Navigating work life can be a difficult task. At times, it may seem as though employees are walking a tightrope of expectations as they try to complete their duties.
However, sometimes it is difficult to get everything right. Unfortunately, too many employees make mistakes that could end up being costly, even career ending.
Managing your career is the key to a successful work life. However, even when your job feels stable, things can change without much notice and employers could soon find themselves on the breadline.
Employees must learn to recognize and avoid the most common pitfalls that employees tend to make. Identifying the most common pitfalls can help prevent embarrassment, regret and loss of employment.
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Employees Stop Networking
Too many employees believe that getting a job means that they no longer have to network. This is because networking is mistakenly viewed as an end goal rather than a process. It becomes especially easy to neglect your networking needs when you’ve been employed for a rather long time.
Unfortunately, your current coworkers aren’t going to fulfill your networking goals. The need for continuous networking becomes especially apparent if you unexpectedly lose your job. You are going to have to look outwards.
Networking is necessary for employees to interact and stay in contact with people who are in a position to help them should they need a change in career. Besides job hunting, networking can also help you keep ahead of the game as you keep up to date with competitors and expose yourself to fresh ideas.
An Expectation of Appreciation
Employees at times harbor a naïve belief that work will always be recognized by their superiors. Unfortunately, this is not always true. No employee should have an expectation of appreciation no matter how warranted it may seem. Many times, because of vocal nature, it’s the less talented, less accomplished employees who end up gaining recognition and moving up in the company.
Employees must recognize that no one can highlight the value of their own contributions like they can. Instead of waiting for recognition from your superiors, employees must take the initiative to inform their superiors about their accomplishments. Of course, it goes without saying that this is a task that requires a very delicate touch.
Employees do not want to come across as if they are boasting since boastfulness can be worse than your boss not knowing at all. However, employees can choose discrete methods such as adding their accomplishments to the meeting agendas, keeping a record of their accomplishments and volunteering their experience by helping their coworkers with problem-solving.
Not Knowing Your Value
Far too many employees are simply unaware of how much they are worth to their employers. This is especially true for women. Not knowing your worth can mean not asking for a raise when you need one or settling during salary negotiations. Employees need to assess whether the salaries they receive are in keeping with their workload and the value they bring to the company.
You cannot expect your employer to know your value if you are unwilling to say it explicitly. There is a theory that suggests that you are not paid in accordance with your worth, but rather your ability to negotiate your salary. Thus, the onus is on the employer to both know their worth and to convince their employers of it. When assessing your worth, take into account your education, experience, and talent as well as the salary range for someone in your position.
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Not Enough Visibility
Far too many times, employees tend to blend into the background and don’t allow their employers to take notice of them. Unfortunately, in the workplace, there are two options: either you are a standout worker or you are of little importance. Gone are the days are of plodding away quietly without much fanfare and with little recognition.
Employees who enjoy a high level of visibility in the organization can discover an advocate during performance appraisals. High visibility convinces other employees to come to bat for you where ordinarily they wouldn’t risk their necks. Employees should consider joining workplace committees in order to increase visibility within the workplace.
Many companies have committees set up that deal with worker retention, and improving workflow. Volunteering for those committees can help employees to interact with other workers who are likely to remember them when it matters most. Employees can also take the initiative to work in different sections of the company if that opportunity presents itself.
They Become Complacent
Workers who have enjoyed their positions for an extended period make the mistake of becoming too complacent in their roles which result in them becoming disengaged and paying less attention to detail. This is true even when employees enjoy a measure of success in the workplace. Early success may lead some employees to believe that the success will continue without having to work too hard.
Many employees then begin delegating duties to subordinates without imparting much guidance or checking up on them later on. And because they remain busy, they don’t realize that things are falling apart in front of them.
When employees become complacent they stop asking hard-hitting questions; they stop taking the initiative, and they tend to take shortcuts that reduce the quality of their work. They also visibly lose their passion for their job and they tend to take much fewer risks that would help to place the company on its best footing.
Becoming successful, highly admired and a dependable employee is a challenging assignment. The truth is that there is little you can do to guarantee an error-free career. Employees are bound to make mistakes from time to time.
In fact, mistakes are a foundation from which growth and accountability spring. However, every employee should try to eliminate those mistakes which could prove costly to their careers. Acquainting oneself with these well-worn paths is the first step towards avoiding those errors that could derail a promising career.