I’ve been thinking about mistakes recently.  There are all kinds of mistakes that I’ve made.  Little ones that are quick and easy to correct.  Bigger ones that might take a bit more effort and maybe an apology somewhere along the way.  And huge ones that can feel like the end of the world as they are happening.

Dealing with Our Mistakes

We all make mistakes all the time.  Whether we have a spelling and grammar check set up on our work email account (thank goodness for the day I found that functionality!) or forgetting something we needed at the supermarket, we do a pretty good job of recovering from those kinds of mistakes with a little creativity or a safety net we have found to minimise the fall.

The bigger mistakes can be a bit trickier to recover from.  We may find ourselves apologising to one or a few people in the process of rectifying it.  How often do you get duplicate emails from businesses because there was a mistake in the first version?  What about double payments?  Maybe even someone taking offence to something we’ve said?

Huge mistakes can come along every so often too.  We’ve probably all made one or two in our lives so far.  I made the mistake of buying a house when I moved to Florida.  Little did we know that the global economy was going to collapse and the value of my over-inflated priced house with it!  I held onto that house for just over 10 years and sold it for less than I’d originally paid for it.  It’s not often that you lose that kind of money over that length of time in the property market.

Career Altering Mistakes

So what does this have to do with your career?  Well, we all make little mistakes all the time at work.  They don’t often get noticed by anyone else, but we know they happened and that we were able to correct it and maybe even figure out how to avoid the same mistake again.

There are some bigger mistakes that people make when they are job hunting.  Here are the top 3 mistakes that I believe people make, mainly because I’ve made all of these myself over the years!

  1. Tweaking a CV that was written years ago.

When was the last time that you sat down and re-wrote your CV from a blank document?  As a Career Coach,  I recommend that you consider overhauling your CV every 3-5 years.  As our economy moves and changes, so does what’s expected of candidates and recruitment documents.  Use an internet search to gather ideas on what you should include on your CV.  Think about formatting.  Learn some tricks in MS Word to make better use of the space on the page.  Get excited about putting your professional accomplishments and know-how on paper!

  1. Neglecting LinkedIn.

LinkedIn has stayed true to itself and its purpose of being the online tool for professional networking.  With over 500 million members, it is the place to build and nourish your professional contacts.  Your profile is your living CV.  You can ask colleagues, managers, business partners and customers to review you so others can see the value you can add.  You can connect with people you have crossed paths with and be helpful in providing advice to others.  LinkedIn can be a great place to job hunt as it allows you to be visible and reachable by scores of recruiters, business owners and hiring managers, all by being clear about who you are and what you can do.

  1. Focusing on the past rather than the future.

Often we define ourselves as who we have been rather than who we are or who we can be.  Your job is not who you are or what you can do.  It is what you did to be able to earn a living.  The same job title in one company can have different responsibilities in another.  Looking back on what we have done and using that as a basis for what we can do is a safe game.  As a Career Coach, I’d rather you get interested and excited about what you could do.  What are you passionate about?  What would you love to give a go?  What skills can you take from what you have done and apply them in a slightly different way.  Any job change will require you to learn and adapt.  People who do the same job often do that job their own way.  This is no different to you being realistic about what kind of job you could do using the skills, knowledge and experience you have collected along the way.

Keep Evolving – With or Without Mistakes

The world of work is changing.  Employers are getting ever more interested in attitude over  aptitude.  They’ve figured out that they can always train someone to do a job and are starting to focus on finding people who fit their culture and display a hunger to learn, grow and adapt.

Have you made any of these mistakes?  I’d love to hear back from you about what you are now doing to recover.

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