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Six big mistakes to be avoided in early stages of Careers

Every young man or woman entering a job for a career the first time in his or her life has huge expectations and dreams. In fact they dream of impossible things. The reason is that the dreams are far removed from the actual realities of modern organizations.They tend to make one mistake after another and this should be totally avoided. This article talks about six such major mistakes commonly seen in the early stages of one s career.


There are a variety of careers available today. However, the best jobs are not for men and women who have merely added some years to their experience in their resumes. The best jobs are for those who have already added huge value and are ready to take on new roles and responsibilities in different contexts. The art of gathering such experiences will depend on strategic moves initiated and effectively executed by those young men and women in the first twelve years of their careers.

Since the aforesaid reality presents itself in very dynamic ways, it is also essential that six major mistakes are avoided during the first twelve years of anyone's career. The six major mistakes are: a) Never be impatient b) never criticize bosses/organizational policies c)never hesitate to do any job d) never jump jobs so quickly e) never refuse to add value and f) never be outdated with industry trends.

Never be impatient

This is extremely important. Patience is very much required in the early stages of one's career. For example, those who aspire for a career in HR, are shocked when they find they are posted in the place where attendance is recorded in the SAP System. This is linked to payroll, which also runs on SAP. The System is excellent, as every employee can know his or leave pay particulars, PF accumulation details, leave details and so on, through an user name and password. However the process of input of all data concerning each of these employee data is rather complicated and has to be patiently learned. The employee needs a hands-on approach. Otherwise without knowing the minute details, how can the Management Trainee become an executive?

This is just one example. Some simply jump to another job, since the task, according to them is boring. This is as ridiculous as it only get. Jobs are jobs. There are several aspects of the job and one has to learn everything. Those in Supply Chain Management, for example need to learn everything about driver behavior. The real world hazards, where things will normally go right, where they could go wrong, the Plan B in such contingencies to be put in place and so on.

Life in the Corporate World is never simple. One has to be very patient in the first job.

Never criticize bosses/ organizational policies

This is another important aspect. If one criticizes the bosses, the latter will naturally turn it against the individual. This is a dangerous attitude.

Similarly, there are many organizational policies. If you need to learn from an ordinary but highly experienced worker, aged 55 on the shop floor, do it. This is the only way to learn. Do not criticize the worker or the Organizational policy. Nothing comes in a day. Combined with patience, you need to learn every single aspect of operations and in particular, everything related to your domain. This is a huge imperative.

Never ever work against any boss. None like this. Work for them, with them. Learn how you can take away all their load. There are too many sticky bosses who are somewhat outdated and have their "my way of doing things". Even if it is silly or even stupid, do it. For example, in an organization, the boss had a habit of noting down every single thing that he or she wanted to do. He would strike off that task, after completing it. There were too many silly entries, like handing over a file to someone higher up the ladder. The boss would demand that two young subordinates also note it down in their note pad. The smart youngsters would note it down in their smartphones. This irritated the boss, since he always said "old is gold". Never ever go against the boss, even on such silly matters.

Never hesitate to do any job

After the initial period of training, you are likely to be rotated to any job in the same location. Or in another location. It could even be a remote location, where the nearest city is some sixty kilometers away. Never ever hesitate to do such jobs.

Naresh (name changed) was posted in the internal audit cell of a huge accounts department in one of the cement factories. He was initially trained and confirmed in the Corporate Office in a metro city. But when asked to pack his bags and take off to distant Tirunelveli, he started grumbling and did everything possible to delay or even nullify the transfer. He first took sick leave, as he was a bit unwell. After this, he gave a lame excuse that he had to treat his ailing mother in the metro city. The Management promised to take care of his mother in a very good hospital at Madurai and insisted that he should go to the remote location.

Fortunately, a good uncle of his, who had several years of work experience in Financial Management, told Naresh the benefits of remote location learning. Since the competition will be less, he will learn everything faster. This is exactly what happened. His learning curve was so good. Within five years, during which time he was promoted and also married, he learned so many nuances. He was transferred back to the Corporate Office with much higher responsibilities. He was on the verge of losing a good name. Fortunately he became smart and did the right thing at the right time.

Never jump jobs so quickly

This is another big issue. Within the first decade, one should work through only three jobs. Nothing more. Nothing less. It is wise to rotate yourself through three different jobs in three different organizations. If for example, the first 36 months was in advertising, the next 36 months could be in hard core marketing, with a good FMCG company. Learn all the ropes., Never do any mistake of jumping within this period. Many do mistakes by listening to really dumb characters who think it is wise to jump a job every eighteen months.

This is unwise for two reasons. The crux of the issue is the quality of experience. The quantity alone does not matter. If you get a variety of experience, it is wise to jump ship, but only after 36 months. The business environment today, is even more fluid. Please do note that you need to a thorough professional to even start a business after the age of 45, as you might become outdated by that age. The youngsters will simply come in and do all the jobs. There is another big issue -- the robots. Once the robots become too many,there are bound to be big changes. Your own job may never be permanent, anymore. The single company careers, are now history in over ninety seven percent of the cases.

Never refuse to add value

The most important contribution that you can ever make in any job, in any organization, is developing others to take on your role. No matter how many subordinates you have, no matter what their position is in the organizational hierarchy, you will have done a great deal of good to yourself and to the organization, only if you had developed them to do more, to excel in their roles and responsibilities.

This is a big task by itself. It is unwise to see anyone as your competitor. It is wise to create every single situation where everyone will look up to you for directions, for expert opinion and so on. This can happen only when you know much more than others, but are willing to share nuances wherever possible. The basket of skills that the employees possess, as a whole will always work to your advantage, as all the tasks will be done very systematically and with dedication and intelligence.

Never be outdated with industry trends

This is very important. If you are outdated with industry trends, you are gone. You are likely to be simply left behind in the the rat race.

To give you a simple example. Today, Business Analytics is used in every business organizations, worldwide. It may open up many doors. If you can do a MBA Business Analytics from a recognized institute on the weekends, it will stand you in good stead.( A good PGDM from the likes of Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai or the T A Mainpal Institute or even a good University College, that offers the PGDM course ). You will be able to immediately apply your learning somewhere. Similarly if you know all the nitty gritty of Strategic Management, you can do very well. For example, you could even attend a Blue Ocean Strategy Seminar on your own. Once you do this, you can transfer this learning to your organization, by making a presentation.

The Management will obviously sit up and take notice. Similarly, a qualification in SAP is a must. French and German are two languages that you should master in a global context. Go to the nearest private institute and learn at least two levels of these languages. These will help you at some stage of your career.


There are many more mistakes that should be avoided in the early stages of one';s career. However, the six major ones, based on a huge amount of learning from the real world have been discussed in some detail.

For those in the early stages of your careers, please do note. The time to act is now.

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Author: Sanjeev Gupta24 Oct 2018 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 4

Nice article by the author explaining what we should not do during our starting of the career in a job. One should learn first and stay at least a few years then should search for another job as people who frequently change jobs are not considered reliable and trustworthy. People who are ready to take challenges and responsibilities are always liked and are offered new projects as management relies on them and hence are promoted accordingly. Its been a culture these days to criticise their boss. They should understand that criticising someone is not a solution. If you have any issue with anyone you need to sit with him and resolve it. Unless you discuss it with your boss your boss is not going to know what you are thinking. These are all good tips and if followed one may get good going at the workplace.

Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao24 Oct 2018 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 4

A good and useful article for young people who are in the initial years of their career. A rolling stone gathers no mass. This will hold good for the people who are starting their career. They should not jump jobs very frequently. If a person changes jobs very frequently the employers will get a feeling that he will not work for a long time and will not show much interest to provide him with a chance.
Another important point one should keep in mind is that he should see that people should feel his importance. If an employee shows interest in the areas where some problems are existing and if he tries to solve them he will get the attention of the employer. So one should not run away from the problems.

Author: Sheo Shankar Jha24 Oct 2018 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 4

The article provides valuable tips to the new employees to be familiar with some of the mistakes that they may commit by being careless while discharging their duties. This article should serve as a ready-reckoner for them.

One should be open-minded in learning the techniques and tools associated with their jobs. Eagerness to know the entire process of the job would create confidence. Initially, they would be overly busy with their assignments because of their curiosity to learn each component of the jobs delegated to them, but this rewarding experience would pay them hefty dividend in due course.

The author is quite justified by hinting that employees should not criticise the bosses in public since it would have a detrimental effect on the path of their advancements.

Care has to be taken to be familiar with all the organisational activities happening around them so as to enhance their executive skills.

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