In your life and career, you are going to make a hell lot of mistakes. So you may job-hop from one job to another, make a wrong turn and find yourself in a job you don’t like, or even burn your bridges with an employer. Despite not wanting any of this happening to you, sometimes you just can’t control it. You never know which job you are going to end up in or whether you will like working for an employer or not until you give it a shot.
Obviously, I am not saying that these are mistakes that you are bound to make, but are some that you may need to face in your career journey. However, this is not always a bad thing.
At its best, mistakes are a way of life teaching you a lesson, and that’s why you should never consider them as detrimental or fatal. Essentially, these make you who you are; they shape your character and help you develop a set of core values and beliefs that you carry with you at all times, and you apply these in your area of work.
Perhaps the biggest career mistake that you can make though is settling for a job that you don’t enjoy. Waiting too long to change career direction – or not doing nothing about it at all can cause more damage to your professional life than any other mistake you will ever make.
The reason you shouldn’t stay in a job that you consider as ‘just your job,’ is that life is too short for such compromises. This job may be holding you back from something you want to do career-wise, doesn’t help you develop professionally and makes catching up with the changing work environment difficult for you. While I am not saying that you are going to do it, at some point in your career you may be tempted to say ‘I am just fine where I am, I don’t want to change – (or even worse) not willing to do so’.
In fact, coming up with hundreds of excuses to convince yourself that you should stay in it is the same as staying in an average relationship with a person that doesn’t help you improve or holds you back from realising your potential. The sad thing is that most people choose to do it out of fear, and stay in the dysfunctional situation despite being unhappy. So instead of doing something you love it becomes an obligation and quite frankly, I don’t think you want that from your career.
Luckily there is a way to avoid this mistake and make the transition easier for you. Here’s how you can help yourself get out of a job that doesn’t make you happy and has nothing to give you in return:
#1 Become More Flexible
Whether we like it or not, the job market is constantly evolving. Unless you are willing to jump out of your comfort zone and try something different, you aren’t going to be able to keep up. Even if you do like your job, there is nothing to say that you will stay in it for a lifetime, and there are many factors that can determine how long you are going to stay in it such as your employer’s financial situation, the stability of your industry or your relationship with your managers and colleagues.
#2 Invest in Your Skills
The most effective way to ensure that you don’t fall behind in the competitive work environment is to learn new skills. Whether you are building on your existing abilities or looking into a new areas and possibilities, this should help you stay current, adaptable and open to change. The secret is to stay passionately curious about what you do while investing in your key strengths.
#3 Think About Your Network
No matter how bad you want to make it work, getting into just ‘any job’ won’t do it for you. Getting along with your peers is crucial to working in a motivating and friendly work environment. But, if you cannot truly connect with them this might be the reason why you are not satisfied with your current situation. Before you are ready to make the change – and look out for the next job, think about what you can do to better engage with your colleagues.
Staying in a job that makes you unhappy won’t make you successful in your career. This is the one big mistake that you should avoid at all costs.
So, what is the biggest career mistake that you can make? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below…