10 Career Mistakes Employed People Make

If you are employed today you are probably grateful to have a job.  When the job market improves a bit there will be  many people ready to leave their current job in order to find something better.  Maybe you feel you want to leave it right now! People often have mixed feelings about leaving a job and company they know well to go to a new job in a company they do not know well.  You can start to prepare for that transition by checking to see if you are making any or all of these career mistakes and taking the action necessary to correct the mistake.


1.       Not continually building new relationships and enhancing the old relationships while you are employed.  Employed people often get complacent and don’t continue to build their relationships.  On the day they are laid off, fired or quit their current job, they begin to call the people they know.  They get the reputation of being someone who only calls when they need something – a job!  Few if any people are going to help initially.

2.       Being too loyal to their employer. Some people actually think it is disloyal to the company they are working for to begin to look at other companies that they would like to work for.  You owe it to yourself to keep abreast of salaries in other companies, new job requirements being asked for, and what the hot employers are in your industry.

3.       Not having a career plan.  It is not enough to go from job to job within one organization any more.  That was the way it was in my father’s day.  Today to be attractive to employers you need a variety of experiences outside the company.  As you learn more about the kinds of experiences required from employers you will want to have a plan to get those experiences.  The plan should include companies you are interested in, skills you want to build, as well as goals for adding additional responsibilities in your current and future jobs.

4.       Assuming because the economy is bad there are no jobs available.  Even in a bad economy there are jobs available.  Find a way to fill a void that an employer has and he/she will hire you.  Stay abreast of the trends in your industry or profession.  What can you learn today that will be invaluable to employers in the future?

5.       Not building a relationship with one or two recruiters.  As a sales executive there was nothing more irritating then taking a call from a recruiter when I was busy.  They just wasted my time or so I thought.  I was dead wrong.  Find one or two in your industry that are good and talk to them frequently.  They know the skills that are hard to find and can be a great resource for what’s happening on the job front.

6.       Not having a LinkedIn Profile that shows your expertise.  You don’t want to signal your employer that you are looking for a job so just keep your profile up to date with significant accomplishments and updated skills.  Recruiters look for passive (currently employed) candidates on LinkedIn.  If you are an attractive candidate you will hear from them without specifically saying you are looking for a job.

7.       Not having a specialty that sets you apart from others.  One of the best ways to attract attention is to build a reputation for a specialty that few others have.  If the need is great for that skill or talent, you will have lots of opportunity when you are ready for a new job.

8.       Not belonging to one or two professional organizations.  You can learn about what is available in your industry from colleagues who are doing similar work. Professional organizations give you the opportunity to network with those colleagues and gain recognition from them by working on projects within the organization.  Even if your employer will not fund the membership dues, join the organization.  Be sure to go to a few of the meetings after work and if possible be part of the annual conference if there is one.

9.       Forcing your current company to increase your salary or responsibilities by telling them you have an offer from another company.  This is not a way to build trust with your employer.  He/she is apt to find a way to replace you after he/she gives you the raise or the new title.

10.   Not pursuing a job when you think there may be a fit.   Loyalty and keeping the status quo plays a role in an employee not taking the opportunity to pursue a job that seems to fit his/her career plan.   It is important to explore your options. This does not mean you have to leave before you are ready to but at least learn what is out there and how hard or easy it will be to get an offer.

Unhappy at your current job?  Ready to move on but feel stuck in place?  If you need some help moving forward, a coach can help you to develop a plan and to take action.  Imagine being excited about going to work every day because you love your job!  Call or email me at 781-598-0388 or asparker@asparker.com.  I’d love to work with you.



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