Career Development

The 4 Biggest Career Development Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them)

After 15 years of working with enterprise organisations, scale-ups and startups on skills development and career strategies. I’ve seen my share of carer mistakes.

Here’s why people’s careers often stall or hit a complete dead end, and what to do about it.

1️⃣ You don’t do skills health checks

Just like your physical and mental health, your skills need maintenance too.
The world moves fast. So must you.

A simple way to keep on top of everything is to do the following:

1. Open a Word doc or grab a notebook
2. Draw 3 columns with the headings ‘expiring’, ‘evolving’ and ‘emerging’.
3. Place your current skills across the first two columns
4. Use the third to reflect on the skills that could help your future

2️⃣ You rely on your job title (alone) to build your career

Unless you’re some unique unicorn CEO. Don’t do this.

Invest in skills that people want = more money and those fancy job titles.

3️⃣ You need to have something to get something

Imagine your career as a marketplace of skills.

Companies are bidding for certain skills. The more unique the skill, the more it’s worth. You can’t participate in this marketplace if you don’t have something to offer.

Life passes most people by while they’re busy making grand plans for it.

Don’t get lost in that by sitting on the fence.

To get started do the following:

  • Get going (you’ll suck for a lil while but embrace that)
  • Get good (hone your craft to build credibility)
  • Get smart (find ways to automate your skills or position to the highest bidder)

4️⃣ You need to find the right environment for you to thrive

Not everywhere is going to be the right place for you to shine.

If you aren’t learning and earning where you are. That’s a problem.

To help with this, consider:

1. What are you good at and why?
2. What do you enjoy and why?
3. Where is that combination most valued?

I hope that helps you.

Before you go… 👋

If you like my writing and think “Hey, I’d like to hear more of what this guy has to say” then you’re in luck.

You can join me every Tuesday morning for more tools, templates and insights for the modern L&D pro in my weekly newsletter.

Leave a Reply