Do you remember when you were told that it’s okay to make mistakes? Well, it’s true, though only up to a point. Sometimes our success can be more dependent on making fewer mistakes, rather than doing something spectacular. Mistakes can matter, and they can matter a lot. 

I recently found out that the 200th best tennis player wins about 49% of the points that they play? Novak Djokovic said that, to win slam titles, you have to win 52%. That means that the difference between being at the bottom of the ratings to the top, is just 4%.*

In some ways, career mistakes can be just as costly. There’s a big difference between losing a job and being promoted.

To enjoy the best career journey, I suggest avoiding these career mistakes:

  1. Recognising that you need to make your manager look good. Whether you like your manager or not, they potentially have a lot of control over your future. Making your manager look good is positive for your future. Making them look bad may not end well for you. 
    Consider how your words, actions, and decisions impact your manager.
  2. Failing to network. I recognise that it’s vital that you get to know the people in your company and your industry. Many internal jobs are never advertised. They’re simply offered to people. you could be missing out on some great opportunities by not networking.
    If you ever need a new job, your network can be invaluable.
  1. Il-considered wardrobe decisions. You ought to dress appropriately for your position or the position one level above yours. Dressing like your manager can generally be a good idea. If you’re underdressed, people will assume that you’re not serious.
  2. Failing to improve. Since you’re going to the same place each day and doing the same things over and over, it follows that you’d improve in performance and skill over time.
    Do your best to become the go-to person in your job. Learn everything you can and do the best job you can.
  1. Ignoring warning signs. Change is a constant. Evolution is necessary. Is your industry being replaced by new technology? Is it clear that your manager has less regard for you than others? Few people lose their jobs by complete surprise. There are usually warning signs. See them, fix it or leave while the going is good.
  2. Being unreliable. To avoid this mistake, just be reliable. It’s really not too hard. Turn your work in on time and do what you say you’re going to do within the deadline. And be consistent.
  3. Gossiping. As a general rule, it’s not smart to talk about others. Negative comments often come back to haunt you at a later time. Plus, much of what you hear around the coffee making station is false anyway.
  4. Arriving late and leaving early. People notice stuff like this. It speaks of disinterest. Be on time. This goes back to being reliable. Make certain to put in the required number of hours each day. You don’t want to be known as the person that isn’t pulling their own weight.
  5. Staying at a job you dislike. You could be at work for 45% or more of your available working week. Why would you waste time doing a job you dislike? You should have enough respect for yourself to look for another one. It’s hard to do well doing something you don’t like. It’s also hard to hide the fact that you don’t like your job. Do yourself a favour and find a company and position that you enjoy.
  6. Chasing money. We all work to earn money, but money isn’t the only consideration. Do you like the company, the industry, your manager, and your colleagues? How is the town or city? How are the benefits? There’s more to a job than just making money.

Take time to reflect on what you can do and work on your focus of being the employee that makes the fewest career mistakes. Avoiding these 10 ‘faux-pas’ will greatly aid your career and your earning potential over the years.

In many instances, avoiding mistakes can be more powerful than doing something incredible! Like playing tennis.

*Source –

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