Career Mistakes For Your 20s

1. Admit Your Mistakes 
Mistakes are normal when acquiring a new skill or knowledge base, mistakes are normal even after years of experience. The mistake itself isn't the culmination of the problem, it's the  decision-process you take afterwards. Hiding from mistakes, lying about mistakes and/or blaming others for your mistakes will catch up with you and the outcome will be worse than admitting the mistake from the start. Admitting something went wrong as soon as it occurs, will be a lot easier to clean up and your reputation should come out unscathed in the process. We've discussed the importance of transparency in the corporate world across the #BabelWrites posts. This transfers to the transparency you have as an employee with the work that you are held responsible for. Don't let your mistakes speak for your work by letting them go unsolved!

2. Ask Someone To Be Your Mentor
We've all worked for someone who we have looked up to, but we've probably never said, “I really admire the career path you’re on, and it’s something I envision for myself in the future - will you take me under your wing?” This is something that could drastically change your career path. Keep in mind the old proverb of 'ask and you shall receive' and you would be amazed to see how many people are actually willing to help you and have you as their mentee. There is a huge lesson to be learned here: if you don’t ask , you’ll never know what doors could have opened up for you. 
 
3. NEVER Assume Your Boss Is Wrong
We've all had moments where we've possibly felt misunderstood, or completely isolated in a project or role at work. With the way things are changing, there are countless new jobs, titles and roles being created from the technological advancements of the 21st century. The adoption of these roles in certain companies might take more time than in others. If you find yourself in this scenario, remember to never assume that your boss is wrong. More often than not, YOU are wrong. Drawing attention to your bosses mistakes is an unfavourable way to grow within a workplace and honestly throws a sign around your neck stating that you are very much 'difficult' to work for. Instead, attempt to educate and bring awareness to a cause. Is your boss less than impressed about you starting Social Media profiles for your business? Don't assume he is wrong. Set up a meeting, show him valuable insights on why exactly it is vital to join the Social Media craze of today, address his worries and attempt to find common ground. Perhaps, Pinterest and Instagram would be too far of an extreme, maybe settling for an informative Twitter style newsfeed is exactly the icebreaker that is needed to showcase the power of Social Media to him and the other critics in the office! 
 
4. Understand The Power Of Negotiation
The word 'negotiation' shouldn't be interpreted as a complaint, or seen as a taboo in your interactions at work. Here’s the thing - the very worst that can happen during negotiations is you’re told “no.” And if you’re told “no” to the things that you consider deal breakers, then you have the power to decline and wait for a better opportunity to present itself, or perhaps rethink your position within that company. However, for less serious aspects the power of negotiation is a skill you will take with you for the rest of your life. Being a good negotiator allows you to build, maintain, and improve important workplace relationships, additionally, being a good negotiator also makes you more efficient. Instead of spending hours arguing with people and trying to force them to do what you want, you can reach agreements, find solutions to tough problems, and keep work moving ahead more easily and with less effort. However, with everything in life, moderation is key! What's important here is understanding that the power of negotiation doesn't begin and end at discussions for a pay-raise. 
 
5. Ask For Feedback Before Your Reviews

Assuming something in the workplace is probably worse than not doing it at all. Let us empower you: It’s OK to check in with your boss every six weeks or so. It doesn’t even have to be a formal meeting. Just find a free minute to ask if you can review your latest projects or get feedback on how you’ve interacted with recent clients (it can even be in the kitchen while waiting for the coffee to finish making). Find out what your boss was impressed by and where you need to improve. Be bold enough to ask where they see you in the next year and how they suggest you get there. This shows them great initiative and allows you to take a certain level of control of the progression of your career within an enterprise. 
 
6. Keep Your Contact List Up-To-Date

Get in the habit of creating a Google spreadsheet with the contact information of everyone you meet. Update it with every business card you receive or email signature you come into contact with. Store it in your Google drive, email it to yourself as a backup, and be diligent about updating it when someone’s information changes. There’s nothing worse than having to dig for the contact information of someone you met five years ago, and assuming that 'being able to find it online' is a solution,  will not work efficiently in the long-run. It may take five years until you need to reach out to people on that list again (and yes certain contacts may have changed or become redundant). That’s OK - it will save you a lot of time and energy at that point in your life and always remain the basis for new and updated contacts in the future. Let it be the start! 
 

 

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