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Meaning of Career Missteps

Effective resume making, job hunting, campus recruitment training & others

Types of Career Missteps

You must avoid the six career missteps mentioned below to avoid the situation where you will regret your past choices

#1 – Career Missteps – Burning Bridges

Whenever anything goes wrong in a serious way, either with your boss or colleagues or in work or a project, it might appear to be tempting to cut that and run away. Based on the circumstances, leaving might appear as an option. Still, it is better to refrain from doing that to avoid any future co-worker relationship with your present employer.

Carolyn Betts, CEO and the founder of Betts Recruiting, says that such missteps are especially common if the employees begin their careers. The reason is that newcomers have more chances of underestimating the long-term impact of some actions on their career or professional relationships.

The number one way of damaging your career missteps is burning bridges. Your probability of best job references will vanish if you quit distastefully, steal the clients, “leave the people high and dry,” or reach out to a competitor. This is even worse than not performing well at your job.

According to Bett, employers assume your references are biased; hence, the back channel sources go through a routine check.

If your prospective employer discovers your last burnt bridge, they might decide against offering an interview to you. A bridge burnt in past employment might also result in costing you an offer for a job after a lengthy process of an interview when the hiring manager contacts the sources.

#2 – Career Missteps – Identifying When You Get Dragged Down

Your career can prosper by working with a supportive boss. They push forward your talent to give you visibility with other people who are important decision-makers. However, a boss can easily break it if he does not consider your best interests.

Lisa Baker-King, a small business expert, coach, and author, thinks it is significant for senior and junior employees to know how to recognize the warning signals sent by the bosses trying to pull them down. Trouble might occur if you cannot notice your boss conversing with others around you. But has been ignoring you constantly, does not choose you for participating in any special project, or is not maintaining eye contact with you in a team meeting.

#3 – Career Missteps – Mismanaging Your Manager

While you may be operating under your manager technically, it is also essential for you to “manage” your boss. In case you aspire to succeed in your career and hope to avoid any regrets later. This means you must manage yourself and simultaneously show you are employable for interacting with your boss to obtain the best possible results.

Whenever employees figure out that they are under the watch of a person who is not good at supervising, they might be tempted to inform such a person of what he does wrong and how he can change. This might appear a good idea then, but it may be dangerous. If one has to follow the lead of a less confident individual or someone who happens to be overcautious, they might take any discussion regarding how they are not doing well as a challenge.

In situations like this, maintaining a good relationship with your manager does not guarantee the safety of your career. Even the suggestions that diplomatically have the best intentions in mind can be taken wrongly by the person in charge.

#4 – Career Missteps – Applying or Leaving for the Wrong Reasons

People are often reactive when they get a job early (they apply for any post they might find). This might put them on a track very different from the one in which they have a true interest. This is particularly true in earlier career missteps. It is vital to do crucial work to identify your professional interests. After doing this, you should meet with designated people to figure out the role/company/industry/field to put you on the right track.

Owner and President of Babich & Associates, Tony Beshara, says that leaving a job for a poor reason, particularly when you do not have another job, can cause career missteps.

#5 – Career Missteps – Being Impatient in Job Search

Another mistake that people commonly make is focusing only on the aspect of perceived stability of a job offer in the short term. Instead of trying to find the correct career fit in the long term. It is believable by the co-founder of Uncubed, Tarek Pertew, that the time spent trying to find the right job needs treatment in a way similar to the time a person spends on finding the right life partner.

A critical mistake people often make when seeking professional happiness is impatience in hunting jobs. This is usually to maintain a particular lifestyle or reach a new one instantly. Take time to figure out the right position, and let the lifestyle take a hit. This is better than finding yourself in the wrong job. This will only avoid regretting your position only after a few months of joining.

#6 – Career Missteps – Job Instability

According to various studies, males usually apply for jobs even when they can only meet their qualifications by about 60 percent. However, females typically apply for jobs when they can meet 100 percent of the qualifications. It is a balance that is very delicate and fails to take action. When the opportunity is knocking, it can be regrettable to hold on to a position even after you have outgrown it or reached a dead end. Putting it in another way, if you have concerns about not being qualified completely for the potential job, it is easier to opt out when you are in a job search rather than opting out later.

According to the CEO of Lever, Sarah Nahm, most females look at all the requirements they see in the job description and job satisfaction as something they “must have” and do not apply until they can fill all the criteria and have a tick in all the boxes. As per Nahm, this is not a wise decision. In fact that job descriptions are usually not the requirements that are hard and fast. They mostly just outline parameters regarding what can be entailed by a job.

Angela Copeland, a career coach, notes that at the back end of their career, most employees fall into the trap wherein they keep holding on to their current posts. In such cases, they try to make assumptions that things at their present organization will improve. They make assumptions with respect to getting a promotion or a raise in the coming time. This way, they keep on waiting. However, staying in one organization for a long period can ultimately decrease the person’s long-term professional and financial outlook.

Ways to Avoid Career Missteps 1. Do Not Quit Networking.

Career success in the long term depends on your ability to continue vigilance regarding networking, building strong connections in business, and nurturing current relationships.

2. Higher Focus on the Benefits

When conducting a job search related to basic pay, you must consider other factors like the manager, the role, and the benefits. You should also consider the company culture, health and wellness programs, and compensation.

3. Drive Your Destiny

You are the driver of your career path. So do not depend on your boss for it. You must be proactive in taking responsibilities and assignments and discuss with your boss your career path within the company.

4. Maintain Professionalism on Social Media.

You should avoid posting anything you do not want your prospective employer or boss to view.

5. Sharpen Your Skills

It is essential to constantly build your skill set, including interpersonal skills, regardless of your industry. It is vital to stay sharp and updated with the latest industry trends. You need to be a key player in your organization.

6. Create a Five Year Plan

People usually start their careers having a five-year plan in mind. It is crucial to keep such a plan alive that is up to date. You need to re-evaluate what you had wished to achieve the previous year. Also, evaluate where you want to reach in the coming five years. A solid plan helps avoid career missteps and regret.


Studies have indicated that jobs are applied by men when they fulfill about 60 percent of the job qualifications. Women also apply for them when they meet 100 percent of the job qualifications. Employers generally hire candidates who possess the correct combination of intelligence, attitude, and soft skills over candidates who, on paper, appear to be a perfect fit.

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