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Sunday, 27 July 2014

5 Simple Career Mistakes You Will Regret In 12 Years

Several individuals tend to navigate their careers as if they are just paddling across a small lake or river and not navigating like they are sailing across an ocean. Often times we make career decisions on a short term bases, just focusing on completing the task at hand, competing for the next available promotion, or outperforming a co-worker. But what I’ve learnt over the years is that sometimes the decisions that are seemingly minor can have major impacts on the direction of your career. 
Here are five important career mistakes to avoid: 

Failing to network outside of your company.
In the business or working world many individuals are aware of the importance of networking- not the old- fashion “glad-handing”, attending specially occasions or events, sharing business cards, but genuine relationship building. Being open to new ideas, suggestions and expanding your prospective to that of people from other organizations. Creating relationships that will that make your daily duties and task easier and more successful is vital. But too often persons make the mistake of limiting their networking activities to within their company only. Customs and cultures can be vastly different, as persons who have worked in numerous different companies know. Exposure to different perspectives and new ideas requires an open mind towards other cultures and getting outside the circle of co-workers or colleagues who you usually interact with. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket! Sometimes, the professional relationships that have the most influences on your career are the ones outside of your own company- particularly when you are going through tough times. I am not saying building relationships is going to be easy, but investing in these relationships outside of your organization will definitely pay off in the long run.    

2.    Make decisions based on how much you earn
Studies show that no matter how much money we earn, we always want to earn at least 20% more. Most if not all, usually find it difficult to resist a raise, promotion, or even a change in the organization that feed the hunger of their bank account. But what I’ve come to realize is that over time in any career, individuals are paid for the impact they have made, not the title that they had. Best professional advice is to choose the career path that provides valuable experience, allows you to learn new ideas quickly, despite the income and also one that allows you to develop vital business relationships.
Patience is crucial, therefore, prioritizing experience over money will certainly result in financial growth and mobility of a period of time.        

3.    Avoid Failure.
Everything in life has challenges, therefore, over the course of any career, you may be faced with two different alternatives or different paths- one which has a seemingly much more risk. Often times, several high performers get frustrated by always being placed into uncertain roles where many have failed and success may seem far fetch. But many executives typically manage employees with high potential in this manner for various different reasons. Working in tough situation will lead to accelerated growth and development- not just learning about leadership and business, but also yourself. Long term career success is measured by the combination of experiences gained and how well one navigates their different roles which leverages their unique strengths and passions. Overcoming tough situations often result in personal growth and development.

4.    Purchasing a House.
That’s correct, purchasing a house can damage your career, especially if you buy it at an early stage. Companies place great emphasis mobility. They strongly want their high-potential staff members or employees to acquire a great deal of experience. Even at the CEO level, boards often search for individuals who have gained a vast degree of experience across multiple different areas and divisions within the organization, and exposure at a global stage. It’s difficult to gain those valuable assets when you are stationed in one location. Purchasing a house early in your career takes away your mobility. Even though some might say “if great opportunity arises then I can always sell my house and relocate.” But companies today rarely pay substantial moving expenses. Additionally, the time, effort and expense involved in selling your home and moving to a new location can be a significant headwind, consequently, you gave up what may have been a long-term game changing career opportunity. 

5.    Miss opportunities to help others.
When you make a valuable contribution towards any company or individual, you will almost always be paid for it, whether it be immediately or later in life. This is certainly the fact of life in a professional career, but this is unknown by many. Research as shown that most successful career professionals were 4 times more likely to place more emphasis on the success of persons around them then even their own success and development.
In order to obtain a successful long term career or win the long term career game a broad support base from colleagues and peers is required. If you come across any opportunity where your actions can surely be beneficial to others, do take the time and effort to make it happen, even without return benefits. This can be called positive Karma or whatever you like, but the good will definitely build up over time and develop a groundswell of support when most needed or least expected.  The 5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers
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