Career Mistakes to Avoid in 2020

Having the best career starts with choosing to do what you love, focusing on what you love and getting someone to pay you for it.

Sure you may have set career goals for the New Year but have you taken out time to know what didn’t work for you during the previous years? Have you looked at the mistakes and pitfalls that lie ahead of you?

Well if you haven’t, it’s not too late to start, and remember the saying that “he who fails to plan, plans to fail. So start with those things you didn’t do well before you delve into new things and while on it, try not to make those mistakes that you made last year.

With that in mind, here are some career mistakes you should avoid in 2020:

  • Not discovering your career path

Have you ever stopped to question yourself whether you are on the right career path? Well, for me, I have. I know how it feels to be confused about the right career path to take.

When I was still in school I was unsure of what I really wanted and I even tried doing different things until I was able to discover myself and what my interests are.

If you’ve been in that transition mood then trust me, you are not alone. But guess what, I have some tips for you to discover your career path that worked for me.

I can understand, finding your dream career is not easy, the fact that it may be terrific doesn’t mean it’s not worth it, think about the time you will spend working on something you don’t love or are unsure you’re interested in. Staying in a job you don’t like for too long makes you feel emotionally and physically unwell, and it increases your stress level.

From experience, discovering your career will make you happy, utilize your talents effectively and align with your values and goals.

  • Not setting and achieving realistic goals

 Living without goals can be fun but only in the short run, in the long run, it would seem like there is no focus and you are not looking forward to anything.

According to Seth Godin — “The thing about goals is that living without them is a lot more fun, in the short run. It seems to me, though, that the people who get things done, who lead, who grow and who make an impact… those people have goals.”

Setting those goals is not enough, it has to be realistic goals that are even beyond your limit and it still doesn’t stop there because you also need to work hard towards achieving it.

You really need to be true to yourself because, without those goals, there is no focus, but when you set goals, you will stay motivated and competitive. For example, where do you see yourself in one year, five years and 10 years and so on… these are questions you need to ask yourself, plan ahead and put the plan into action.

  • Not learning new skills

It is important to upgrade and learn more in your field so that you can follow up with trends and stay on track.

If you’ve been doing a job and you’ve not gotten any better at it then you’re likely to find yourself stuck in a dead-end job with little room for improvement plus you may never get promoted.

What to do? Identify those areas you are lacking in and learn more, look out for those in-demand skills within your field then you can attend classes, seminars and conferences, seek the help of a mentor or go for training. Some companies even sponsor training, so I advise you to push yourself to keep learning and growing professionally.

If you know that the next job title above you requires an advanced degree or specific skill, then work on how you’ll obtain all that so that you can get promoted.

If you’re also planning to change your career, you might want to get certified in some new skills to spice up your resume. Check out online learning sites like Coursera, Udemy, and edX and more to learn any skill of your choice.

  • Neglecting  Networking

Often times, it is the people you know that determine the career opportunities you come across. It is very important to increase your professional network.

Professional relationships help you advance in your career and also help you get your work done. The people you connect within your industry may be the ones who will notify you of better job opportunities, help you keep up with trends and grow your knowledge.

If you’ve not been networking then try this year to add it to your plan for the year, you can start attending career fairs and conferences or seminars.

  • Underrate your Worth

One of the biggest mistakes people make is undermining their self-worth.

The hard truth is…that job you think is safe for you; someday you may be fired from the job and you’ll be wondering where you’ve gone wrong. So I advise you don’t feel too comfortable anywhere.

Try to work so hard that you become irreplaceable, trust me you might just impress yourself and see yourself doing things. Always aim bigger, and when you become invaluable to your employer, asking for a raise or a promotion will be the best bet for you.


  • Internships and Volunteering

One mistake that you should not make as a job seeker is not developing yourself.

You might feel confused when employers require entry-level candidates to have some form of work experience depending on the role that they are applying for.

Do you know why employers ask entry-level candidates for job experience?

Many employers would prefer an entry-level candidate that has a little bit of experience in the job that they are applying for because there is an existing idea that the employer can build upon. You may be putting yourself in a disadvantaged position to think that you are not supposed to have work experience.

The truth is that there many entry-level job seekers that have a good experience in whatever career they have chosen.

Since the whole job-hunting process is like a competition, it is good for you to prepare for it.

One way you can avoid making the mistake of not developing yourself is by taking up internship and volunteering positions.

Taking up internships and volunteering positions gives you an opportunity to learn on the job, develop useful skills, and also a room for you to discover your career path. Gaining work experience from an internship or volunteer position gives you an edge over other job seekers.

  • Update Your CV

It is very important to review your CV and make sure it highlights the skills and tasks you want prospective employers to take note of. What are those new skills you’ve learned since you last updated your CV, why not add it and tweak it to reflect those positive changes?

If you cannot write your CV yourself there are experts who will help you create an outstanding CV so take out time to do it yourself or pay people to do it for you.

But don’t forget, while it is important to add your skills and everything you’ve done In your CV, it is also necessary to remain focused and ensure your story resonates with the role you may be applying for.

Finally, be sure you have the right keywords that meet the need for potential employers.

Final Words

Having the best career starts with knowing what you love and going for it, meeting people to educate you more on that same thing you love, learning more about it, finding out your worth and knowing what you deserve for doing what you love, teaching other people and sharing ideas about what you know and preparing yourself to push forward on achieving greater goals with that career.

Try avoiding these career mistakes this year and you would be the one to tell others how much development you’ve made in your career this year. And don’t forget t learn from the mistakes of past years

Are there any other career mistakes you think people should avoid this year? We would love to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comment section.

Frances Anonu

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