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8 Career Mistakes that you are most likely doing!

These mistakes can reduce happiness at work and overall quality of life.

A group of employees discussing career mistakes at work.

We all want to get ahead in our careers and focus on what we should do. In that process, we end up committing several mistakes. There's nothing to worry about mistakes, the truth is, if you aren't making career mistakes, you aren't trying.

However, the career mistakes that you should worry about most are the ones that move more slowly - sometimes too slowly to notice. This is when it's too easy to get stuck in a rut in your career. According to research, the average worker's salary plateaus and then starts declining, earlier than you'd think. In fact, research shows that income growth virtually grinds to a halt by age 35.

You have more control over your career than you think. Do more interesting, fulfilling, and lucrative work, and get your career back on track by avoiding these common career mistakes -

  • Not asking for a Raise - Asking for a raise is what many of us tend to avoid, in particular, introverts. If it makes you uncomfortable, you need to start getting comfortable with the idea that a raise will bring you closer to financial security. Your superiors may not notice your contributions or even remember when your last raise was. You need to remind them by stating the value you bring to the company. Know your worth in the market as well to be more reasonable with your demands.

  • Not networking - Networking is simply the best possible way for you to climb the corporate ladder. No matter what stage you are at in your career, networking matters. It will help you make connections, switch companies, and even switch career paths.

  • Burning bridges - Toxic workplaces can get the worst out of an individual. It can be super tempting to cut off all contact from a workplace as such and say good riddance. But you shouldn't. Leave your job without burning bridges because you never know when you might need the help of your previous employer. Also, background checks are conducted before you join a workplace where they may contact your past workplaces.

A woman stressed about her career mistake at her work desk.
  • Sticking to the same field - This is not a mistake if you like the field you are working in and would like to continue doing so. However, if you hate it and are still not making a move, the problem is you. It does not matter how many years you've spent in that particular field, if you want to switch career paths, you can do it at any age and start from scratch. Learn new skills and take on roles that are of interest to you.

  • Not being happy at work - Many people are unhappy at work - this could be a dislike to the field of work they are in, or a toxic workplace, or a poor work-life balance, or just not being paid enough. You spend 1/3rd of your life working, make sure it is work that you enjoy and love and not one that negatively affects your mental and physical well-being.

  • Being too comfortable with your job - Once we land a job, we tend to get too comfortable with it. We sort of get adjusted into this new role and make it our comfort zone - because we know our daily tasks, duties, and responsibilities - we ignore thinking about learning new skills. Keeping your skills sharp beyond what's needed for your daily tasks will help you grow. In a competitive world, if you want to progress, you need to continually learn and upgrade yourself.

  • Putting your career ahead of your life - You may love the work that you do and it can easily be your top priority. But you always need a balance. Give equal importance to your health and your loved ones. If you always find that you don't have enough time, find ways to cut back on your tasks or to complete your tasks in lesser time. If you are still unable to do it, then you are most likely overworked and need a reduction in your responsibilities.

  • Letting someone else make your decisions - Are you always looking to others for advice? Do you make your decisions based on what others would do? Turning to others for advice is great but you cannot let someone else make your career decisions. Neither can you make those decisions based on what they are doing. Follow your own voice of reason and trust your instincts. You will not regret your decisions.

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