You have stepped out of your college dorm and now you are entering the brave new corporate world. Congrats you made it so far and the future looks exciting.
While there will be inevitable ups and downs in your career, here are few mistakes you should try to avoid early in your career.
1. Not following your passion
I know this is a cliché, you have heard it a gazillion times from many famous people, and watched the now revered Steve Jobs’ commencement speech over and over again. Think about working 2080 hours a year (standard 40-hour work-week) doing something you are not passionate about, doesn’t sound that appealing right?
Don’t get me wrong, you are still young and probably don’t even know what you are passionate about yet. Don’t be afraid to explore and learn new things. Eventually, when you do know what makes you tick and deeply connected with, give fate a fighting chance.
2. You don’t have a mentor
I was fortunate to have had a couple of great mentors early in my career and owe a lot to them for who I’m today. It’s not always necessary that your manager should be your mentor. In fact, a mentor does not need to be someone with whom you work with.
A mentor is someone who will help you learn and grow by sharing his knowledge, wisdom and expertise. They are genuinely positive people and want you to do well in your career and life. Here are few ways to find career mentors.
3. Going after fancy job title
When I was a fresher, I envied people with fancy job titles. What I was overlooking, was the fact that I was working in a hot start-up with many talented colleagues. I was learning way beyond what my designated job entitled me to. I worked with almost all the departments in the company and got a better understanding of the business.
But at that point, I felt like my career was not going in any specific direction and my peers were way ahead in the curve. Looking back, I would not trade those experiences for any fancy title or even better pay-check. By the way, you will get those fancy titles once you become really good at what you do.
4. Getting too comfortable, stopped learning
OK, you are working hard and getting more comfortable in your new avatar as a professional. You are financially independent and can buy the latest shiny smartphones without asking for money from your parents. Life is good!!
Don’t get too comfortable, not yet. Spend time on learning new tools and acquiring new skills. For e.g., if you are a digital marketer, learn about analytics and statistics. In today’s day and age you really don’t have an excuse for not learning. There are free courses you can take, tutorial videos that you can watch on youtube. Here is a list of sites where you can take free courses.
5. Afraid to make mistakes
I know what you are thinking “Isn’t this article about avoiding mistakes??”.
Often young professionals are afraid to express themselves or question the tried and tested ways of getting things done in an organisation. If you have a better idea on how to tackle a business problem or have genuine doubts about the effectiveness of the current processes, don’t hesitate to speak up, be rationale and foster healthy discussions.
As Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a recent interview “The journey is not predictable”.
Finally, remember we are only human and bound to make mistakes. As long as you can learn from your mistakes and not repeat it, you will do well in your career.
(The article originally appeared on Medium as written by Fisher Laishram, CEO & Co-Founder of Tapwisdom.com)