Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
CAREER DEVELOPMENT / DEC. 22, 2014
version 2, draft 2

How to Avoid Recurring Career Mistakes

Mistakes are an essential part of life. They basically enlighten us on where we went wrong. It is up to us to rectify the situation and resolve not to repeat the same mistake again. Problem is though, there are recurring career mistakes that we always find ourselves stumbling upon over and over again. And the interesting bit is, you may not notice them unless you look at the bigger picture. Let’s see the kind of mistakes I’m referring to...

Neglect of Resolutions

This is a very uncanny career mistake that we are fond of. We resolve year after year only to achieve roughly 10% of what we aim for. We get so carried away by the same repetitive tasks in our respective careers that we find our resolutions too inconveniencing so to speak. We then carry these resolutions forward over and over again because we lack the necessary resolve needed to achieve them 100%.

Not refreshing on Career Knowledge Gained

This is another recurring career mistake that affects us on a daily basis. For instance, it is quite rare to find someone bookmarking their favourite career article for future reference. Same case applies to career conferences and expos that we attend. The notes that we take are reserved in the ’archives’ and we forget that they existed within a week. We rarely follow up on the career advice that we get; such that we find ourselves in a cycle of repeating the same mistakes, looking for same advice, forgetting the advice as soon as we get it and repeating the same mistake all over again.

Not maintaining Career Connections and Acquaintances

Peer influence is a great force that has largely been viewed in the aspect of negativity. We are always reminded of how our friends can turn out to be a major source of negative peer influence. And for some reason, we are so efficient in acclimatising to bad company. On the flip side however, many of us find career influence boring because there is no ’spark of evil and excitement’ so to speak. So we find ourselves neglecting our career acquaintances while at the same time efficiently and conveniently entertaining bad company.

Obsession with past Career Achievements

There are people that are really good at displaying their career medals and accolades. Not that it’s bad to do so, but there is also the risk of revering yourself. Ego is the greatest weakness of career super-achievers. And so it reaches a point where one is so carried away by past achievements that they neglect the present challenges that might require even more attention and dedication than previous ones.

Going solo on your Career Journey

Many people are currently on a lonely career journey. Maybe they’re too busy to connect with others. Or it might be that negative job market trends generate a sense of insecurity to a point where isolation seems to be the viable option. Then there are others that have made some serious enemies on their way to the top. Such factors definitely make us feel caged in, unloved and insignificant in our respective careers. It then reaches a point where you feel like the whole world is against you.

How then Does one Avoid Recurring Career Mistakes?

#1 Have concrete reminders in place

We cannot play with fire because we have more than enough reminders in our minds of its destructive potential. Similarly, there are career mistakes that we can’t entertain because we do remember how things went south earlier on. Problem is though, if your recurring mistake lacks a defining reminder, then you’re bound to repeat it. For instance, penning your flaws on a diary might help you make the necessary reference as a reminder in case you’re about to make a recurring mistake. The key here is to thoroughly reminisce on these mistakes and enforce them in your mind. All it takes is for you to repeatedly remind yourself of the destructive consequences in case you linger on.

#2 Avoid keeping issues to yourself

Life has an abundance of challenges. However, people make the mistakes of heaping so many problems on themselves to a point where they’re practically unsolvable. It wouldn’t hurt to ask for a helping hand from a career acquaintance or mentor for that matter. Ultimately, you’ve got to learn to be honest with yourself first. That way, you can comprehensively share your challenges and in return, your friends will act as coaches that keep a close eye on any recurring mistakes that you’re bound to face in future.

#3 Have a Career Roadmap

When we talk of a recurring event, we are referring to a cycle that constantly brings you back to square one. So basically, you can’t know whether you’re avoiding recurring career mistakes unless you draft a roadmap. This should give you perspective on the progress you’re making, Plus, it will reveal to you other recurring mistakes from a detailed perspective because the ones we’ve discussed are part of the bigger picture.

I think the biggest hindrance to overcoming recurring mistakes is to overlook them. Then again, there are those that blatantly deny their mistakes because they’re unwilling to change. As Harold J. Smith once said, "More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren’t so busy denying them."

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