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11 Career Mistakes You Won’t Repeat

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Summary: A number of successful professionals share mistakes they won’t repeat. Adopt these 11 tips to safeguard your success.

Making mistakes can be troublesome, especially when it comes to your career. Success comes with both experience and knowledge. Hindsight from your experience is invaluable, but is often a painful gain. Whereas, gaining knowledge from the mistakes of others is a more pleasant way to succeed. Don’t make the mistake of not learning from others mistakes. Below are 11 mistakes successful professionals won’t repeat.

1-3. Money Buys Happiness, Settling for Unhappiness, Negotiating Salaries & Benefits

“The career mistakes I won’t repeat are first, allowing money to be the leading factor in choosing a job, or applying for a job. Second, staying at a job that made me miserable, or ignoring and sometimes not recognizing the signs of being miserable. A contributing factor to being unhappy with a specific job was not knowing my skills and strengths, and understanding what makes me happy and satisfied. Lastly, not negotiating salary and benefits. For most jobs, HR assumes there will be a negotiation and this took me a long time to understand. When a job is offered, employers tend to own their decision and are willing to fight to get you in the building.” – David D., Financial Analyst

4-5. Delaying Building My Network & Not Sharing Knowledge

“Early in my career, I grossly underestimated the value of having a network of contacts across my chosen discipline. The more contacts I made and nurtured as friends and colleagues, the greater my value became to what I could do for the organization. This takes hard work, social networking, handwritten notes, annual Christmas cards with personal notes, and making personal visits whenever I travel. The other mistake is not sharing contacts and information with peers. After reading Tim Sanders book, “Love is the Killer App,” I realized that I had not worked hard enough to ensure the success of my colleagues. Instead of competing with them, I should have been more geared toward their success and less concerned about who received the credit.” – David Rencher, Chief Genealogical Officer, FamilySearch

6. Positive Perspectives

“While it is important to not settle for a workplace, one mistake I won’t repeat is thinking the other grass is greener. Every single job you go to will have its downfalls, such as difficult co-workers or clients, tasks that may not be enjoyable at times, etcetera. So, if you are constantly chasing the perfect job – chances are you won’t find it. I’ve learned you need to give your best effort and not give up as soon as things are not going your way. Always looking for the positive is critical to your success.” – Alisha Scow, Paralegal

7. Trust

“Co-workers interchange of respect and trust are the root cause of many misunderstandings at work. The mistake I won’t repeat is assuming trust automatically exists with my team. Now, each time I lead a team on a new project, I discuss ‘best practices’ for a successful team, and explain my expectation that each team member must be trustworthy and must learn to trust others.” – Dwayne Bolton, Project Manager

8-9. Outside Field Experience & Employment Contracts

“The first career mistake I regret making was assuming that education in my particular field was enough. In retrospect, I would have taken an extra public relations or business management class. My second mistake was not researching standard associate employment contracts before entering into one. The lack of experience combined with insufficient knowledge of what to expect, left me open to be taken advantage of.” – Angie Binkerd, D.C.

10. Preparing Financially

“I would have prepared better financially for my schooling if I would’ve known the options.” – Roland R., Member of Utah Academy of Physician Assistants, Member of American Academy of Physician Assistants

11. Hiring

“Hiring the wrong people is the biggest mistake and it can be costly.” – Jane Spence, Realtor

What career mistakes have you made? Share the career mistakes you won’t repeat in the comments below.

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