career mistakes, professional, millennials, career path, dream career
CAREER / 14 December 2016
5 Career Mistakes Every Young Professional Needs to Avoid
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Hannah Son
Content Writer
Redondo Beach

Before you start reading, turn on some holiday music, sip on some hot cocoa and sit by the fireplace. It’s that time of year again. December is the season for cheer and merriment but it’s also the end of a year and a time to prep for new changes, a fresh start and those New Year’s resolutions. This year, end 2016 smoothly by avoiding common career mistakes that could potentially ruin your new year vibes.  


Finding your dream career is a lifelong journey and one that requires a delicate balance of taking risks and finding stability. Choosing a career is generally not a one-time decision; it’s a series of decisions, made as you progress through different stages of life, experience, and responsibility. This post will help young professionals identify and avoid common career mistakes.


 Here are five common career mistakes that employees make and what you should do in order to have a more successful career:


1. Choosing an initial career path for all the wrong reasons:

Choosing a career path is one of the most important decisions of your life...yes, even more important than choosing which American Idol contestant you will vote for or choosing which flavor of Pringles you want to indulge in. This decision can shape the rest of your professional life and for this matter, it is important to give it careful consideration. 


Don’t choose a career based on the first or easiest option that comes your way. Treat this like a date, the first person you meet will most likely not be your soulmate, your career deserves just as much thought and personal consideration. 


Don’t choose a job based on salary or title. A job chosen based on these qualities will not be satisfying. While you may have more spending money or a better resume, it is not worth it if you are stressed and miserable for 8+ hours a day 5 days a week. Having passion in your career can really help you get places and move up the career ladder.  Doing what you’re good at and what you enjoy is generally a far better consideration in choosing a career than selecting a title and doing the work that accompanies it 


2. Thinking that your decisions now won’t affect your decisions later:

As a millennial or young professional, you’re still very young, but that doesn’t mean your career decisions don’t count. These first couple career moves will be the first steps you take on the long journey of your career. How you manage that role, what you take away from that position, and what you do to plan for the future will all be extremely important in the next several years of your career development


With this being said, you have to believe that every decision you make will affect your future. Failing to network early on in your young professional career is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Professional networking is a major key to success in the business world — in part because other connections are how to learn more about yourself and your business, and in part because it will give you more potential career paths when it comes time to look for a new position. The earlier you start networking, the better. 


Even if you feel secure in your current job, you should always be open to meeting new people, both at work and outside of work. Use online platforms and social media, meetings and conferences and even the Starbucks line as a way to connect with new people, because who knows, maybe they might turn into your life-line.


3. Being overly confident

Professionals in their 20s are often young and inexperienced, there’s still a lot you’ll need to learn in the professional world before you’re going to make an impact with your career. 

Learn to be OK with not knowing everything, and be open to learning from others. Listen to new ideas, hear other people’s advice (even if you don’t take it), know your place and respect everybody.


This next part goes hand in hand, with the phrase don’t count your chicks before they hatch. In other words, don’t quit a job just because it’s inconvenient or a little difficult. There’s nothing wrong with quitting a job as long as you’ve thoroughly considered all aspects. Quitting is not always the quick fix to all of your career woes. Take everything into consideration — you may not like your boss, or your co-workers but if you’re learning great skills, it may be worth sticking it out for as long as you can.



4. Not Pushing yourself to do better:

You are the most important element of your career, and you have to put yourself first. Invest in yourself by learning new skills and finding new avenues for professional development. ProSky offers some amazing online courses that will help boost your career skill ets all from the comforts of your home. So learn new skills, you are in charge of your own career, not your employer. Set goals up for yourself and take the necessary steps to meet them. 



5. Being Professional:

One of the biggest mistakes young professionals make in their careers are being unprofessional. Dress the part, be prepared for meetings, be organized and on time. Clean up your social media channels. You are a direct representation of your company. This means, you have to show the outside world your best side. You want to always conduct yourself professionally online and off, as you never know who may find information about you.


Finding your dream career is a lifelong journey and one that requires a delicate balance of taking risks and finding stability. Choosing a career is generally not a one-time decision; it’s a series of decisions, made as you progress through different stages of life, experience, and responsibility. Learn new skills and improve your career by taking control of your own path and enhancing your skillsets.