55 Biggest Career Mistakes of Your Life

Learn from these career mistakes and don’t make them yourselves!

Alright guys. I think it’s pretty safe to say that navigating through the working world isn’t super-easy and isn’t really fun all the time.

There are tons of rules and so many different personalities that we have to deal with, so having a super-successful career isn’t something that’s just handed to you.

You have to work at it.

You have to work your butt off, really.

But eventually, and with some help, it’s something that’s totally achievable.

So I sat down and put together a list of big career mistakes that we should try to avoid.

A lot of these come from straight-up personal experience, so I’ve learned a lot of these the hard way.

Hope this helps!

55 Biggest Career Mistakes of Your Life:

  1. Assuming that you know everything
  2. Forgetting to network
  3. Not being prepared for meetings
  4. Ignoring the value of business cards
  5. Engaging in office drama
  6. Arriving to meetings late
  7. Not asking for more work when you’re bored
  8. Being satisfied doing the minimum amount of work necessary
  9. Not sharing your career goals with your leader
  10. Not reading up on your industry
  11. Forgetting to make a LinkedIn page
  12. Over-sharing personal stories at work
  13. Burning bridges when leaving a job
  14. Dressing unprofessionally
  15. Not proof-reading your e-mails
  16. Believing that you’re going to be a VP right out of college
  17. Not seeing the value in entry-level positions
  18. Not learning from your mistakes and failures
  19. Failing to seek out a mentor
  20. Thinking that once you choose a job field, you’re stuck with it forever
  21. Not having an updated resume available at all times
  22. Failing to join associations and groups pertaining to your industry
  23. Being a negative person
  24. Not taking initiative and turning down all new projects
  25. Forgetting to thank people who help you
  26. Not asking for help when you need it
  27. Failing to admit that you’re overwhelmed with your workload
  28. Trying to convince yourself that you love your job when you don’t
  29. Overestimating your abilities and not being honest about them
  30. Turning down training courses
  31. Not keeping track of all your accomplishments
  32. Making career decisions for anyone other than yourself
  33. Not actively looking for a job when you’re not happy with the one you have
  34. Thinking that it’s too late in life to change careers
  35. Making premature judgements of others
  36. Over-promising results, and then failing to deliver
  37. Not having a system for managing e-mails
  38. Failing to understand when and how you’re most productive
  39. Assuming that everyone around you thinks the same way you do
  40. Failing to accept diversity as an asset to your team
  41. Not caring how your actions affect other people
  42. Having an emotional IQ of zero
  43. Being scared to ask questions
  44. Making decisions that impact others without consulting with them first
  45. Believing that you need to be an a-hole to be taken seriously
  46. Taking jobs just for the money
  47. Not sharing your knowledge with others
  48. Letting your ego guide your decisions
  49. Not thinking big-picture
  50. Complaining about problems instead of offering solutions
  51. Failing to embrace change
  52. Being intimidated by new technology
  53. Not pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone
  54. Failing to give yourself time to re-charge
  55. Not standing up for what you’re worth

Any others?! Feel free to share your thoughts below!


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42 thoughts on “55 Biggest Career Mistakes of Your Life

  1. Lindsay says:

    Fabulous list, and comprehensive! Being in my professional career for 10 years now, I can see many of your points valid and so important not to make or at least be hyper-aware of.

  2. Kiara Catanzaro says:

    Love this list. I love how you talk about networking. I don’t think we realize how important this is because if you’re not trying to connect with others in the work place and within your career, it’ll be hard to make more connections in your field! Growing your network is how you can make a lasting impression and use your network to your advantage down the road. Thanks so much for this post!

  3. Samara says:

    Good List! I am actually just coming out of a job (3 days left!), and although I have loved it, there were things that I would have liked to be different. However, after reading this list I cringed a couple times and thought “I could have done more of that … ” or “Maybe I should not have done that ….” The learning curve never ends. Really like your blog though, and all of the career advice you have!

  4. Jessica H. says:

    These are great tips and reminders for the working world, in general. I currently write and design at home, so I’m constantly pushing myself outside of my boundaries. I just dealt with fighting for my worth and it paid off in the end. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Sarah says:

    This is a great list, and a cute blog! I am working from home now while I finish school and I love it. I can write and do things I love now while working toward a career I know I will enjoy.

  6. Julie says:

    I think the thing to remember is that having a job is a privilege. Too many people take them for granted. Then they hit middle age, something happens, and they realize they are our of work. Keeping up your resume is very important.

  7. Ashlee says:

    This is filled with great advice! As I just started my full time career a month or so ago, I’m anxious to do everything I can to better my career! Thanks 🙂

  8. Dina says:

    These are all really great tips. I think each and every one hits home and how to act professionally. Phew those are a lot of big mistakes to make!

  9. Elle says:

    Number 2 and 4 immediately caught my eye. Networking and business cards seem old school but they are really valuable. It can be scary or intimidating for an introvert but it’s so worth it.

  10. Daria says:

    Wow, I love the list especially #43. We are often scared to ask questions fearing people will think we are done, when that’s not true. Asking questions is a smart thing! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Iyanna says:

    Absolutely love this list! Truthfully, I have been guilty of a few.. I think everyone has at least one object on this list to improve on. People are so used to complaining about the job that they are in instead of really communicating real solutions. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Kevin says:

    This is such a neat list! Thanks for sharing it – I feel that its really easy to forget many things, both big and small once we enter our careers. With less time for introspection, it becomes difficult to manage a lot of the things that we’re tasked, and so it’s definitely important to take the time to take care of ourselves!

  13. Daria says:

    Thank you very much for the list) I guess everybody could pick everything they believed was the most meaningful to them at a present career step. I started making notes after a quick view thinking I would note down a couple points and ended up with a list of about 15!
    I think the idea of getting help and mentoring when needed will be the most important one for me now – I am going through a stage when I am trying to learn how not to feel over-responsible for all tiny things around and to get valuable advice from the experts I am lucky to have contact with. Now I feel on the right path) Thank you again!

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