Don’t be afraid to fail.
I’ll take an employee who is willing to try over one who is not, every single time. Good managers expect some level of failure within each project, in fact, they plan for it. Put yourself out there, take a chance, it’s the only way you’ll advance.
Everyone wants to tell you what to do. Not me. I’m going to tell you what NOT to do. 10 career mistakes I’ve made––so you don’t have to:
Quit focusing solely on compensation. Money and benefits are nice, but they’re not everything. Environment, advancement opportunities, and overall quality of life are far more important in the long run. Instead of asking “how much can I make,” ask “how much can I grow.”
Don’t get too comfortable. You’ve been at your job for years. You can do it with your eyes closed and both hands tied behind your back. That doesn’t mean you should. Don’t let 5-10 years slip away due to complacency. Take control, challenge yourself, level up.
Don’t be afraid to fail. I’ll take an employee who is willing to try over one who is not, every single time. Good managers expect some level of failure within each project, in fact, they plan for it. Put yourself out there, take a chance, it’s the only way you’ll advance.
Quit trying to do it alone. People want to help. Toiling endlessly on a project when you’re unsure what to do next only makes you look inefficient. Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re incapable, it means you’re invested and shows you care.
Never quit learning. Think you know everything there is to know about your job? I can promise, you’re wrong. There’s always more to learn, new skills to acquire, improvements that can be made. Make the mistake of thinking you know it all, and someone will prove you don’t.
Don’t be afraid to ask for more. I’m not talking about $. I’m talking about responsibility. Opportunity comes to those who are willing to ask. Take on more, without an immediate increase in compensation. It’s on you to prove what you can do. Do this and the $ will come.
Say “no” more often. Early in my career, I was afraid to say “no” to any request. Fearing people would think I was incapable, led to saying “yes” to everything. Soon, I was overwhelmed, underperforming and unhappy. Great work on a few projects > mediocre work on several.
Communication is key. When I first began to manage people, I was frustrated tasks weren’t completed in the timeframe or manner I expected. It was my fault. I was a bad communicator. If people don’t know what you want, and when you want it, you’ll be perpetually disappointed.
That’s not my job… I hate to admit it, but I’ve said this before. You can probably guess the reaction it got. Not good. Unwillingness to step outside of your core role and help with additional tasks is a sure-fire way to bring your growth to a screeching halt.
Don’t be scared to make a change. It’s Sunday night, and a sense of dread creeps into your mind. It doesn’t have to be this way. Fear of the unknown, of change, of failure, leads to stagnation. Reboot your career. I have. My only regret? Not acting sooner.