Top 5 Career Ending Miscues

We are all human, and humans are prone to error making. Although an error here or there is to be expected, I am often amazed at the amount of avoidable career mistakes people make. Unfortunately it’s usually these mistakes which can have the most dramatic impact on your life and career. Our careers are like a sporting event; those who make the fewest mistakes usually win the game. Talent alone is not enough to ensure the “W”.

Here are some of the top career mistakes that can and should be avoided:

1) Get Real

In today’s world – everyone is expendable. Take your ego and pride out of the assessment and look at your overall performance and contribution. If others at your level are succeeding and you are not, find ways to improve. Do not spend time moping about or complaining about what you need in order to complete your tasks and do better overall at the job.

If your approach isn’t working change what you are doing. Ask peers around you for an honest assessment of how you could improve.

Simply put: Find a way to make it happen.

2) Don’t simply show up

Ask yourself: Why do organized sports teams practice? They want to optimize their performance during game time. They want to make sure that they are prepared to cover contingencies.

The same principles apply to the workplace. You should be at the top of your game; know the details of your work assignments and make sure you understand your P and L statement and the needs of your sales accounts. Keep current, don’t miss deadlines and be proactive.

3) Take responsibility for you actions (or lack of)

Sometimes the mistake is not what you did, but what you didn’t do. While you can’t control everything, admit miscues within reason, mitigate the damage and share problems as they occur. Come up with solutions to go with the issues that arise. Use what you learn from the experience to insure that mistakes are not repeated.

4) Make yourself valuable

As I said earlier, everyone is expendable. However it is possible to provide more value to your organization than others and see benefits from doing so.

First, concentrate on your direct responsibility. If you are meeting all of your objectives, go to your boss and offer to take on additional assignments.

5) Identify your skills and improve them.

We work in the world of “what have you done for me lately”. Yesterday’s achievements have to be duplicated and improved upon in order to succeed.

Take advantage of the resources at your fingertips to improve your knowledge, your skill set and your learning ability. In addition to having technical skills you must have some political savvy and ability to influence others in order to maintain and improve your career path.

Avoiding these errors will go along way toward ensuring a stable career.

Empower yourself to succeed!
David Lammert

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