Your mom told you it’s okay to make mistakes, but that’s not always true. Sometimes success depends more on making fewer mistakes rather than doing something spectacular. Mistakes can matter, and they can matter a lot.
Did you know the 200th-best tennis player wins about 49% of his points? What percentage of points does the number one player in the world win? 53% The difference between barely scraping by and being the best in the world is making 4% fewer mistakes, at least in tennis.
Career mistakes can be just as costly. There’s a big difference between losing a job and being promoted.
For your best career experience, ensure that you avoid making these career mistakes:
- Failing to make your boss look good. Whether you like your boss or not, they potentially have much control over your future. Making your boss look good is positive for your future. More importantly, making a boss look bad does not improve your prospects.
- Consider how your words, actions, and decisions impact your boss.
- Failing to network. Learning how to get to know the people in your company and your industry is essential. Although, companies do not post all jobs; they recruit people they know can do the work. However, you could miss out on some great opportunities by keeping to yourself instead of networking.
- If you ever need a new job, your network can be invaluable.
- Poor wardrobe decisions. Dress for your position or the position one level above yours. Dressing like your boss is generally a good idea. Consequently, if you are underdressed, people will assume that you are not serious.
- Failing to improve. Since you’re going to the same place each day and doing the same things repeatedly, it only makes sense that you’d improve over time.
- Do your best to become an expert at your job. Learn everything you can and do the best job you can.
- Ignoring warning signs. Is your industry being replaced by new technology? Is it clear that your boss has it out for you? Getting fired rarely comes as a surprise; there are warning signs. Get out while the getting is good.
- Being unreliable. To avoid this mistake, just be reliable. Turn your assignments in on time and do what you say you will do.
- Gossiping. As a general rule, it’s not wise to talk about others. Negative comments often come back to haunt you at a later time. Much of what you hear around the water cooler is false, anyway.
- Arriving late and leaving early. Be on time; it is about being reliable. Ensure that you put in the required number of hours each day. In particular, you do not want to be known as someone who isn’t pulling their weight.
- Staying at a job you dislike. If you dislike your job, have enough respect for yourself to look for another one. Admittedly, it’s hard to do something you don’t like well. It’s also hard to hide that you don’t want your job. Do yourself a favor and find a company and position that you enjoy.
- Chasing money. We all work to earn money, but money isn’t the only consideration. Do you like the company, the industry, the boss, and the coworkers? How is the city? What are the benefits? There’s more to a job than just making money.
Before you try to reinvent the wheel at work, focus on being the employee that makes the fewest career mistakes. In any case, avoiding these ten errors will significantly aid your career and earning power over the years.
In many instances, avoiding mistakes can be more powerful than doing something incredible!