It’s OK to make mistakes. Yes, even when it comes to your career. Chalk it up to a little less experience, a little more naivete, and there are some things that can be gotten away with when you factor in age. Because the important thing you can do is learn from a minor (and sometimes major) screw-up.
We spoke with seasoned HR professionals who had words of wisdom for prospective professionals, and what career mistakes in your 20s that aren’t the end of the world. Not that they or we are encouraging you to make these common career mistakes; but just know, if you do, you can hopefully bounce back stronger than ever.
Having a less-than-stellar resume
Asking for too much money
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Failing to negotiate
Not establishing career path and career goals early
Choosing the wrong job
Taking a job you’re unqualified for
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Coming in overconfidently
"It's important for those just starting out their career to learn about the organization, its culture and to establish strong professional relationships with co-workers," says Boyd-Pugh. "Young professionals should be inquisitive and ask many fact finding questions when trying to problem solve or find organizational solutions. It's also extremely important to learn and practice active listening skills early." Hell, it's never to early to know how to listen — and listen well.
Poor attendance and punctuality
Spreading yourself too thin
But Boyd-Pugh also suggests not to take on too much as that "could lead to overpromising and under-delivering."
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Taking on too little
"It's important for a young professional to follow the established process first and then make suggestions to improve or streamline a process once there is a complete understanding and knowledge of current organizational operations," suggests Boyd-Pugh.
Telling your boss it isn’t in your job description
Trying to impress your boss’ boss
Failing to establish a professional network and mentor
Not taking advantage of professional development and training opportunities
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Minor violations of an organization’s policies and procedures
Inappropriate use of social media
Boyd-Pugh suggests asking yourself this: Will this "be a part of my permanent digital footprint and follow me for life?" And if the answer is yes, don't do it.
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Not being accountable
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Not saving for retirement or taking an early withdrawal
Stop saying: “manic”
The '80s hit song only encouraged folks to use this term — when, instead, people should probably just say "super busy" to express themselves.
Language matters and being mindful of the words we use can affect others. A little empathy can go a long way.