Mistake-Free Career Management and Job SearchPosted: December 2, 2013
Is there such a thing as mistake-free career management and job search? In a perfect world, maybe; however, you probably don’t live in a perfect world, so the odds are that you’ll make a mistake here and there throughout your career. That said, you can certainly make a concerted effort to avoid mistakes that have a devastating (or even somewhat disrupting) effect on your professional career progress.
Two Mistakes to Avoid
I could list dozens of career management and job search mistakes that my clients (and I, in a former life) have made over the years. The full list might make for depressing reading, but I do want to mention a few, starting with what I might call the “top two.”
- Assume that you can always be in control–and “manage” your career and jobs from that mindset.
- Assume that you’re never going to be in control–and “manage” your career and jobs from that mindset.
I firmly believe that no one–up to and including senior managers and executives–can control every aspect of his/her career progress and job performance. On the other hand, savvy career managers and job seekers know they can exert substantial impact in those areas. In short: you can and should avoid the two mistakes just mentioned.
Five Other Career Management and Job Search Mistakes to Avoid
- Fail to track your progress toward goals–or fail to establish achievable goals in the first place. That can lead to wandering aimlessly and never reaching the desired outcome.
- Believe that others are responsible for your progress or lack thereof. Undeniably, others can have an impact–sometimes a significant one–but that doesn’t mean you should abdicate your responsibility to manage your own career or job search.
- Ignore warning signs that trouble lies ahead, whether in your group, your company, your industry or the world at large.
- Become complacent when everything seems to be going smoothly. Yes, enjoy the ride while it lasts, but don’t assume it will last indefinitely.
- Put all your eggs in one basket. Just as your company can’t afford the risk of depending on one major customer for its long-term success, so you can’t and shouldn’t depend on your company to provide long-term career success and financial prosperity.
Mistake-Free Career Management and Job Search? Seriously?
As we enter the last month of 2013, consider this: If you want something to change for the better in your job or your career, you need to put serious muscle behind making that happen. So, what are you going to do about that? You can start by avoiding the mistakes I’ve mentioned or identifying others you might have made in the past and taking remedial action to prevent repeating them. You can’t pass the responsibility off to someone else. It’s up to you–Santa isn’t going to put it underneath your Christmas tree!