Every career will have highs and lows. Days where you love work and days, well, not so much. Days where you’re on top of the world and days where you can’t seem to get one thing right.
But if you find yourself in a place where most days at work don’t feel right, it could be more than just the job causing trouble – it could be you.
Here are five professional mistakes that you may be making without knowing it. I know, because I’ve gone through every one of them.
1. Comparing Your Own Success to That of Others
One of the biggest mistakes that I used to struggle with (and still do) is comparing my own monetary success to that of my peers. How much money are they making? Where are they living? What is their job title? Are they married? Do they own a home? The list goes on…
This can be a debilitating habit. There will always, and I repeat always, be some who is more successful than you are.
Realizing that there is more than monetary value in true success is crucial to breaking this habit.
Instead of comparing monetary successes, emulate the personality successes of your peers. What personal traits do they have that make them successful?
Work on developing your own internal professional skills and knowledge first and foremost.
2. Forgetting Why You Took the Job in the First Place
The daily grind. We all face it. What was once a new and exciting career has become a series of monotonous tasks more fit for a robot than a creative individual like you.
This, of course, begins to generate a feeling of resentment towards your employer. But don’t let it. It may not be their fault.
Take a step back and remember why you took the job in the first place. What about it made you want to apply? If your daily tasks have become a different job entirely, then it’s time to talk to your manager. Ask to be given a new project or a new role within in the company. That may be all the spark you need.
If you only took the job for the money – seriously consider moving on to a different career.
3. Letting Money or Comfort Control Your Next Move
This is a big one and a common mistake for many people.
You can’t stand your job, but you’re scared to leave because you’re making more money than you would elsewhere or you’re comfortable with where you are. Sound familiar?
Making good money and feeling comfortable in a job that presents no professional advancement is sort of like taking basket weaving senior year. Sure, you got an “A,” but you wasted precious time.
And while I don’t promote job-hopping, I do think that experiencing a few different jobs in your 20’s and 30’s is a great way to find out what you are passionate about.
There is no perfect job, but there are companies that will support and challenge you to grow professionally.
4. Missing the Opportunity to Expand Your Skills/Knowledge
Ok, so you found a job that you enjoy and you’re going to stick with it. Now what?
This is the perfect opportunity for you to learn and gain as much experience as you possibly can. Tackle new projects, take certification classes, volunteer for assignments that are out of your comfort zone – simply put, do it all.
Tap into the endless knowledge and resources of your co-workers and employer. Think of everything you do as a resume-builder.
5. Gossiping At Work
There is nothing that will put a dent in your professional reputation faster than being known as the office gossiper.
Avoid any and all gossip at work. Even if it’s a small joke about what your co-worker brought in for lunch that day. Because believe it or not, people do talk and eventually your name will be brought up in a conversation that you never intended it to.
Not to mention that gossiping is a petty thing to do in the first place and doesn’t do anything to further your knowledge or skills!
What are more career-hurting mistakes that I missed above? I would love to hear your feedback in the comments below.