Top Five Career-Ending Mistakes To Avoid At Work

| 4 min read

Not all mistakes are bad. Some mistakes are a lesson and you can grow from them. There are other mistakes too that can be disastrous. How then do you make the distinction between a deadly career mistake and a pardonable one? This article will take you through the top five of these career mistakes you should avoid like plague.

#1. Trying to outshine your boss:

Every employee must strive to become a star performer. One important fact of life that most employees don’t understand is that, it is your responsibility to make your boss shine, and not the other way around. You may be the one drawing and executing all the strategies your boss presents at top level meeting. That is your job. Don’t go around taking credit. Your boss understands your worth. He’s the one calling the shot when it comes to your performance assessment and recommendation for promotion. Trying to outshine your boss and take credit for every achievement is a deadly career mistake that can cost you your job.

#2. Chasing only the money

Money solves most problems, true. But money should only be a means to an end, not the end itself. There’s nothing wrong with chasing money in the short-term as a mean to achieve a bigger objective in the long term. However, making money the sole motivation in life can be deadly in the long run. If you keep chasing money alone, chances are that you will never get satisfaction in any job that you do. This will eventually hurt your career because you will find yourself hopping from one job to another. Rather, listen to your inner voice. Search within for your drive. Pursue the thing that makes your heart tick. Once you discover your passion and pursue it with all your heart, the money will follow.

#3. Not updating your skills

Some people can grow mouldy in their job and they may not even know it. It is only when new technologies with cataclysmic changes in job function are introduced, then the feel a sudden shake-up. These are the people that cry loudest about the evils of technology and resist change with every bit of influence they can tap into. A lot of public and civil servants fall into this trap. Thanks to technology, the world is changing rapidly. Processes are getting automated, machines are adopting the things that humans do, and actually doing them better. Not improving your skills in this age is tantamount to taking slow poison.

#4. Working in silo and refusing to network

They say hard work pays, but that’s only true to some extent. Hard work alone is not enough for career advancement. Hard work alone cannot get you a promotion. Strategic networking, and making your opinion heard are the two other ingredients that will push you higher in life. You could be the most hardworking person in your organisation, but if top management doesn’t hear about it, how do you get the recognition you deserve? Your colleagues are probably taking the credit for all what you do. Don’t hide your face during company cocktail parties. Speak to the bosses, express your opinions and suggestions publicly. Let the relevant people see and know your worth.

#5. Undervaluing your worth

A lot of people in the workplace don’t actually know their worth.. The thing is, if you don’t know the value of your work, how do you then know whether you’re underpaid or not? How do you justify a request for a salary raise, or a promotion? A quick way to assess your worth is to ask your boss in a casual conversation that on a scale of 1-10, how valuable is your department to the organisation? Any figure he gives out, that’s most likely your worth as well. Your worth will be easier to calculate if your job directly brings cash to the company. Learn the numbers, and keep them close.

Every employee must therefore strive to be smart about career choices, and the everyday decisions that you make along the line of your work. The question to always ask is, what is my overall aim of doing what i’m doing?


Billings Tanna