Our economy has changed thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. While unemployment is higher than before, there are still many jobs out there. It is all about recognising the opportunities, pathways and doors. But before you start polishing your resume, let us have a look at these eight career mistakes you should avoid:
1. Not networking
If you are not networking, you are missing out on the opportunities available to you. The sooner you recognise the value and necessity of networking, the faster you can utilise it to your advantage. Building relationships, credibility and trust can be beneficial for all parties involved.
While networking may not necessarily land you a job immediately, it can open new doors like a job interview in a new industry, business partnership with a new startup or speaking opportunities at public events. These opportunities may lead you to a new job, or maybe your own company.
2. Forgetting about work-life balance
Balancing your work and life is a crucial part of having a successful career. If you are working more than you are living, are you truly living? Perhaps this is a question you should be asking yourself and if the salary is worth the sacrifice.
You can set rules and draw the line. After working hours, ensure that you switch off your work-related notifications on your laptop and smartphone. Put aside some quality time with your family.
3. Thinking that it is too late in life to switch careers
Many people have successfully switched careers at a later stage in life. Ask yourself if you should take the plunge. It is now or never, or you will miss the train for good.
At this point, you must decide whether to dedicate time, energy and focus to developing the necessary skills to pick up and switch careers. If you have planned well and thought things through, it is not impossible to switch careers at a later stage.
4. Staying in a job or with a company you hate
Why would you stay in a job or with a company that you hate? For most people, the answer is financial security and sometimes fear of uncertainty.
Keep in mind that you are not doing yourself any favours by staying on and feeling miserable every day. You may think that it is necessary to stay on because of the salary and benefits but it is going to affect your mental health in the long run.
Learn to recognise when you need a career shift. If your workplace has become toxic, you need to start looking out and move on.
5. Lying in your resume
Do not lie in your resume thinking you are increasing your chances of landing a job. You will have a better chance if your new employer can see that you are a person with integrity and you are providing only truthful information.
Highlight realistic achievements and awards in your resume. It is okay to brag but you can also mess things up by stretching the truth too much.
6. Not asking for a raise.
What is the worst thing that could happen if you did not ask your boss for a raise? You could be missing out on that 15% increment simply because you did not ask. And you may be wondering why your teammate got a raise instead.
While you may be thinking that your chances are slim, think about it, you have nothing to lose. If you feel that you deserve a raise for your outstanding performance or meeting your sales target, go have that meeting with your boss.
7. Not willing to learn and acquire new skills
Always remember that learning is a continuous process. Reskilling and upskilling are necessary if you want to stay relevant in the job market. Put aside some time to take some short courses or ask your company for any upskilling opportunities. You never know where this new skill could take you.
8. Not knowing your worth and settling for less
It is important to know your worth. Make yourself visible on professional social networks such as LinkedIn and SCIKEY to get noticed. Some people do not realise that they can get a higher salary out there because they are too comfortable with what they are getting and prefer to settle for less.
It may not be easy to find a job right away, but we can do more to equip ourselves. Have the courage to take steps that will help your future get better.