Most of us want to do well in our chosen field of work. We do our best to excel in the tasks that are given to us professionally in the hopes of progressing further in our careers but sometimes we make mistakes that set us back. Some of us may not even know we're making those mistakes. Here are five to watch out for.
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It's nigh impossible to have a flawless career and there will be screw-ups along the way. There are obvious indiscretions to avoid such as bad mouthing colleagues and not meeting deadlines, but there are some big ones you may not be aware of. We've assembled five which you'd be wise to avoid.
#1 Over-Explaining In-Between Jobs On Your Resume
Before I scored my first full-time gig, I worked at a Chinese takeaway joint and as a sales assistant at a telco shop. When I was putting together my resume, I felt compelled to talk-up how those jobs taught me how to work under pressure, work in a team, and all that jazz.
Admittedly, I just wanted to pad out my resume and I didn't see any harm in doing so. But according to employment expert, Robert Meier, those unrelated side jobs won't make you look good to prospective employers.
"As a job hunter, you should be looking at yourself as a candidate through your potential employer’s eyes,” Meier said to Learn Vest. “And to an employer, a side job is a distraction from your primary position. A Fortune 500 company simply isn’t going to appreciate your time as a night manager at 7-11."
He recommends downplaying those positions or taking them out entirely from your resume, unless those roles directly furthers your career objective.
#2 Blurring Lines Between Personal And Professional Relationships
It's only natural to get close to people at work. You see them every day and before you know it you are hanging out outside of work hours. But Hays global director of people and culture, Susie Timlin, advises against getting to too chummy with your colleagues you work directly with.
"By keeping clear boundaries, you can ensure that you perform your best when you're at work, are viewed in a professional light, and don't take any baggage with you into the office," she said.
From a personal perspective, I am friends with my co-workers, but I've kept that to a limited group and put in effort to ensure that we keep our work and friendship completely separate.
#3 Working All The Time
This is a common mistake people make as mobile technology keeps us constantly tethered to work. We're checking emails around the clock and completing tasks at home, all of which eats into our personal time.
It could be that you can't say no or simply want to demonstrate to your boss that you're 100 per cent committed to your job. However, this tenacity could backfire as it can look like you're hoarding all the work and refusing to share your load.
"When you’re refusing to delegate responsibilities it shows that you aren’t a teacher or mentor, and certainly not a supervisor, which is criteria for promotion," Recruiter and employment author, Bruce Hurwitz, said.
So don't say yes to all tasks that come up. If you're having trouble saying no, agree to the task but on the condition that you can complete your current work first.
#4 Constantly Yearning For Greener Pastures
There will be days when you're not feeling the love for your job, but if you're always thinking that there's a better role out there for you it can create problems in your current company. Before you jump into a new position because you think the grass is greener on the other side (spoiler alert: that isn't always the case), carefully assess whether the job is really that much better.
You don't like the office politics in the company you're working in now? Office politics occurs in most workplaces. Does the new role offer you more pay? Know what benefits you may be losing out on in exchange. For example, the new company may not be so lax about letting you work from home.
"You need to ensure you are moving for the right reasons before you begin to search for an alternative role," Timlin said.
#5 Getting Too Comfortable
It's nice to cruise along at work when you've been doing the same gig for years and it's easy to get a bit lazy. Don't forget to keep pushing yourself, even just a tiny bit, every day as it can go a long way.
"By putting a little more effort in every day and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, you may well be able to get more out of your job," Timlin said.