Ten Big Mistakes

What can go wrong?  You know by now that nearly everything has potential for trouble.  The biggest mistake of all is underestimating exactly that.  Strategic errors are the ones that will nail you; here are the big ones that you should take steps to avoid:

  1. Choosing the wrong friends.  Basically, your friends are the core of your network; choose corrupt, lazy, heartless, or even just irresponsible friends and you are taking yourself in the opposite direction of a solid career foundation.  Play with good citizens and nice people.
  2. Staying in one limited circle or venue.  I don’t mean just one group of people—I mean having too few interests and too limited a set of skills.  Think George Clooney in Up In the Air for an extreme example.
  3. Avoiding risk.  Nothing is perfect and you can’t learn and grow if you don’t fail.  You have to try things in order to find out what you are good at and what you aren’t.
  4. Avoiding self-awareness.  It’s important to know yourself and therefore understand others.  If you don’t know who you are, you can’t really communicate what you need.
  5. Using people.  I mean in a bad way.  It’s one thing to take advantage of a relationship by mutual understanding and agreement; it’s another to exploit a person for what he or she can do for you.
  6. Failing to deal with addiction.  You know who you are; it will catch up to you.    Probably when you aren’t expecting it.  Get help.
  7. Holding a grudge.  Are you kidding?  Who cares about your drama?  Grudge-nurturing is energy consuming and corrosive.  Paybacks are. . .not attractive.
  8. Going it alone.  Career management is a group activity and you need a cadre of advisors, an inner circle of other people who are there for you.
  9. Lying.  About anything.  Dishonesty is what it is; there aren’t times when a misrepresentation is acceptable and other times when it isn’t.  Tact is one thing, out and out bull is another.
  10. Indulging your self at the expense of others.  This takes many forms and overlaps a fair number of mistakes, but is worth noting.  If you put the needs of others on your radar and find ways to support the people around you, energy comes back to you.  If you think too much about you, everyone will realize you don’t need help. . . . .

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