If a butterfly’s wings can effect the course of a hurricane, then it stands to reason that the tiny mistakes you make today can change your career down the line. Here’s how you can protect your professional life from these errors in judgment and behavior.
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1. Avoiding Risk and Failure
When you get to the crossroads and you’re staring at the higher-risk option in the face, consider uncertainty a call for greatness. Difficult situations lead to incredible growth and you’ll learn a lot about yourself, especially if you fail. Navigate toward roles where your unique skills will shine, and then, even if you have a spectacular failure, others will see you as courageous. And if you don’t encounter failure and instead have great success, you just catapulted toward your end goal. Keep expectations high and avoid getting trapped in a job going nowhere.
2. Keeping a Small Circle of Acquaintance
Sticking to familiar people when networking is easy. You might be the smartest person in the room, but being a big fish in a little pond won’t take you where you want to go. Real networking is relationship building with others outside your comfort zone, outside your own company. Expose yourself to other cultures and new ideas and perspectives.
3. Burning Your Bridges
Be respectful at all times. Don’t talk behind people’s backs, and keep a professional air about you, both in person and online. Someone working at the company holding the job you covet might be friends with someone you were tempted to bad-mouth and you’ll be glad you stuck to vaguebooking.
4. Focusing on the Money
No matter how much money we make, statistics show we wish we had at least 20 percent more. That can make a promotion offer pretty tempting. But looking at the long-range goals you hold, will becoming a mid-level manager with the company you’re with really help you get there? Go down the paths that bring you the most experience and help you learn the most.
5. Waiting Until You’re Ready
When you get a job you’re fully prepared for, you settle in — and then you become stagnant. Instead of landing the job you already know how to handle, strive to prove you have the skills and experience necessary to succeed doing the role you really want.
Deepak Chopra says, “Seeing your own potential to grow isn’t easy, especially when you are young. But it’s a mistake not to see that you will grow, meaning that your future self, although out of reach, has an enormous amount to offer.”
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