In any career, making a mistake is an opportunity for learning, but some experts say there are some moves that could potentially hurt your career down the road.
Career and communications coach Fiona Bryan of Toronto, says most industries are small, and often, the moves you make with one company will follow you to the next.
And if you do run into an issue with a colleague or one of your seniors, Bryan says it’s important to tackle the issue head-on.
“The art of the apology is being humble and taking accountability,” she tells Global News. “Move on from it and don’t do it again.”
And while mistakes are often obvious, sometimes certain career moves could hurt us without us even knowing. Below, Bryan addresses five things people do on the job that can affect their next role.
Not being visible
Bryan says in this day and age, most of us are used to sitting behind our e-mails or screens. “The phone is a lost art,” she says. “Not having face-to-face time with people is a career limiting move.”
She says if you are not networking with people in your industry or taking the time to see them face-to-face, it’s hard for people in your industry to know you beyond a social media handle. If you work in an industry with a client base that depends on word-of-mouth, you need to put yourself out there, she adds.
“This is the ability to be interested in people and also be interesting in front of them.”
When we are early in our careers, Bryan says people often get bored and jump from one job to the next. While this could be giving you good experience, she fears it can be limiting your opportunities down the road.
“Progressing in a job is better than switching early on,” she says. “It takes three to five years to get into a groove.”
She says even if you quit (for whatever reason), future employers may have a hard time believing your reasoning if it happens often. Also, when an employee doesn’t progress in a company or business, it’s harder to prove you can grow from one position to another.
“You need to be able to prove your experiences and say, ‘This is what I can do for you,'” she says.
The majority of workplaces have drama, but when you are looking for new jobs, you want to make sure you have don’t any toxic relationships with your former bosses or colleagues.
“It’a small industry, wherever you work,” she says. “It’s not worth it.”
Depending on the relationship you had with your last employer, Bryan says that employer easily has the power to dictate where you end up next (especially if you stay in the same industry).
Don’t talk about your co-workers on social media, don’t complain about your bosses to other people at work and don’t talk poorly about your superiors in your next job.
“We need to understand the longevity of a career.”
Not adapting to the times
Industries and technologies move quickly, and employees need to be able to keep up, Bryan says.
“Don’t assume what was working 10 years ago will still work today. Keep up with the times.”
This can mean anything from educating yourself on the latest industry news or learning new skills that will make you stand out.
Not getting a sponsor
A sponsor is not a mentor, Bryan says, and while it’s great to have a mentor to help you carve out a career path, a sponsor will vouch for you at the next job opportunity.
“[A sponsor] is somebody who puts time, money and energy behind you,” she says. These are the people who will talk about you to their networks or colleagues, or introduce you at networking events.
Bryan says finding a sponsor takes time, and these relationships can be built over a person’s career. Ideally, you would want to find someone you admire, someone in your industry and often, someone who is a senior at your place of work.
“This is why you should always have good relationships with your bosses.”