It is that time of the year for most freshly graduates – finding their first job with the expectation to fulfill a long-lasting successful career. However one must be aware of the most common career mistakes young people make. As you will discover, we have all done them at some point in time, so let us read on to try to avoid these common pitfalls.
1. Too Young To Make Mistakes
You are probably in your early 20s if you graduated with a degree and looking for your first job. There is a misconception that being young, employees can afford to make career mistakes.
Reality is that your career options that are done when you are young have a big impact to the roles you will land when you are in your 50s. Therefore it is important that whenever you choose a career to plan ahead of time.
2. Not Building Social Networks
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.
College juniors and seniors can leverage the power of their universities by connecting with their alumni network and professors. New professionals can start attending networking events and meeting new people as often as possible.The sooner you start, the better — having access to a wide range of job options and learning experiences at a young age is invaluable.
Tip: Build an online professional profile to share with your network
Setup a What Vacancy and a LinkedIn profile as a starter and make sure they are kept up to date with your latest skills and job experiences.
3. Self-Centered CV and Goals
John F. Kennedy immortalized the words “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” In this case, look not for what your potential employer can do for you, look for what you can do for your potential employer.
When you’re in your 20s, you’re a small fish in an incredibly big pond, and companies are looking for ways they can improve their business — not ways to help the lives of a few recent grads.
Tip: A What Vacancy profile is better than a regular CV
Follow strategies to build an effective What Vacancy profile and get approached by multiple employers.
4. Short job stints
While we advocate considering all possible career opportunities presented to you, even if you are happy in your role, we see a common trend among young people – young professionals thinking that quitting will solve the problems they encounter at work.
There’s nothing wrong with quitting a job as long as you’ve thoroughly considered and understood the benefits and repercussions. For example, one tough assignment or one annoying coworker could be enough to push them out the door. Instead of quitting your job anytime you face a hardship, do a thorough pro/con evaluation.
Even if you ultimately decide to quit, reflect on the lessons learned so you won’t end up in the same situation on the next job – you do not want to be labelled as the professional with the short job stints.
5. A know-it-all Attitude
Few people would own up to their own arrogance, but it’s important to recognize your potential to overestimate your own abilities.
Professionals in their 20s are often young and inexperienced, and even if you went to a great school and got excellent grades, there’s still a lot you’ll need to learn in the professional world before you’re going to make a substantial impact.
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), and respect everybody.
Final Thoughts On Career Mistakes By Young Professionals
Avoiding these mistakes alone won’t guarantee you a straight path to a career you’ll love forever, but they will help you alleviate some of the growing pains that come with entering the professional world as a recent college graduate.
Stay flexible, learn from your mistakes, and remain focused on your goals. If you can do that, there should be nothing to stop you from landing your perfect job.