Five costly career mistakes to avoid

Across all specializations, industries and even products, there are several common mistakes that even the best of products, do. These Five mistakes can prove very costly in anyone's career. The mistakes can haunt anyone at anytime. This article is an attempt at discussing some aspects of these Five Mistakes in some detail.


The Five Costly Mistakes that need to be avoided are a) Never be a jumping jack
b) Never talk ill of the previous employers c) Never gang up against any superior d) Never create organizational communication bottlenecks and e) Do not misbehave with members of the opposite sex.

Never be a jumping jack

Some ten years ago, there were professionals like mechanical engineers and MBAs who happily changed jobs every thirty months. The economy, back then, was growing at a very fast phase and there was some meaning in jumping jobs. Today, the number of engineers and the MBAs have multiplied at least right times. Even the best engineers are finding it difficult to get viable entry-level jobs. Why does this happen? It happens because the economy is not growing. The car and two-wheeler industry growth are very sluggish. The slump is real. Yet, when you can play the waiting game and learn all the intricacies of value-addition in your chosen field of specialization, you will be amply rewarded when the good times are back. That is when the economy starts to revive. You must note that this recovery largely depends on the restoration of demand in various markets, for a wide range of goods and services. Once this happens, the job opportunities will go up exponentially. It is wise to change three jobs in the first twelve years of your career. With every job, you should have value addition, in terms of the various skill-sets that you have and the value that you would add through innovative contributions. In Finance, for example, every organization looks for those with eyes of an eagle. In other words, ever vigilant professionals who can suggest various cost-cutting measures.

Similarly, in HR, it is noticed that only those with a good grounding in both the Industrial Relations aspects and the most modern HR methods like Coaching, Mentoring, Performance Management and the like, make it to the really top positions. If you are not prepared, you cannot go too far. Today is the ideal time to do it. When the economy improves, you will be ready to take on the further challenges.

Never talk ill of the previous employers

This is vital indeed. There are many who try to talk ill of their previous employers, particularly when they attend interviews with competitors of the previous organization. Rest assured, none in the Corporate Sector appreciate this attitude. You are sure to get all minus marks for such behavior. Gracefully talk about all your good experiences, particularly those experiences where your contribution had been more than valuable to the previous employer. Even if there are any questions (very unlikely, though) about some negative aspects, do not give any answer that will add fuel to the fire. You could feign ignorance. This is the safest method to survive.

Never gang up against any superior

Yes, there are selfish bosses. They are there everywhere. Yet, it is foolish to even attempt to form a group and go about talking against the boss or trying to sort of put the boss into uncomfortable positions when the going becomes tough. For all you know, those whom you had trusted to support you, will happily give up and spill all the beans, when they are given some privilege, like attending an International Conference in a neighboring foreign country. This can easily put you off and can ruin your career. This has happened to many individuals that this author is known to. In each case, it took a long time for the individuals to realize their mistakes. Power is always absolute. This is one fact of Corporate life that you should understand. Never ever gang up against any superior.

Never create organizational communication bottlenecks

If you are not sure of some output, that can even directly reflect on your performance rating, own it up and boldly admit it. There are a few who try short cuts, like creating a virus in a particular file that will delay the learning from a particular situation or an issue. This is an extremely short-sighted approach. This happened to a mechanical engineer. He was afraid that his performance rating will go down. He took medical leave on a particular day. As bad luck could have it, he met with an accident and had to be hospitalized for three weeks. He had corrupted a file in the computer. This pertained to some vital Kaizens done on the shop floor. He thought that he could escape from being noticed. However, he forgot that he had given a pen drive containing all the details to his colleague. His idea of diverting attention totally flopped. Though the organization let him off with a warning, his shrewd boss saw through the game. The HR Head advised him to mend his ways. He did. But the damage had already been done.

The moral of the story is that you should never ever attempt short cuts. This can lead to disasters. There are very smart IT people all around you. It is always wise to own up any mistake. Hiding any mistake can always prove very costly. More so, when you try to create communication bottlenecks, most of which pertain to the most advanced information technology in these modern times. All people do mistakes. Those who are very ordinary human beings do mistakes. The senior managers also do mistakes. However, if you own them up, you will always emerge victorious.

Do not misbehave with members of the opposite sex

Several years ago, a very senior official, who was actually one of the pillars of a reputed organization, had to resign when one lady staff made a very serious allegation about his misbehavior. Since then, a few other stories have appeared from time to time. This is disastrous. It could happen to you as well. Be very careful. Lie very low in terms of relationship with any woman. Even if she is very attractive, you should not bother to even talk anything beyond official work. Never ever attempt any personal relationship. It can often ruin your career. Since it is likely that you would be tempted to go beyond normal limits, it can positively ruin you.

The reverse is never true. One never hears about any lady staff ever going all out of the way and misbehaving with men. Watch out. The world is full of opportunities. You need to interact with members of the opposite sex, everywhere. However, do that within the normal limits of decent behavior.


No matter what your present position is, or what your career ambitions are, you can always be ahead of others, on the strength of your character. If you avoid the mistakes mentioned above, you are very likely to go far ahead in your career. All the very best.

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Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao05 Aug 2019 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 10

These days getting a job is very difficult. At the same retaining the job and progressing well in the job is another herculean task. Many persons are not able to sustain for long in a job. They are either resigning or are asked to quit. If we are losing our job it will be very difficult to get a job with at least the same salary if not less. So one should put in all efforts in the job so that he will be in the good books of the boss. The top boss may have a soft corner towards you but if your immediate boss is not recommending you the top boss also has to keep silent. So one should be always in good terms with the immediate boss. The author mentioned very valid points which you are not supposed to do for your career progress.

A rolling stone gathers no moss. This is a very famous saying and is applicable to the people who always want to change their job very frequently. One should work for at least 3 years in one job before looking for another job unless otherwise, it is very essential. Another very important point to remember is never to resign from the present until you get another offer. Please remember always that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. If you go for a job interview with a job on hand you will have a base to start your negotiations with the employer. Otherwise, the employes may start with a less salary saying that you have no job. This should not happen anytime.
When you are working in a particular organisation be loyal to that company. Never think of helping the competitor. It is liking axing the branch of a tree on which you were sitting. A competitor never likes a person who gives information to him from his competitor to become his employee with a thought that he will continue his habit after joining his company also. So it is like committing suicide.

Never play between two senior in your office. You may enjoy that for some time but it will be no way useful to you. One of them loses a job because of you but management never considers you for a better chance as they know your habit.

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