Saturday, September 17, 2011

Seven career mistakes you should avoid

No man is an island, especially not in crowded cubicles. In an office, you need to work as a team. If you do well, give credit where it's due, especially to your juniors. Even if you don't get along with someone, be polite. There's no place for anger or tantrums at the workplace.
Remember, your electronic mails are being sent through your employer's server, so bad-mouthing someone on mail or chats in the office could lead to an embarrassing fiasco. Don't crib about your colleagues' work profile or the fact that they are favoured. Your talent cannot remain hidden for long, neither can other people's incompetency. You'll look like a fool if your own work falls short of the mark.
What's a network?
You may be a genius, but there will be times when you hit a roadblock. This is when your network of peers will come to your rescue as you can take their advice. It also helps you stay abreast of the latest issues in your field. Keep in touch with college mates, mingle during conferences and functions, and join a professional networking site.

However, ensure that you don't mix personal and professional lives. Avoid adding colleagues and bosses to your friends' list on social networking sites. Even if you don't post an inappropriate message about your workplace, there's no way of ensuring that your friends won't.
I know everything there is to know
No job is secure forever. The business landscape is changing constantly and if you don't want to be a dinosaur, you'll have to upgrade your skills regularly. You need to stay on a par with colleagues and others vying for your job. Don't expect past accomplishments to suffice. Learn constantly, especially from your mistakes. If a senior corrects you, don't sulk or complain. You'll not only exasperate your boss, but end up repeating your mistake and never learn.
I'm the best, I'm irreplaceable, I deserve that promotion
If you believe you are the only one who can do the job right, back your conviction with accomplishments. There's a difference between boasting and delivering. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't promote yourself, but do it subtly. Before you jump at the chance to be promoted, ask yourself: am I prepared for it?
A promotion not only means more professional responsibilities, but also changes in personal life. Make sure you are ready to shoulder these.
If you aren't, the step may backfire and destroy chances of future promotions. Don't promise to get something done without ensuring that it is achievable. "In the early stages of your career, there are more options as there are more jobs, but these reduce as you move up.
At a senior position, you need to be stable in a job for 2-3 years and learn everything about the company before you opt for a promotion. Jumping too soon may set your career back by 4-5 years," says VY Verma, COO, LG India.

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