Written by Ngozi Aligwekwe
Continuing with the invaluable antidotes from an event delivered a few years ago by Dr Jane Stevens, coach & partner at Hay Hill and Claire-Louise McSherry, founder of the McSherry Brown Recruitment Boutique.
The panel discussion was focused on answering the following questions: Are you owning your career? How can you drive your career? What are the distinguishing features of people who have successful careers? Here are some of the takeaways as next steps from the event.
The following are some career mistakes that are commonly made:
Not taking time to think about and plan your career
Not allowing enough time or making time to focus on yourself. This is important as a day job. If there is no plan then it is no surprise if you meander from your goals. Do not edit yourself when looking at the big picture as you do not need to know the details immediately.
Lack of a network
A lack of network leads to an inability to get promoted internally let alone to be approached for external opportunities. Key is to NETWORK! NETWORK! NETWORK! Seek out sponsors/mentors to help you navigate your organisation and carefully choose the people that you can trust. Manage your risk by having more than one sponsor/mentor to avoid dependency when the political tide changes. Also, have mentors outside of your organisation for a broader industry view.
Not enough emphasis on brand and communication
Everyone you meet needs to be clear on what you stand for otherwise it is a missed opportunity. Speak up and tell people what you want. Don’t expect other people to watch your back and promote you. You need to promote yourself.
Not taking risks
Holding back for fear of failure or concern about the politics of moving forward. The fear of failure and or change can hold people back in getting and executing a career plan. You can mitigate this by self-reflection i.e. ask yourself what you want out of life.
Lack of authenticity and humility
This impacts the ability of people to trust you. You have to be yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Leverage the strength of those around you.
Lack of confidence and self-doubt
Focusing on what you can’t do in the new role and what you don’t have rather than the positives. Dare to dream. You need to have the persistence to drive change and work with courage and curiosity.
No one is immune to making mistakes, it is what you do following that mistake that really matters.
As Lisabeth Saunders Medlock, PhD said our mistakes and failures are gifts, gems, guideposts in our learning and growth as people. So embrace failures, mistakes, screw-ups and shortcomings because they not only make us uniquely who we are but also teach us powerful lessons.