You’ve been working for a few years and you’re starting to feel that your career growth is stagnant. You’d ideally like a seat in that fancy boardroom one day soon but not at this rate. You’ve tried applying for a couple of roles and the response has either been negative or no reply at all…
…This isn’t a great place to be in – especially knowing the goals that you have for your career.
Here are the top 5 things to avoid doing when trying to grow.
Lack of clarity on which direction you want to take as your next step
This is your first step; stop and re-assess what your goal is, and set realistic timelines. Its important to know why you want to move into this next step, and if it fits with your ultimate career goals; not every job offer will add valuable skills to your path, so you need to assess whether it’s a lateral move, move for financial gain or move for development (it can also be a combination).
Leaving your growth/ career development in someone else’s hands
This is never good idea; the only person who essentially has your best career interests at heart is you! You have full knowledge of your goals, vision and where you’d like to go more than anyone else. You should be the captain of this ship, letting someone else drive this may land you at the wrong destination. If your current employer doesn’t invest in your development, consider investing in yourself, identify ways in which you can learn and grow to enhance your portfolio.
Invest your time, money and effort in becoming the best you can be. You will reap the benefits.
- Taking job application rejection personally
The job market is a highly competitive place and there are numerous reasons for the rejection, besides you not being good enough for the role. Sometimes the recruiter decides to go with someone internal, someone who has worked on similar projects, or someone more innovative…the fact that someone else gets the role doesn’t always mean you were not good enough, remember there is only one post at that time. Try and get developmental feedback so that you know what went wrong, and you can improve on it later.
Not staying up to date with industry trends
Things don’t stay the same in any industry; make sure you keep abreast of changes, new legislation, thought leaders etc. This involves attending industry-specific events, keeping a strong network of people in your industry (some of these can mentor you).
Disengaging from current role
While this may be the natural course to follow when you’re not satisfied at work; it is better to work on developing yourself, keeping a positive outlook. You want to leave a good legacy and not one of being a grumpy low performing team member. Low engagement levels have been linked to low performance as well as being disruptive to team cohesion.
By Elona Hlatshwayo