11 top career mistakes young professionals make

2 Nov, 2018

As a young professional, you have a bright career ahead of you. Start out strong and improve your job outlook over time when you avoid these top 11 career mistakes.

1. Dismiss the value of entry-level positions

While you may aspire to climb the corporate ladder and earn more than $67,000, the average salary in Europe, realize that your career advancement starts at the bottom. Learn as much as you can from each job you take as you prepare for more responsibility and prestige in the future.  

2. Assume you know everything

Sure, you’ve spent a few years training for your career and are ready to launch your new career, but you still have a lot to learn. Remain a lifelong student throughout your career.  

3. Forget to network

The relationships you make can be invaluable to your future. Learn new things, discover new positions and help others, too, when you make networking a habit.

4. Be unprepared for meetings or arrive late

Demonstrate your dedication to your company and commitment to teamwork when you prepare for meetings in advance and arrive on time. These actions also showcase your contributions to the company and support your professional reputation.

5. Engage in office drama

Drama belongs on TV, not in the office. Avoid oversharing details about your private life, gossiping about co-workers or criticising your boss. Stay focused on your job duties and encourage your co-workers to remain positive and focused, too.

6. Do only the minimum required

If you’re satisfied with doing only the minimum amount of work necessary to get by, you will still receive a paycheck. You won’t stand out among your peers, earn the right to ask for a raise or receive better job opportunities, though. Go the extra mile to invest in your career.

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7. Don’t read up on your industry

Industry trends, practices and leadership changes, and you will be more effective at your job when you stay updated. Subscribe to and read trade journals, industry blogs and other professional resources as you give yourself an edge.  

8. Dress unprofessionally

The way you dress supports your professional reputation and can motivate you to work harder. Make a good impression on clients, too, when you dress professionally.

9. Avoid proofreading your emails

The emails you send to clients and colleagues can affect your job and reputation. Proofread emails for grammar, spelling, tone, and accuracy before you press send.

10. Neglect to ask for help or show gratitude

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. You’re smart to seek assistance when you feel overwhelmed, have questions or need help. Then, remember to thank the people who helped you as you build stronger and mutually beneficial relationships.

11. Refuse to learn from your mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. Instead of becoming discouraged, apathetic or frustrated, make an effort to learn and grow. Allow your mistakes to make you a better person and professional.

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