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Into everyone’s career, a little trouble may fall. And certain errors and omissions can make it more difficult for you to stay on track. Worse, they can sabotage your efforts and hard work. But good news! You can avoid certain mistakes if you know what to look for. Here’s what you need to know to stay successful and reach your career goals.

Sidestep these five career pitfalls

Of course you want to do well! You’ve come this far and want to be sure your hard work wasn’t for nothing. Protect your time investment by with the following:

  1. Underestimating the power of a mentor. A career mentor is important to help you learn from the paths of others. Your mentor will offer advice and suggestions based on what they have learned in their working life. Overlooking this valuable resource is like saying no to free information and support from someone who has been where you are. To keep moving in the right direction, it’s always a good idea to find a career mentor.
  2. Not learning how to network. In your career, it’s not only what you know, but who you know. Meeting people in your field will help open doors to new job opportunities. Attend networking events, seminars, trainings and other meetings. Plus, by joining a professional organization in your field, you can meet others who do what you do and can provide insight and advice. Networking takes practice, but it’s a learnable skill. The more time you spend introducing yourself and chatting with other professionals, the better you’ll become at it.
  3. Losing touch with old colleagues. You never know who has contacts in your industry. You’ve spent four years or more with your college classmates, and 40+ hours every week with old co-workers. Stay up to date with these people through social media, email or even phone calls. Who knows—you may learn of job openings where you never thought to look.
  4. Losing focus of your goals. You’ll never get there if you don’t know where you’re headed. Re-evaluate your career goals on a regular basis. Is your current job on pace with the future you envision for yourself? What training or education do you need to get where you want to go? By reviewing and amending your plans on a regular basis, you will help yourself stay on track.
  5. Letting your skills become outdated. Ours is a world that moves and changes very quickly. Research and technology are constantly evolving. To stay marketable, keep your skills relevant. Your field may require continuing education credits, but if it doesn’t, it’s up to you to keep your knowledge and abilities up to date. You may need to take a class, learn a new program or machine, keep track of healthcare reform, etc. What do you need to learn to stay up to date with your industry?

Looking for your next job?

McGrath Systems can help. We’ll work with you to understand your career needs and help you find a placement you love. If you’re looking for a new position in the fields of engineering, IT, HR, administration or light industrial, we’re looking for you. To learn more, contact our experienced recruiters today!

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