

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1 Comment

  1. Thomasina

    April 18, 2016 at 10:24 am

    You’re a very practical website; could not make it without ya!

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