8 Dangerous Career Mistakes to Avoid

career mistakes

Have you ever wondered whether you’ve made any career mistakes in your life?

You’ve started a new job.

Almost immediately you’re thinking about quitting.

You’ve convinced yourself that the new company will treat you the same way as the previous.

You feel underutilised even if you’ve been working harder and longer hours.  

If these sound familiar, then you may be sabotaging yourself at work.

Read on to find out the 8 career mistakes you need to avoid today.

Career Mistakes #1: Losing sight of your goals

Work has been consistently overwhelming.

You can’t seem to break away from it.

It could be your own project or other department’s assignments. Being busy made you lose sight of your initial important career goals.

When this happens, take a step back and reorganise yourself.

Learn how to prioritise your work based on career goals and company goals.

Career Mistakes #2: Being complacent

Alternatively, you may feel too comfortable in your current role.

You’ve stopped upgrading yourself. All because there’s no need for that from the usual work you’ve gotten used to.

You may have fallen into the trap of complacency.

Here are a few things you can do to break the norms:

Otherwise, you may be in danger of being made redundant.

Career Mistakes #3: Thinking the grass is greener elsewhere

Despite feeling relatively satisfied in your current workplace, more often that not, you find yourself comparing yourself to your friends’ work situation.

The grass is always greener on the other side.



You start feeling envious of the perks of other people’s jobs. And you are thinking about finding a better job.

If these feelings are genuine and not superficial, conduct extensive research before making the decision to change careers.

This ensures that you’re making an informed decision instead of ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ simply to get free gifts from movie premiers, for example.

Career Mistakes #4: Losing confidence

You’ve made a mistake at work and you’re feeling embarrassed after receiving a reprimand from your boss.

Gradually but surely, you feel less assured of yourself.

Take yourself out of this slippery slope.

Recognise that even highly successful people have made mistakes before making their great achievements.

What’s more, by acknowledging your errors and taking the steps to ensure that no one else, including yourself, repeats them, you would’ve shown the perseverance and grit.

That is something any quality boss looks for in a valuable employee.

Career Mistakes #5: Not taking risks

Dwelling on your past mistakes.

Not learning from them or moving on.

You’ll start doubting yourself.

Stop taking risks at work.

Being too afraid to handle big projects for fear of failing, you’ll soon be overlooked for promotions and stall your career.

So pull yourself up.

Take the chance to be innovative and creative with your solutions for the workplace.

As long as you’ve learned your lessons and take calculated risks, you’re on the right track.

A good boss will not fault you for trying a different approach in helping move the company forward.

Career Mistakes #6: Understating your own worth

Mistakes are inevitable.

But it’s what you do after that matters more than the mistake itself.

Be aware of why the mistakes happened.

Make the steps to rectify and learn from them.

Eventually, you’ll not only be better for it but it’s a invaluable experience you’ve gained. It will make you wiser that contributes to your career worth.

There’s nothing wrong with patting yourself on the back for a job well done, even if it’s derived from a mistake.

Career Mistakes #7: Being impatient

It’s been six months into your new job and you’re already feeling underutilised.

Being impatient is a mistake most employees make. Particularly when you start comparing with other employees who have worked longer. They have a greater understanding of the company products or services and culture.

Eagerness is often appreciated at work.

But overzealousness will cause tension in the workplace.

It may cause unnecessary friction amongst your new colleagues.

Instead, take things as they come and be open to varying types of tasks in order to demonstrate your worth in due time.

Career Mistakes #8: Burning bridges

You’ve found another job and decided to resign.

Don’t make the mistake of leaving your current work on a negative tone.

Always be professional when you leave a company.

Regardless of your experience, be frank during your exit interview.

It’s never wise to spread ugly rumours that’ll only harm your reputation.

Also, open up and resolve any outstanding conflicts with both your soon-to-be ex-colleagues and ex-bosses before your last day.

This way, you’ll not only preserve the integrity of your personal brand but may also gain a friend or friends for life.

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Amos Tay

Amos Tay

Amos Tay is the Senior Partner of Hatch Asia. He is a Gallup-Certified CliftonStrength Coach and lead our executive search, coaching and expand our partnership development across the region.

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