5 Biggest Career Mistakes to Avoid for Maximum Job Security
As a rough estimate, over the last 15 years, I have worked with over 500 hiring managers and corporate recruiters for thousands of jobs. I have become obsessed with analyzing why some job candidates are in such high demand despite the economic climate and others are not.
One consistency I have noticed is those that are not as in demand as others have made one or more of the following career mistakes.
Here are the Top 5 Biggest Career Mistakes
1. Taking a job for the money. Choosing a job purely because it pays more than the alternatives is not only short-sided but can have disastrous consequences. To understand why, read The Biggest Single Career Move Blunder.
2. Accepting a counteroffer. Accepting a counteroffer has all the detrimental consequences as taking a job just for the money but the terminal effects of being seen as a disloyal employee. Your employer is fully aware of the fact that money will not remedy the reason you wanted to leave in the first place even if you are not aware of it at the time. They will just start looking for your replacement confidentially as you settle back in. For more on the topic, read why accepting a counteroffer is a career ending move.
3. Complacency. Settling into a comfort zone is dangerous because you can only coast one way; downhill. Those that are interested in true job security are constantly looking for ways to take initiative at work and re-evaluating whether or not their current job or company has the capacity to take their career to the next level. To use the bus analogy from the book, Good to Great; if there not in the right seat on the bus, they change seats. If they are on the wrong bus, they change buses. Sometimes, they just get in the driver’s seat and drive the bus.
4. Failure to stay current. Those that do not stay current on the knowledge necessary for their industry will become obsolete. Every single time I have witnessed someone claiming age discrimination it was actually a current knowledge base issue. More than once, the person who got the job was older than the candidate dismissing the rejection as age discrimination.
5. Isolation. “Heads down” is not a strategy for career upward mobility. Networking with other departments, functions and executives outside the company is necessary for a thriving career. Just doing your job and keeping to yourself will limit your ability to create alliances and build a network that will get you in the door when your resume alone is not enough.
It is never too late. Pick one thing you can start working on tomorrow to ensure you are the person always in demand. You never know when the music is going to stop so don’t be left without a chair.
To make sure you don't make any of these career blunders, download the Guidelines to Avoid Choosing a Job for the Wrong Reasons complete with interview preparation and "thank you" note tutorials.
Posted by:Saundra LeePresident, Dubin & Lee