Our twenties are a time when we learn a lot about ourselves and are so important in shaping our career. There’s no handbook for how to start your career, most of us just learn as we go and we probably make a few mistakes along the way. Making mistakes in your career is totally OK and we all do it! Sometimes they are the best way for us to learn.
Today, I wanted to share some of the top career mistakes that a lot of women make (including myself) when starting out in our careers to help you avoid making these mistakes in the future.
Mistake #1: Taking a Job Just for the Money
I would love more money as I’m sure many of us would but that doesn’t mean that you should take a job just because of the money. Taking a job that you don’t enjoy or see yourself growing in will eventually start to weigh on you and make you unhappy. While money is definitely something to consider (because we all gotta pay those bills), it isn’t the only reason you should take a job.
Aside from the salary, you should also be asking yourself the following questions to help you decide whether or not to take the job:
Do I agree with the company mission and vision?
Is the company culture something I see myself working well in?
Are the job responsibilities something I enjoy?
Can I see myself advancing in this role and in the company?
Mistake #2: Listening to Other’s Opinions and Not Thinking About Yours
There are so many things in life that we’re told we should do, like going to college or working a 9-to-5 job but that isn’t always the right thing for all of us. Sometimes going to college isn’t something that we need to do to be successful or to feel like we’re fulfilling our dreams.
Thinking about your passions and your goals is so important, because if you don’t do this you’ll probably just be fulfilling someone else’s dreams or plans for your future. Write down what your goals are for your career and what actions you can take to achieve them. Ultimately, it is up to you to follow your passion and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
Mistake #3: Not Realizing Your Worth
This is a mistake that I definitely made early on in my career and I think a lot of other young women do as well. I didn’t feel confident in myself when I started my first job out of college, but I was worth more than I realized. We all bring something unique to the workforce and have great skills. Don’t be afraid to realize what your worth is and fight for what you want – whether it’s a higher salary or more vacation time.
Mistake #4: Not Having a Mentor
I can’t imagine where I would be without a mentor early on in my career and even today. Having a mentor has changed my life in so many ways and has given me so much more confidence in my career. A mentor can be someone you meet on the job or someone you meet through networking. I also talk about the importance of having a mentor in my post about the Professional Habits to Develop in Your Twenties.
Mistake #5: Working Too Much
With everything being online nowadays, it’s almost impossible not to feel like you have to be near your phone 24/7. I am 100% guilty of this and looking at my phone way too much. While showing that you are a dedicated employee and team player is really important, it’s also important to look out for your personal health so you don’t get burnt out. Try to set a schedule for yourself and leave around the same time every day. Establishing a routine can help you feel less anxious and is so essential to your health.
Looking for more tips on how to have a better work-life balance? Check out my work-life balance tips and also my post about how to de-stress after work!
What lessons did you learn early on in your career?