Recruiter Advice: How to Avoid Epic Career Damage

Navigating a career can be tricky business.  Just one career mistake is all it can take to have a damaging impact on your professional ambitions. To avoid tripping up, here is a list of common career mistakes.

Avoiding these mistakes, while keeping your focus and passion for your work, will help you navigate a successful career. We all want to excel at our jobs and grow in our careers, but there are certain tendencies and behaviors that can really end up holding us back.

Here are a few traps to avoid if you’re looking to advance in the workplace.

1. Belief in the delusion of job certainty

No job is secure and everyone is replaceable. Accept that. Now move on. Do your best and don’t over analyze every meeting your boss has with or without you, or every mistake you make, assuming that it could mean the end of your current job.

Always have a current resume and treat yourself by going on confidential interviews.  Keep your eyes and ears open for great opportunities.  It is important to be loyal to your employer, however loyalty begins with yourself.  Welcome change.

2.  Not taking credit for your successes

Nobody likes a bragging coworker.  Conversely, downplaying your role when achieving success is a good way to stunt your own career growth. Though modesty is admirable, you shouldn’t feel awkward to subtly ensure that you receive credit where it’s unquestionably due. In so doing, management will recognize your contributions and factor them in when things like promotions and raises come into play.

3.  Not seeing the bigger picture

It is essential to understand what your organization wants to achieve, how you fit in and how your achievements contribute to its overall success. Developing a broader understanding and appreciation of your organization’s ultimate goals will not only provide you with a deeper sense of purpose and passion for what you do, and ultimately make you more successful.

4.  Apologizing too much

Own your success—don’t ask for permission.  Many employees often fall into the trap of not wanting to disturb or disrupt anyone else, and so they come across as timid and apologetic. Employees who are too timid often do not get things done and can often be more of a drag on their supervisors. Remember why you were hired and get results.  If you make a mistake, own it.

5.  Not following your intuition.

There is a lot of evidence that your gut or intuition is an intelligent and finely tuned system. Countless stories abound of people who have a gut reaction to a decision and then choose to go against it, only to regret it in the long run. If you are ignoring your intuition, you’re discounting the years of wisdom that you’ve gathered.


Bernie Reifkind is the CEO and founder of Premier Search, Inc. a nationwide executive search and placement firm.   In addition, Bernie provides career guidance and strategic interviewing techniques to professionals at all levels.

P: 1(800) 801-1400  or email at