Starting and building a career is not easy, especially in our present times. A career is one’s calling in life; one’s occupation or one’s profession. We can also define it as a general course of action or conduct in life. Everyone pursues some time type of career in one way or another. The goal is to pursue an ethical career where you make an honest living. We would not want to become a career criminals. A career criminal is someone who makes a living illegally by committing crimes. Our topic today is on career mistakes you must avoid.

Settling For Peanuts

Times are tough and I know getting a job or getting clients can be a tussle. This can lead to desperation where you end up settling for whatever comes. Half a loaf of bread is better than nothing but do not apply that incorrectly. Many people end up equating crumbs to half a loaf of bread. As much as you need to make a living you need to strike a balance. Do not compromise your value, dignity, and well-being in trying to make a living.

Settling for peanuts because it is better than nothing can be a costly mistake. It is a mistake many people make and get stuck in destructive cycles. Circumstances can lead to one doing illegal things such as stealing from an employer or short-changing clients. Due to frustration, one can also end up in poor health. In the long run, settling for less will not be worth it. If the value you know you are worth is not being upheld, keep searching for better prospects.

Not Networking

In any endeavour nowadays you must network, otherwise you will be limited. I have gotten so many opportunities through networking – online and in-person. I have noticed that you do not always get much from just your familiar social circle. You need to go beyond that and interact with people from various walks of life. Networking brings about learning experiences and also presents strategic doors and gates. Getting your career off the ground, developing it, and sustaining it calls for networking.

The mistake you should never make is to box yourself and live like an island. I am an introvert and could have used that as an excuse to not network. However, I have pushed myself out of that shell to pursue networking openings. Attend strategic events such as conferences, workshops, and the like. When at such events mix and mingle with the goal of learning and creating strategic connections. Your next big break can be waiting for you to simply network so take this seriously.


The temptation to overwork is ever-present in these demanding times. When I recently did an article on popular but bad life advice I touched on this. Career success is more often than not a result of working efficiently, not just working hard (usually overworking). There are people today who work from home and only for a few hours a day but earn more. Working hard is mostly taken to mean putting in lots of hours; that is a pitfall. That is the mistake you must avoid by all means. Overworking negatively affects your health. Overworking also comprises your creativity and productivity.

By overworking you end up neglecting areas of your life that matter most. These are areas such as spending time with your loved ones. The possible outcome of your overworking is that you might not even become successful. If your overworking does produce some positive results you might not fully enjoy them. Bottom line is that whichever way, overworking comes with it some uncomfortable outcomes. Focus on building a personal system that allows you to do things easily and put in a reasonable time.

Discontinuing Learning

It is everyone’s dream to start and sustain a thriving career. Once that dream is fulfilled it is great and all but be careful. Do not settle and start gathering moss; keep moving. Our world is now fast-paced and rapidly changing. There are so many variables today that can change your life in a moment. I am referring to things like political dynamics, economic changes, natural disasters, pandemics, and the like.

Do not stop learning, even if your career is smooth sailing. Always seek to keep learning, and advancing your experience and expertise. Thanks to the internet you can now learn non-stop through online learning programmes. Keep an ear and eye out for the most relevant and current information regarding your areas of interest. There is truly never an end to learning so stay current and updated. This will keep you relevant and also help you to easily pivot if anything happens.

Not Meeting Deadlines

One of the key performance indicators for anyone on any career path is meeting deadlines. You need to be someone that can be depended upon to get things done, in time! It does not matter whether you are an employee or an employer, you must deliver as and when you ought to. If you are known to be unreliable and always come up with excuses, you will never grow in your career. Start with the small things and it will become easier with anything you are mandated to do. Let me tell you a secret: the key to doing anything well is to start practising first it in your own life. If you come to a place where you can set yourself deadlines and meet them, you are good to go.

All these mistakes are avoidable. You probably have made them in the past but now you must put an end to them. Always make it a point to not repeat the same mistakes. It can be these mistakes we discussed or just any possible mistakes in performing your career duties. A mistake is objectively a mistake when committed once. Beyond that, it becomes a habit. Building a career takes time and effort; the journey is made easier if you avoid these 5 mistakes.