55 Biggest Career Mistakes of Your Life

biggest career mistakesI think it’s pretty safe to say that navigating through the working world isn’t super-easy and isn’t really fun all the time. In fact, many of make some of the biggest career mistakes possible.

There are tons of rules, both written and unwritten. There are so many different personalities to deal with. And so many things out of our control. So having a super-successful career isn’t something that’s just handed to you.

You have to work at it. You have to work your butt off, really.

But eventually, and with some help, it’s something that’s totally achievable.

So I sat down and put together a list of the biggest career mistakes we should avoid. Yes, a lot of these come from straight-up personal experience… so I’ve learned a lot of these the hard way.

Hope this helps!

The 55 Biggest Career Mistakes of Your Life

  1. Assuming that you know everything
  2. Forgetting to network
  3. Not being prepared for meetings
  4. Ignoring the value of business cards
  5. Engaging in office drama
  6. Arriving to meetings late
  7. Not asking for more work when you’re bored
  8. Being satisfied doing the minimum amount of work necessary
  9. Not sharing your career goals with your leader
  10. Not reading up on your industry
  11. Forgetting to make a LinkedIn page
  12. Over-sharing personal stories at work
  13. Burning bridges when leaving a job
  14. Dressing unprofessionally
  15. Not proof-reading your e-mails
  16. Believing that you’re going to be a VP right out of college
  17. Not seeing the value in entry-level positions
  18. Not learning from your mistakes and failures
  19. Failing to seek out a mentor
  20. Thinking that once you choose a job field, you’re stuck with it forever
  21. Not having an updated resume available at all times
  22. Failing to join associations and groups pertaining to your industry
  23. Being a negative person
  24. Not taking initiative and turning down all new projects
  25. Forgetting to thank people who help you
  26. Not asking for help when you need it
  27. Failing to admit that you’re overwhelmed with your workload
  28. Trying to convince yourself that you love your job when you don’t
  29. Overestimating your abilities and not being honest about them
  30. Turning down training courses
  31. Not keeping track of all your accomplishments
  32. Making career decisions for anyone other than yourself
  33. Not actively looking for a job when you’re not happy with the one you have
  34. Thinking that it’s too late in life to change careers
  35. Making premature judgements of others
  36. Over-promising results, and then failing to deliver
  37. Not having a system for managing e-mails
  38. Failing to understand when and how you’re most productive
  39. Assuming that everyone around you thinks the same way you do
  40. Failing to accept diversity as an asset to your team
  41. Not caring how your actions affect other people
  42. Having an emotional IQ of zero
  43. Being scared to ask questions
  44. Making decisions that impact others without consulting with them first
  45. Believing that you need to be an a-hole to be taken seriously
  46. Taking jobs just for the money
  47. Not sharing your knowledge with others
  48. Letting your ego guide your decisions
  49. Not thinking big-picture
  50. Complaining about problems instead of offering solutions
  51. Failing to embrace change
  52. Being intimidated by new technology
  53. Not pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone
  54. Not giving yourself time to re-charge
  55. Not standing up for what you’re worth

Have you made some of these biggest career mistakes? Or others?! Feel free to share your thoughts below!


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Lost Gen Y Girl.





About the Author: Kayla Cruz graduated college at the age of 20 with a degree in Health Services Administration. She is currently working as a Regulatory Coordinator in Clinical Research while pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Administration specializing in Human Resources. She has found she’s most passionate about helping young professionals navigate through their first few years as GenYers in the workforce. Follow Kayla on Twitter!



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