What mistakes do we make in planning our professional career?

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According to the results of the Deloitte survey - 80% of employees declare that they do not like their work, and work is one of the activities that absorb the adult human life the most. It is the source of income and therefore directly influences the social status of the employee. It also shapes the environment in which we turn and the world of values ​​we believe in. That is why it is so important to manage your professional career so that work is a source of satisfaction for us. Otherwise, feeling unfulfilled and deadlocked can lead to increasing frustration and dissatisfaction with the quality of life. How to avoid it and make your professional career a success? Check what are the most common career planning mistakes!

Professional career - planning

The path to the dream job is different for each of us. However, there are some general rules that should be followed if in 20 years we want to be in our dream workplace and feel like a fish in the water. A professional career is actually a series of choices we make, which consist of experiences related to dealing with various jobs and tasks within various positions, whether in one company or in several.

Career planning trainings are full of mobilizing anecdotes. One of them tells about American scientists who conducted an experiment among final-year students at one of the universities. Scientists asked students to define their goals after graduation - what they intend to do then, the answer was given by only 3% of the respondents. However, years later, when scientists returned to investigate the fate of these 3% of students, it turned out that the fortunes of this handful of people accounted for nearly 80% of the assets of the remaining 97% of the respondents. The conclusion is simple: clearly defined plans for the future determine success in life.

Mistake 1. Simply professional career

As the story from the American backyard confirms, the lack of planning, taking a stroke of luck and waiting for favorable conditions is a solution, but it will not bring such success as effectively shaping your professional life. If we set goals and consistently pursue them - long-term effects should result in professional fulfillment, which will also translate into well-being and personal life.

Planning a career is not an easy task. Requires critical and analytical thinking skills. We have to think about what we are best at, what abilities and skills we have, our personality and temperament, think about our interests and what we want to do in a year, 5, 10 and 20 years. Then set goals. Best SMART goals (S - specific, M - measurable, A - ambitious, R - realistic, T - timed), both short and long term. It is important that the tasks are as precise as possible, so that it is possible to verify and evaluate the results after the assumed time.

Mistake 2. Professional career based on a narrow circle of contacts

Let's say you are already in your dream company. You start your internship there, then work under a contract for several years. One of the mistakes you should avoid is closing yourself to other opportunities and building your career based on relationships with a narrow group of other employees. It is worth expanding your contacts with people not only from outside the company, but also going beyond the scheme and establishing contacts with people outside your industry. New accounts not only broaden perspectives, show different ways of thinking and acting that can be useful at work to understand, but can also help in the event of mishaps to which everyone is exposed, regardless of profession.

Error 3. Professional career measured in zlotys

Regardless of how much we earn, the statistics openly say that we will always want to earn more by at least 20%, because the appetite grows with eating. However, taking up a given job only because of a high salary is a short-term solution and most likely will only reward the hardships of the first months of work. And what next? Better financial conditions should go hand in hand with opportunities for development and gaining valuable experience (especially at the beginning of a professional career), and because you often have to choose between these two options - it is better to focus on experience and development, which in the long run will provide greater profits.

Mistake 4. Short cuts in professional career

Avoiding challenges and fear of failure certainly don't make difficult decisions easier. However, it is worth risking and sometimes losing. More than once, the lessons learned from failure bring more than a few victories to our professional career. Self-analysis in career planning is the key, so when something does not work out, you need to think more deeply about what it may be the result of. Cool and distant analysis of failure leads to constructive conclusions and an instructive lesson for the future.

If, instead of challenges, we continue to choose simple and undemanding solutions, we will never know whether we will be able to cope with a situation with no solution. Just like in the iconic "Karate Kid" - you have to go through a cycle of failures to finally turn out to be a champion. This cannot be achieved without learning from mistakes.

Mistake 5. "Empty" career

Suddenly, the manager's position has become vacant, the boss comes to us, who appreciates our hard work and offers us a promotion to a higher position. We skip several career levels, receive a new title, improved salary and new duties, which, however, do not coincide with the scope of duties and responsibilities in a similar position in other companies. We fell into the so-called "trap of empty promotion".

When changing jobs, it turns out that by jumping a few positions higher, we have not acquired the appropriate competences and qualifications and that another company does not want to accept us for a strategic position. So we try to apply for a lower position - in such a situation, however, the potential employer may be afraid of excessive ambitions and will choose a candidate whose CV shows a traditional career path.

How to avoid it? It is always worth checking and asking what responsibilities follow the proposed position. In addition, we should also make sure that we have the appropriate competences to hold such a position (not only in the current company) or whether we are able to catch up quickly and become competitive also for another employer.

These are just a few of the many planning and career mistakes. However, it should be remembered that setting professional goals and scrupulous pursuit of them, learning from mistakes and gaining valuable experience are activities that not only will not harm our professional career, on the contrary - they will help to develop and properly direct it.