How Professional Do You Think You Are? Risky Career Moves You’ll Regret

July 29, 2015  |  

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There are times when taking a risk can pay off and others when you desperately plea for a do-over. Hopefully you can pay attention to any warning signs before making such a costly mistake. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to take a chance and go against the grain from time to time, you want to make sure it’s the right move to make.

Has there ever been a decision you’ve made in your career you wish you could take back?

Chances are your answer is “yes” and that only makes you human. (Congrats!) Honesty and self-reflection are the best ways to identify areas that need improvement so you can fix them. I can think of several occasions where I should’ve went left instead of right, and while I’ll admit past failures did provide a lesson to learn, there would’ve been less hurt if I bypassed obvious no-nos.

Not every career move is a good one. Here are some you might wish to bypass for the sake of your sanity… and job.

Feeling entitled. There’s a big difference between knowing your worth and expecting things without putting in an ounce of sweat. Too many professionals these days are puffing out their chests on the job and don’t have the experience to back their demands. Reach for the stars, but don’t forget to take your head out of the clouds at some point. Having a sense of entitlement can and will backfire.

Causing the wrong type of waves. As a professional, it should be your goal for colleagues and upper level management to know your name. Just make sure it’s for the right reasons. Those who complain, stir up gossip and flat out argue with people — to the point of being unproductive — need to change their ways and fast. Sure you might have an “off day,” but please don’t make it a habit. Folks are watching your every move and keeping track of who they want to promote and let go. Don’t be the problem at work.

Burn bridges. “Well forget this job, I didn’t like y’all anyway!” No matter how crazy a job made you feel, always try your best to take the high road as you never know how it will come back to you. Success is never a straight path or one-way road which means you might have to circle back and take unexpected detours to get there.

Quitting out of emotion. Ooh this one is very tough for some people because it’s a little too easy to get pushed to your limit. Hopefully you can turn a bathroom stall into a prayer closet to keep your peace and attitude in line. The last thing you want is for someone to inspire you to leave your job without securing the next gig. You still have bills to pay!

Jumping into the wrong job. Hey, if you need employment, you need employment. No one will fault you for trying to take care of business, though you need to watch your level of complacency. Just as you shouldn’t quit a job without thought, you should also think twice about taking on a new gig. At the end of the day, time is a commodity and a high-paying job isn’t always everything. Don’t waste any more years on feeling so-so about something. Choose to follow your passion.

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