Five major mistakes to avoid in Career Planning

Career Planning is a very dynamic Art. It keeps on evolving over time. There is a need to continuously keep updating oneself on what to do under any particular set of circumstances. Yet, what is commonly observed is that most do some mistakes or the other. The five major mistakes to avoid in Career Planning are discussed in this article.

The Dynamics of Career Planning keeps on changing with time. There are new realities that keep emerging. There are several new skill-sets based on advanced technologies that keep emerging from nowhere. These are certain realities of life that we need to understand in a changing ecosystem where only the fittest can and will survive. The five major mistakes that one needs to avoid today are a)Never relax before 30 yrs b) Never look only for money c) Never discuss options only with non-experts d) Never hesitate to migrate to wherever are the opportunities and e)Never ever be complacent.

Never relax before 30 years

This is a true case study. The names have been changed. In a particular organization, in the auto component sector, a very young man called Venkat volunteered to work in the quality control department. This young man, then unmarried, was sponsored to attend the lead auditor course that pertains to two different specializations. However, he often visited the shop floor and was so thorough with the operations as if he were working on the shop floor. This attitude was liked by the Management who liked his skill to learn new things and add value. He quickly jumped to another organization, a tyre major. What happened? Venkat was hardly 25 years old. He was able to secure the position of Manager in the new organization. He was able to impress the bosses and within six months was posted in France to undergo advanced training and also take-up a responsibility. Within three years, Venkat is back as a General Manager in the plant in South India.

Unlike this young man, there were many others who did only their core production jobs and did not volunteer to work in the vital Quality Control department. Since Venkat was able to milk every opportunity, he was able to go ahead. Hard work is extremely essential before the age of thirty. Unfortunately, those who work in the comparatively good BPO companies in Chennai and Bangalore, for example, are so keen to just enjoy life. The men get the motor-bike on installments and immediately, the inevitable happens. A very pretty lady colleague will always be on the pillion and then there is no stopping them. They roam around the streets of the huge metropolis called Chennai as if there is no tomorrow. They do not even make a single attempt to graduate towards the IT sector with new skills. Today, it is almost 30 years before a man gets married and 28 before a girl gets married. If he does not settle down with a good regular salary, how will he or she ever be able to marry happily? The distractions that are natural, need to be curbed. The good times should follow marriage, not prior to that.

Never look only for money

This is another major mistake. One should never look for mere money. The new organization may simply trap the young man or women in dead-end jobs. If there are family responsibilities the trap becomes even worse. This should never happen. Value-addition, in terms of learning new skill-sets and getting into a bigger role with substantial responsibilities, is far more important than mere money.

Never discuss options only with non-experts

Every human being has a different take on life. While it is useful to take useful lessons on life from the elders on matters like spirituality or even being more tolerant of ambiguity and so on, they are unlikely to offer any new insights into roles that present themselves in modern organizations. The new offers may be tempting, but one needs to be very careful. One should never be carried away by the big names. Wherever one goes, one should always be aware that the new breed of Engineer MBAs from the IIMs and the ISB who quickly occupy the senior positions, do not tolerate non-performance or excuses about personal problems. They are new bosses that all need to live with. They are the ruthless guys of the Gen Y who slog it so hard but expect all subordinates to perform, whatever constraints are there. Hence, before jumping to a new job, due consultations should only happen with the high-performers who know everything about the roles and responsibilities that the new job will have to offer.

There are professional career counselors who charge quite a large sum of money to advise people on careers. However, if one is smart, and understands the trends, one does not need any such professional service at all. For example, all IT professionals need to undergo some sort of training in data analytics as well as aspects of artificial intelligence. Some NITs have already started courses in what is called machine learning. The future is positively going to be influenced by such advanced technology and one hence needs to be trained on these skill-sets; he or she has no choice either

Never hesitate to migrate to wherever are the opportunities

This is one aspect that can no more to ignored. Thousands do this mistake. Even when one is in his or her early forties, some new vital opportunity keeps coming from somewhere. There are times when employers in the Gulf countries also offer experienced professionals in marketing and finance such jobs. It is but essential that the concerned person should compulsorily migrate to such places and make use of such rare opportunities. In fact, a foreign posting is advisable. Not only is it okay in terms of the money it offers, it will also be great in terms of making giant strides into what may one call as fast track learning opportunities. A global ecosystem is often present in global MNCs operating in high growth markets. There are always too many advantages associated with such opportunities and it is but futile to even think of letting such opportunities go in the first place

Never be complacent

This is the worst ever mistake. There are thousands or hundreds of thousands who always lead very ordinary lives only because they do not know what it takes to be smart enough to acquire new skills and grow towards better heights. It is futile to think that "enough is enough" in today's times. We do not even understand that it pays to constantly update ourselves; to acquire new skills and competencies and explore more of the world in it's totality. We do not understand the urge to excel. There are millions who suffer from this sense of complacency. This is a major mistake that one should avoid.

There is nothing called free lunch in our lives. If we look around, we can notice millions who go up the ladder and do well in their careers; they grow to the greatest heights only because they had something in them. Something that made them think differently and do differently. The more we observe such people, the more we will be able to move forward in life.


Five common and most important mistakes that most people often do in their lives have been discussed in some detail above. Hopefully, it will be useful to anyone in the process of planning their careers. This is irrespective of whether is a fresher or an experienced person in any field.

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