The early stage of your career is an exciting and transitional time because getting in the career zone is new, unknown territory. Having less experience is to be expected; everyone’s career has to start somewhere and no-one is born with a ready-made career.
Being new to the career zone means people can sometimes inadvertently create challenges for themselves which can be avoided. Over the years I have observed some common themes which I’m going to share with you together with tips for avoiding them.
Here are my twelve…
Early Career Pitfalls and Tips for Avoiding Them
1. Crises of confidence
Tip: Everyone has crises of confidence at some time. It’s natural. Confidence comes when you move in to action. Don’t wait; go for it!
2. Experience enigma
Tip: Of course your experience is lower when you start your career. It’s the same for everyone. Use what you have and be proud of achievements.
3. Not thinking like employers
Tip: Your career is your responsibility but it’s not just about you. Thinking about employers’ needs and challenges helps them make a match between you and them.
4. Skills awareness and the value connection
Tip: Your skills add value to organisations. Identifying and appreciating yours helps you to understand the contribution you can make.
5. Poor communication
Tip: Engaging and connecting with others is pivotal to your career success. Help others get to know you so they can trust and believe in you.
6. Being too insular
Tip: Being open-minded and creative leads to the right mindset for career success. Thinking beyond your bubble and yourself brings rewards.
7. Thinking a lot but not taking action
Tip: Thinking, imagining and analysing are important aspects of your career. Moving into action makes them truly worthwhile.
8. Taking action without thinking
Tip: Acting without thinking; only being reactive may be your preferred style. However, involving others and making progress need you to think better.
9. Style over substance
Tip: Blah, blah, blah! Being all style with no substance doesn’t impress on a long-term basis. You need to engage and have the means to back it up.
10. Substance but little style
Tip: You have so much to give. Adding a bit of sparkle to your communication isn’t showing-off; it makes it more interesting and engaging for others.
11. Taking a one-dimensional approach
Tip: Career opportunities are everywhere. Finding and creating them requires a creative mindset and a multi-faceted approach.
12. Forgetting it’s the beginning and not the end!
Tip: Your career is a lifelong adventure; you are at the beginning. Decisions now help you to start. Much will change along the way.
Kick-starting your career adventure is an exciting time full of learning and possibilities. I wonder where your first steps will take you?