Career advice comes in all forms. The majority of it is what to do. I want to focus on what not to do.
Whether you are on the search for a new job or in your current job, there are a few things you can do to make sure you are successful. Career development is important for any employee seeking to advance and grow.
I was given and still continue to get a lot of career advice. Some of the best tips I received were about what I should avoid. Here are my top 5.
1. Never Settle For Less In Your Career
This is my number piece of career advice. Never settle. When you settle for a job that is below your capabilities and qualifications it greatly affects your confidence. Your self-esteem takes a hard hit because you are not thriving professionally. It also inhibits your personal growth and the development of new skills.
It’s important to be patient and persistent when job searching because it is difficult and time-consuming. Especially, as a recent college graduate as you don’t have a lot of experience. But there are some tips and tricks to Getting An Entry-Level Job With No Experience so you don’t have to settle for less.
It’s important to note, the first job you get after you graduate has a significant impact on the rest of your career. This job will set the tone. If you get a position that doesn’t have a lot to do with your area of study, you will probably stay in it, or a position closely related to it for many years.
It becomes very hard to break away from a path once chosen. Therefore, I don’t want you to settle for less. It’s not necessary for you to find your perfect dream job, but I want you to find a job that’s at least within your field of study. This will set you on the proper path to a lucrative career where you can grow and move up in the field.
2. Not Networking
You are doing yourself a huge disservice if you are not building a professional network.
Never underestimate the power of networking. Your network, whether it’s professional, personal, or academic can help you build skills, gain experience, be a possible recommendation, and get a job. Your network will become your second family.
While you are still a college student take the time to build your network. It’s never too early. Create a LinkedIn account and connect with individuals in the industry, professors, and classmates. Be sure to read, The Complete LinkedIn Workshop for College Students.
Additionally, your network may be able to connect you to a possible employer, they may know when a job opening will happen, or they can give you insight into the industry. Studies show that 70-80% of jobs are never advertised. How are these positions filled? Through networking. If you build a good enough network while you’re in college when you graduate all you have to do is reach out to them and someone may be able to recommend a job position—and you’re in.
I didn’t become a manager of a Fortune 500 company at 21 by not working hard and overworking a little. If you want to get ahead, you may need to overwork. The goal here is to strike a balance. You don’t want to become a workaholic. I’m all for doing your best and giving it your all, but not at the cost of being overworked.
Overworking can have destructive consequences. It’s bad for your health both mentally and physically. It also puts a strain on your personal relationships. It affects productivity and efficiency, just because you work long hard hours doesn’t mean that you are more productive.
Also, I don’t recommend overworking in a job where you have no place to advance. It is a waste of time. If you are going to put in some extra hours and push yourself make sure there is a payoff. Be sure you are working toward something.
4. Not Having A Daily Routine
It has been well-documented that people who have a daily routine are generally happier and healthier. They are also more productive and less anxious. Having a routine gives you structure throughout the day. This methodical approach will allow you to fit everything in because you will be using good time management.
Many professionals live very busy lives, and they rely on daily routines to help them stay focused and get through all their tasks. A good daily routine can help you develop strong workplace habits which will ensure you achieve your career goals. Having a routine also helps you create a balance between work and personal life.
The best career advice I can give you is, Do Not Gossip At Work. Ever.
Gossiping in the workplace can be very destructive. It’s more than just talking behind someone’s back; it breaks trust with your colleagues. Without trust, you have nothing. Morale languishes and the turnover rate begins to increase. Coworkers may even start to retaliate and turn on each other. Gossiping can snowball very quickly.
If your job is team-orientated then gossiping will kill collaboration. When a coworker learns they are being gossiped about they will not want to work as a team. When gossip turns malicious you risk losing your job.
Anyone who gets in the habit of gossiping will never advance in their career. Worse they will never be respected. Avoid gossiping at all costs.
Good managers do not participate, encourage, or allow gossiping to destroy their team. If you are a college student looking to develop your career, see the 5 Tips For Students Planning To Become Managers.