10 Common Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Career

Career Advice You Can't Afford to Miss

Many people make serious mistakes when it comes to their careers, some that can do damage so severe that it will take a long time and a lot of work to repair. How that can happen is not a mystery. You may be an expert in your occupation, but you aren't a career expert. That is why you should take career advice from professionals who have that expertise. Don't make these entirely avoidable mistakes that can cause irreparable damage to your career.

Don't Choose a Career Without Doing Your Homework

Crying Career Expert
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Too many people choose careers without considering whether those occupations are right for them. They rely on best careers lists, listen to their friends or parents, or ignore their own interests, personality traits, and values. They don't bother to learn about the occupations they want to pursue. It's no surprise many people find themselves in careers that don't fulfill them. More

Don't Lie About Your Qualifications

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Whether you misrepresent your qualifications on your resume or in a job interview, you will be facing a significant problem once your employer finds out about it ... and he or she probably will. If it happens before you get hired, consider yourself lucky. Not getting the job is much better than being hired under false pretenses. You will spend every day worrying that your employer will discover you lies. When the inevitable finally happens, you will be forced into another job search, and you won't even have a good reference from a company where you may have spent a significant amount of time. More

Don't Downplay Your Own Achievements and Abilities

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Many people downplay their achievements especially when it comes to selling themselves to a prospective employer. You may think that speaking highly of yourself is bragging. It is not. Speak proudly of your accomplishments. If you don't let everyone know about them, who will?

Don't Badmouth Your Boss Publicly

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Don't talk smack about your boss in public, even if you have good reason to. You never know who is listening. If what you are saying is particularly nasty, it could reflect very poorly on you. Confide in your family while you are in the confines of your home where no one else can hear you. Commiserate with your coworkers if you must, but do so privately and only with the ones you completely trust. Keep in mind, though, that every workplace has a spy who may be carrying what you say back to the head honcho.

Don't Annoy Your Coworkers

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You spend most of your life with your coworkers. Think about it. If you work a typical 9 to 5 job that means you are at work eight hours—a third of the entire day. Let's not forget that you spend part of your time away from work sleeping! That leaves about eight hours awake and around other people or alone. Doesn't it make more sense to have good relationships with your coworkers? Shouldn't you carry your own weight, talk quietly on the phone, share credit for good work, and stay home if you're sick, so you don't risk annoying them? More

Don't Mistake Your Workplace for a Pickup Joint

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Looking for that special someone with whom to spend some quality time? You should seek that sort of companionship outside your workplace. While you may find a coworker appealing, he or she may not feel the same way (can you say sexual harassment?). Or you may find each other incredibly attractive thereby making your other co-workers very uncomfortable. When the flame dims, as sometimes happens, things will just be awkward for everyone. More

Don't Stay at a Job That Is Making You Sick

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When you are unhappy with your job, you can probably come up with many reasons to quit. Often, you can resolve most of these problems if quitting isn't an option due to extenuating circumstances, for example, ​a terrible job market or if you have no other way to pay the bills. There is one reason to leave your job without hesitation. If it is making you ill, get out of there immediately, or at least come up with an exit plan that will hasten your ability to leave asap. For example, start perusing job announcements and get your resume in order. Often knowing you will soon have a way out will make you feel better about your situation. Never forget your health is your most valuable possession. More

Don't Leave Your Job on Bad Terms

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Emotions run high when you are leaving a job, whether or not the decision to exit was yours. You may want to tell off your tyrant of a boss or that pain in the neck coworker who drove you crazy. You may think it would be satisfying to steal or destroy something. It's important to remember that your current (and soon to be former) coworkers and boss may turn up again at some point in your future. It's much better to leave without destroying your reputation. More

Don't Resist Changing Careers If Your Current One Isn't Working Out

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How often do people utter the sentence "I always wanted to be a [fill in the blank], but I guess I'll just keep doing this. It will be too hard to change careers now"? Yes, it's true that making a transition won't be easy. You will have to learn new skills, and you may have to start at the bottom. But, do you really want to continue to do something you don't enjoy? Is that how you want to spend the rest of your working life? Find out if a career change is in order. Take this quiz: Should You Change Careers? More

Don't Work Constantly

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Everyone needs some time away. Whether you love your job or hate it, you can't do it constantly. Taking time off—whether it's a few days or a few weeks—will allow you to come back refreshed and relaxed. You will be better at what you do just because you took some time for yourself. More