When it comes to making decisions about the direction you want your career to take, minimise the stress by keeping these common mistakes in the forefront of your mind:
- Taking a new job too quickly. “Taking a new job without considering all of the information at hand can turn out to be a major disaster,” warns Anne Sabine, Managing Director at Evolve Scientific Recruitment. “An opportunity may look all shiny and new, but it’s not until you actually get to know the workplace and culture intimately that the cracks may start to appear.” Be mindful that people often take the first opportunity that comes along, not because it’s their dream job, but simply because it’s not their current job. To avoid making this mistake, make sure you have a clear idea of what you want in your new job before setting out to search for it.
Many of the same problems that made you leave your previous job – a difficult boss or gossipy colleagues, for example – may also exist in your new workplace. That’s why it’s important to do your research before making any decisions.
Check out SEEK’s Company Reviews to get information from people who’ve been employed there in the past. It might also be worth investigating whether you know anyone who works there and ask him or her directly about their experience.
The interview is also an opportunity to gain a better insight into what values are important to the company. So, devise some pointed questions you might want to ask. Sabine offers some suggestions:
- What is the greatest cultural challenge in your team?
- What are you doing to solve it?
- Assuming that your job will last. “It’s unfortunate,” says Sabine, “but even the most stable jobs in the most stable of companies can sometimes be subject to forces that render you redundant.”
Changes to technology, economic conditions and waxing and waning fads can mean that the job you are happily ensconced in currently might not exist two years from now.
That’s why future-proofing yourself is important:
- Stay abreast of your market by following industry news and keeping an eye on competitors
- Always be on the lookout for ways to professionally develop. You might want to speak to your manager about completing some further training or explore volunteer opportunities outside of business hours.
- Expand your transferable skillset. Think about what some of your deficiencies are and come up with a plan to improve them. For example, if a lot of the jobs you want apply for require a high level of proficiency in Excel and you’re not confident with that you might want to spend some time each week watching free online tutorials to pick up some tips.
- Taking a good job for granted. A good job is hard to find. Some people have one, but don’t even know it. It’s easy to be consumed by the small problems and minor complaints, which quite often lead you to believe that you’re not happy when all you need is an attitude adjustment.
“The grass is not always greener and it’s important to appreciate what you have,” says Sabine. “A good job offers you a safe working environment, free from harassment, a salary commensurate with your contribution to the business and a chance to grow professionally over time. If you have even two of these three things you have the elements of something that could be even better,” she says. So, rather than rushing to leave, it might be worth talking to your boss about what could be done to improve your job satisfaction.
Now that you know the three main career mistakes that keep people up at night, hopefully, armed with the knowledge on how to avoid them, you can rest easy.
Many of the same problems that made you leave your previous job, a difficult boss or gossipy colleagues, for example, may also exist in your new workplace. That’s why it’s important to do your research before making any decisions.