The Three Worst Early Career Mistakes

The Three Worst Early Career Mistakes

Being a recruiter at Talent Tap means that you meet with a lot of early career candidates to talk about their work experiences as they navigate their next career step.  It’s incredibly gratifying work that enables us to make a direct difference in professional lives – for both candidates and clients!   With over 20 years of experience in talent acquisition, I’ve noticed that the most successful professionals have avoided three deadly mistakes early in their career, which paid off in a big way later down the road.

If you’re ready to advance in your career, avoid these three things!

  • Don’t burn bridges – ever.  It’s always the right and wise move to take the high road.  Think before you speak, look at the positives in every situation, practice the Golden Rule.  Give two weeks notice when leaving a position, develop a transition plan to help colleagues adjust and say “thank you” to your soon-to-be ex-employer for the opportunity.   Break ups are never easy – personally or professionally.  Basically, don’t be a jerk.  You’ll most likely need the positive references.  You’ll also need supportive mentors and colleagues who think well of you and can open doors in the future.
  • Don’t burn yourself out. Have a life outside of the office.  Hard work is important when establishing your career but not taking care of yourself is counter productive.  Fit in exercise, mindfulness and family time.  Develop flexible boundaries when working extra hours. For instance, if you’re working on a project deadline until 8 pm one day, ask to come in a little later the following day.
  • Expecting too much, too soon.  Building a career takes time and a plan.  Don’t expect a promotion within the first six months of starting your new job.  Demonstrate your talents. Take on more responsibilities at the office. Get involved in professional and community organizations to increase your visibility – without asking for something right away in return.

Let’s face it, we all make mistakes – so learn from them without beating yourself up too much. Making wiser choices in the future will mean you’re a better person for everyone one in your life!

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