Biggest career mistakes

Our career advisory experience includes working with people coming frequently from very different backgrounds. Although they all work in different companies, places and industries, there is one thing they all have in common: career mistakes that they make.

What are they?

We’ve divided the mistakes into 2 categories: “being too careless” and “being too cautious”.

Career Mistakes Type #1: Being too careless

Those “guilty” of being too careless often go on without a job for even a year, while claiming that they are actively looking for one. When they receive an offer (sometimes even similar to the previous one) they reject it because e.g. it’s valid only for 6 months or it is slightly less paid than their expectations. The ego kicks in.

They often ignore headhunters and job offers (also when they’re not actively looking for a job) and therefore give the impression of being rude. Consequently they burn bridges for the future.

On the other hand, the approach “I need to find something as soon as possible” will not get anyone very far. Accepting the first available job offer, without preparing a job searching strategy, defining goals and researching the market, can result in landing in a position that they’ll try to get out of a few months later.

People who do not have a career plan lack a holistic view on their career, skills and motives. That’s why their next career steps are often unconsidered and hasty. They usually avoid certain career planning activities like: networking, refreshing their CVs, staying in touch with headhunters etc.

It’s OK to appreciate and enjoy the current moment – though consider future consequences of your (in)action!

Career Mistakes Type #2: Being too cautious

This type of mistakes is usually connected with the fear of change and taking risk. And by risk we don’t mean making unconsidered decisions, but being stuck in a role or a company, which – similarly to the “careless” type – results in a lack of career management.

Such people are also often too humble in terms of ambition. They can give up on their dreams because of fear, lack of self-confidence or family pressure. They stay in their comfort zone when the next step is required. That’s how they miss career and development opportunities. Their career planning is also affected – but due to the fear, not carelessness.


The Finnish proverb “Happiness is a place between too little and too much” is also adequate when it comes to finding a proper strategy for your career. As in many other aspects of our lives, career planning is all about finding balance.

Do you have the right balance? Would you like to do a quick review of your career plans & activities? Important: you don’t have to be looking for a job to take advantage of this! Click here to schedule a free & non-obligatory career consultation with one of our Career Angels.