Choosing money over Opportunity.
I know, you’ve been restricted by the budgets your parents have set for you and are now ready to ‘kill it’ financially so that you can start buying and doing the things you want. I’ve seen it all too often, when someone choose money over opportunity, they end up stuck. They become a slave to the company or career that pays them handsomely, but can often feel frustrated, bored or worse, depressed. Often, those early, higher paying jobs are not where the growth is. Typically, they pay a higher amount so they can handcuff you when eventually you end up loathing the job. Instead, look to what skills you’ll acquire as a result of the opportunities you are evaluating. Especially early in your career, always choose future opportunity and growth over money. If you take the time to learn all you can, opportunities will be forever abundant (and so will your bank account).
Not willing to do grunt work.
Everyone has to start somewhere. Being willing to do grunt work for the right company or opportunity can plant you in the right place to provide the right opportunities going forward. Being humble enough to do work that you may feel is below your pay-grade will show the ‘higher ups’ that you are workable. The right working attitude will take you much further.
Focusing too much on skill and not enough on cultivating connections
Networking is a powerful skill. Those who master it will easily surpass their counterparts. Every business is a relationship-based sport. It is not just reserved for sales professions. Everything from getting your foot in the door, winning the deal or climbing the ladder is facilitated by networking with the right people. Ignoring this will certainly guarantee that you will be working harder and with greater resistance to get where you want to go.
Not being patient
It takes time for rice to cook. Being impatient will hasten your results. See what you get when you try to cook traditional rice in 5 minutes (I’m not talking about using Uncle Ben’s rice). It’ll be hard, crunchy and totally unsatisfying. Being impatient can have you miss great opportunities. Choosing the right career is really an evolutionary process – not a quick decision. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and frustration if you take your time to cultivate your own mind, explore various opportunities and cultivate a broad network of contacts. Do the work thoroughly the first time will save years of frustration that hasty trial and error results in.
Comparing yourself with your friends
I saved this one for last. It is one of the most destructive things we can do as humans. I know it is hard not to compare, especially in the advent of social media. However, your path is your own. What you see others doing does not guarantee that they will end up in a better position in the long run. The evolution of a career takes time. It is unrealistic for you to nail it on your first try. Upon graduation, you can’t possibly have enough life experience to be able to perfectly land, or even identify, your ideal career. Think of your twenties as the decade of career development. Use these years to experiment, learn and sample as much as you can so that you can determine all of the ideal ingredients for your perfect recipe for success.
Marketing note: the Junior Coaching Program (JCP) is designed to strategically support and provide all of the elements I write about.