9 Career Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Today I’m going to talk with you about nine mistakes people make when managing their careers that will doom them to mediocrity.

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Hi, I’m Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. I started to be called The Big Game Hunter back when I did search. I would hunt down leaders and staff for organizations. Did it for a long time. Now people hire me for no BS career advice, which can relate to a job search, hiring more effectively, management, leadership, career transitions, helping them with workplace issues. In other words, the whole life cycle of a person and their career.

Now, today, I’m going to talk with you about nine mistakes that people make that relate to their careers. And almost everyone does one or more of these things. But if you do them, you hurt yourself. The first one is becoming passive. You work for a company. You do your job. You keep your head down. You’re a responsible employee, but just not really looking out for yourself and thinking proactively about your goals and working toward them because you’re so busy doing your job and living your life, you don’t carve out space for that.

So that becomes the first item, which is related to item number two is you don’t even set career goals other than some vague thing like I’d like to be the CFO, or CEO of a corporation. And that’s ridiculous. You know, statistically, unless you start your own business, the likelihood of that happening is small, and not only is it ridiculous, you don’t do anything to work toward them. You don’t act to fulfill the goals. You never look and research what you need to do to become a CEO. So you’re not setting goals and not doing things to fulfill them is a second mistake that people make.

The third is abandoning your network. You have relationships with people, that can be friends, could be family, more importantly, they’re colleagues, former colleagues, because they move on to other organizations, and you don’t stay in touch. This is your network, your relationships. And thus, that becomes item number three–you abandon your network.

Number four is you stopped developing your skills. Now you’re doing your job. You’re doing it well. Sometimes you’re getting recognition and opportunities to advance within a company. But you don’t look bigger picture as to what it’s going to take for you to develop professionally and the skills you need to have to move to the next step, let alone the one after that, and the one after that. By not developing your skills, you sabotage yourself and your potential for career development.

Number five is neglecting relationships at work. Having office friends makes that previous one about networking post-employment so much more valuable. Number one, you enjoy your work better. And number two is these relationships can be foundational for your development.

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Number six is you prioritize money over everything else. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a big believer in people having enough money that they are well off and feel successful. Money is important. We live in a society that values it. But if you take stupid jobs and do stupid work, and don’t consider its impact on your career and your goals, you’re making a mistake.

Next is wasting time. Time is precious. There’s only a certain number of minutes in a day and a certain number of minutes in a week, a month, or a year. And thus time management for you, your career, your family, the things that are important to you beyond work requires that you, shall we say, carve out time for everything on your calendar. If you need to go back to school, you need to make time for that. If you’re going to take courses online, you need to make time for that. Spending too much time in front of the TV or your computer doing goofy stuff doesn’t serve you and your ambitions.

Eight, you take a job that you don’t really care about. It’s a good enough job and the problem becomes you lose the edge, you lose the drive, and you lose the desire to be successful because the job doesn’t really take advantage of you and all your possibilities. As a result, you wind up in situations where, I don’t want to say die on the vine, but you’re going to lose your drive and desire for growth. And I understand, sometimes you need to do it for the money. No question about that. But if you’re taking a job just for the money, maybe what you start doing is looking for the job that you can fall in love with, and use this to pay the bills in the meantime.

Lastly, number nine, is you don’t really speak with others. Communications is an important skill for people. Emotional Intelligence is another. These soft skills, this potential,, these qualifications that serve you as you advance professionally, are very important. When organizations hire, they don’t just simply hire for skills, they want to hire people with abilities beyond that. The more senior you are your greater ability to relate to others and to communicate effectively to get points across becomes more important.

So these are nine career mistakes that almost everyone makes in one way or another. I hope you found this helpful. Again, I’m Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. People hire me for no BS career advice, and that’s what I tried to deliver today. There’s more on my website, TheBigGameHunter.us. Go to the blog and go exploring. There’s a lot there to help you. In addition, if you feel stuck professionally, or you need help with a job search, hiring, better management, leadership, career transition, and workplace issues. At the website, you can schedule time for a free discovery call, a coaching session. There’s just a lot there, including information about my courses, books, and guides. Lastly, connect with me on Linkedin at linkedin.com/in/TheBigGameHunter. Have a terrific day and most importantly, be great!

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. He is hired to provide No BS Career Advice globally. That can involve job search, hiring staff, management, leadership, career transition and advice about resolving workplace issues. Schedule a discovery call at my website, www.TheBigGameHunter.us

He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2400 episodes.

I do a livestream on LinkedIn, and YouTube (on the JobSearchTV.com account) Tuesdays and Fridays at 1 PM Eastern. You can send your questions about job search, hiring better, management, leadership or to get advice about a workplace issue to me via messaging on LinkedIn or in chat during the approximately 30-minute show.

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2 Responses
  1. JohnTube2K

    Great video. Would say these points need to also be brought up on a TED Talk so that people wake up and figure out if they want a job or a career.

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