It is only natural to like feeling happy and fulfilled with your job. We enjoy having a good boss, great colleagues and a company we enjoy working in. However, it is necessary to be aware that if we get too complacent we might end up in danger of derailing our career.
You might think that if you are enjoying your career, why you should make the effort of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.
That’s great as long as one is aware of what is going on around one. If on the other hand you assume that the status quo will always remain in place, you are setting yourself up for trouble. Staying in the safety of your self-satisfaction without being aware of what is happening around you, can become a source of danger very soon.
The process of change is occurring constantly all around us. These changes can make our skills, knowledge and competencies out of date. Further companies are constantly seeking synergies, so downsizing, mergers and acquisitions are also potential dangers. Keeping these factors in mind we need to be constantly aware of what we need to do to keep our self up to date in terms of skills and knowledge, as well as the changes which might be in the happening around us.
CAREER MISTAKES YOU MAY BE MAKING :
- Maintaining performance : You maybe sustaining your performance level. This could mean that you are GOOD at your job but remember just upholding your job requirements will not push you ahead in your career. If this continues over a period of time then your boss will note that you are not improving, so you will stay exactly where you are. It’s therefore necessary to look for ways to excel and accept extra responsibilities if you want to get ahead in your career.
- Being Visible : Project yourself and making yourself seen is the way to get ahead. If you make yourself visible by always been “there” so that your Manager sees you and you come to his/her mind when needed, it is the best way to get ahead. As P.T. Barnum said, “Without promotion something terrible happens—nothing.” So, be available, toot your horn and discuss your achievements and successes with others to keep yourself in the light.
- New Opportunities : Be on the lookout for new positions and opportunities. Be confident and don’t have reservations about applying for new jobs otherwise over a period of time your skills will become stagnant. We may be hesitant in applying for a new position thinking we do not meet the total criteria required. But be realistic and assess your capabilities in light of what you can do, also be ready to pick up the required skills and then go for it.
- Aware of industry trends : Be aware, proactive and knowledgeable about your industry and the trends it is displaying. Not all industries are growing and some may be in the process of changing with new technology which is coming up. New threats may be emerging and you may be required to learn new skills or align existing ones, If you do not do so, you run the risk of becoming out of date or even obsolete, also running the risk of being out of a job.
- Build your network : It is critical to develop and build relationships at work so that you can stay abreast of what is happening around you. If you do not do so, you will not be aware or informed of critical information which may have an impact on your current position or of future happenings in the company. It is also essential to build a network of business contacts. Stay connected to former classmates, colleagues and also clients. Doing so ensures that you have a strong network available to help you identify and find new opportunities if required.
- Know your worth : Value yourself correctly and make sure that you are not underpaid for the work you are doing. You can do so by doing a market assessment and gathering as much information as you can from the internet, friends, ex-colleagues, job hunters etc. While doing so, you will be better placed to negotiate the right salary when the discussion comes up or when applying for a new opportunity.
- Know when you hit a wall : A time comes in most careers when you feel that you are stuck. Growth opportunities are not visible in the current company and you may feel that you are up against a wall. Apart from that increments maybe small and you may be overlooked when promotions take place. There are two options available – accept it or make a decision to move on. Of course you are the person who has to assess the situation and make the choice. But it is essential to evaluate and know when it is the right time to say goodbye and move on to a better opportunity.
THE BOTTOM LINE : Beware of what is going on as it is a very competitive market and a fast paced business environment always prone to changes. It is necessary to keep learning new skills, new technologies and keeping up to date with what is happening, both in order to maintain your current position and also in order to move ahead.