How to Undo Some Common Career Mistakes


Forgetting to Negotiate the Salary

Usually, the excitement of getting hired gets in the way of this discussion, especially if you’ve been in the unemployed club for longer than you’d like! It’s okay, we are glad you have a job – and hopefully one that you like, but take a step back and really think about what you WANT to be getting paid.

With the advent of the internet it’s not difficult to find out what the average compensation is given your experience in your field. If this number is beneath one that you are offered now, then you should speak with your potential employer about this. Proceed with patience; the best (and the only) way you can fix your low salary problem is by justifying why you deserve it. This means putting in extra work, so get used to getting to work early and coming home late and taking on more responsibility and outshining others at all possible times.

Playing catch up to raise your salary will take time. Generally speaking, the conversation regarding your salary will not be brought up for at least 6 months – but most likely a year – into you working. But, if you can show what an asset you are to the company, then you should feel confident enough to bring up the topic in about three months. Bottom line is, make yourself irreplaceable – and as quickly as possible.

Don’t be Afraid to Leave your Job

A lot of people continue to work their job because it pays the bill, but also because they get comfortable. The truth is, continuing to work in a place that isn’t getting you where you want to go is detrimental to your well-being.

Now, we don’t encourage you to get up and quit your job immediately, but we do advise that you begin looking for a suitable alternative. You don’t even have to go out of your way to search for a new one, but what you can do is update your online portfolio – we highly suggest that you get acquainted with Linkedin. Other good places to put your resume and portfolio would be and

By doing this, you can continue to keep bringing in the money and potential recruiters will come to you instead of you to look around. Remember having a secure job does not mean it has to be the one that leads to depression.

You are Seen as Competing with Everyone in the Office, and You have No Allies.

Competing with people at work is usually good for business it can drive people to do the best they can. But, games should not be played in an arrogant way. By no means should a friendly competition entitle you to be the “jerk.” And by all means never ever throw anybody else under the bus to further your “brilliant” reputation with your employer! But, if you HAVE let the heat of the moment get the best of you and now you are in “outsiders” club, we are here to help!

Working with people you know dislike you is one of the worst feelings; especially if everything else about your job is going well. But no worries, this is a hurdle that is not difficult to overcome.

First off, you might want to slow down on your (overly) competitive nature; learn to be a part of the team. Next, ask for criticism on your work – and take it if it is actually constructive and start appreciating people. You don’t have to kiss up to them, but you can genuinely thank them for their help and best of all – give them credit for their contribution as much as you can.

You may find yourself in a situation where your peers have stopped approaching you. And that is fine, but do not hesitate to approach them. If you genuinely understand where you went wrong, you will be able to re-cooperate and your peers will eventually forgive you – and perhaps even forget that you were once a “jerk”.

You said, “YES” to a New Job, Only to Realize it was a Mistake

It is always recommended that you never burn any old bridges when you begin a new job; always leave on a positive note because you never know if you will come back to the same place again or somehow work with people you worked with before. Anyhow, you jumped ships and you quickly realized that the new job simply isn’t meant for you.

Before you convince yourself that your new job is not the right fix, understand that you may just haven’t given yourself enough time to get comfortable and it may be the anxiety of the new scenario is just freaking you out – so at least give it a month before you fully conclude that you definitely do not want to work at this place.

But if you are certain, then the best thing to do is to let your employer know about your feelings and just head on out. Yes, it’s an uncomfortable discussion, but it is one both you and he/she will appreciate in the long run. The best way would be to find a replacement before you head out – whatever you do, don’t gloat that you already have a new place waiting for you to work at; imagine if they find out where you are going to work and decide to give them a heads up about your “lack of loyalty”.

So keep it as sincere and humble as it needs to be – but do feel confident about jumping ships regardless of how long you’ve worked there.

If you like the place, but not your responsibilities, you can even request to see if you could be placed in a more suitable department; they will not hesitate to make the switch if it allows them to use your talents more appropriately.

You Drank One-too-Many at Office Happy Hour

If you like the people at work, then social events at office are some of the most fun times you will have. Chances are these social outings will include alcohol. Now, alcohol is very easy to (over) indulge so we highly recommend that you turn up your filter and stay borderline sober through the event. But, you felt confident enough in your limits and had one-too-many, here are a few fixes that might help.

You wake up with a soaring headache, ringing ears, and horrific feeling in your stomach – oh, and you have 30 minutes to get dressed and get out the door – what do you do? Call in “sick?”

While, that may seem like a genuinely honest solution, it is quite frankly the worst one for your image. Not only do your co-workers and employer know that you have a hangover – because you drank too much in front of them – but you also don’t take responsibility for your actions either. So keep the “sick” routine out of your playbook.

Unfortunately, your best option is a huge jug of coffee and an aspirin or two. You want to keep your chin up and face the music (yes that loud music – that although is playing at an extremely low volume – but is loud enough to give you the worst headache of your life). Do your best to keep a straight face and just push through the day and of course never have a repeat; “the drunkard” is not an appealing title to get from your colleagues.

At the end of the day, you have to make mistakes in order to learn but knowing that there are chances for redemption makes things better; so don’t lose hope if you find yourself in any of these scenarios. People forgive, forget, and simply move on.

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