Career advancement is complicated. You may think you’re doing everything right, but as Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter writes in a helpful Glassdoor post titled “6 Ways You’re Damaging Your Career — and How to Avoid Them,” it’s possible you’re making some common mistakes. Read on to see how you might be sabotaging yourself, and how Barrett-Poindexter recommends changing your tactics.
1. Revise That Resume — Your resume is a story, and over time, as you pick up new experiences, that story needs tightening up. At least once a year, take time out of your busy schedule and do some revising. You’ll want to cut things that no longer apply and make sure the overall narrative still fits your goals. You might also enlist a professional resume writer.
2. Have a Plan — Going willy-nilly through your career is no kind of strategy. Things are super competitive these days, and in addition to knowing where you want to go, you need to be able to explain why you deserve to get there. What are your special skills? What do you offer a potential employer that no on else does? That’s the story you need to be prepared to tell.
3. Don’t Sweat the LinkedIn Photo — Everyone wants a professional headshot for their LinkedIn profile, but don’t let that stop you from getting started on the really important stuff: the meat of your profile. Get the content straight, and then go have your photo taken.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Share — While it’s sometimes scary opening up to people and talking about your hopes and dreams, it can be extremely valuable to use trusted advisors as sounding boards. “Once you’ve done that,” Barrett-Poindexter writes, “it’s amazing how action, and traction, become easier.”
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Apply for Jobs, Either — Ever see a perfect gig that you figure is out of your range? Lost the fear and apply anyway. You’ve got to be bold, and you just might have a better shot than you think.
6. Oh, and Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for a Raise — A lot of people get stuck in a rut where they figure the boss will turn down a raise request and decide not to ask. That’s a recipe for regret. Make a list of all that you’ve accomplished in the last six months and how it’s benefited the company — then make a play for your raise.