Career Regrets to Avoid – Being unhappy with your job makes you prone to second-guessing every career choice that may have led to your current situation. Whether it’s quitting impulsively or skipping out on a career-changing project, regrets can consume you and prevent you from seeing the obtainable opportunities right in front of you. Take a moment to reassess your professional values to avoid damaging career choices in the future.
1. Sinking With the Ship
Loyalty is a good thing, but make sure you give allegiance to the right causes. Don’t force yourself to stay at a company suffering from poor management, counterproductive policies or favoritism. As you rise up the ranks, you may hold greater accountability for problems the company leaders refuse to address, making you feel like your contributions are meaningless. Make an effort to discuss operational problems with senior management, but be prepared to move on if they are not receptive.
2. Chasing the Highest Paycheck
If you’ve ever chosen a position simply because it paid the most, you may regret turning down jobs that appealed to your passion. Income is important, but your career choices should reflect your temperament and long-term goals. Discontentment builds when you feel disconnected from your work, especially when the job doesn’t offer any outlets for projects you enjoy.
On the same note, avoid drowning in misery for the money or overworking yourself for years in hopes of impressing the boss. Even if you land the best promotions, reaching another rung on the career ladder probably isn’t worth missing out on major family milestones or sacrificing your emotional well-being.
3. Running From Risks
Fear of failure is natural, but your career can suffer if you always choose the safe path. You may be afraid to ask for a lead role on an attractive project or to offer constructive criticism to a superior. Maybe you want to start a business but lack the confidence. Always evaluate the possible outcomes of a risky career choice, and ask yourself how easily you can recover from a negative result. A situation that doesn’t turn out the way you planned can still reap benefits, such as influential contacts or a new role in the company.
4. Abandoning Your Network
When you leave a job, don’t assume your co-workers are in your rear view. Whether your colleagues are friends or frenemies, maintaining civility throughout your employment makes it easier to keep in touch after you go. In the future, you may cross paths with the people you casually shared jokes with at the coffee machine, and you never know when their recommendations may influence your candidacy with another company.
5. Wasting Your Potential
Few career woes are worse than knowing you could’ve excelled at something, but you chose not to act. Regret stings the most when you realize your slacker mentality and lack of professional values are the only real barriers to your success. Fortunately, self-improvement is the easiest career choice you can ever make, so start pursuing challenges at work, setting career goals and researching the skills you need to reach the next level.
Move ahead in your career by making peace with regrets of the past. Base future career choices on the person you want to be, and be open to nonlinear paths that may lead to a fulfilling job.
Source: Joe Weinlick (Beyond)