Wednesday, November 20, 2019

I Made These 3 Career Mistakes, So You Don’t Have To

1. Mistake #1: Choosing passion over technology. Nowadays, unfortunately, writers are a dime a dozen (and you literally can end up getting paid a dime for a dozen words). In addition, subject matter experts tend to think they know how to communicate better than the trained communicators. However, technology is endlessly in demand, and as it turns out you can find a technology job that is suited to your other technical skills, which for me include helping people to collaborate for efficiency. If I could go back and do it over again, I would spend a lot more time "learning to code," and less time taking training in subject matter that is already intuitive for me.

2. Mistake #2: Over-focusing on the resume. Most career advice focuses on the resume, which is a list of seemingly objective, tangible achievements in bullet form. An example would be an award you received for a website redesign, or an increase in sales following implementation of a strategy you developed. However, most of the time, your true successes are not visible externally; they are the professional relationships you build over time, and they reflect your level of investment in simply contributing to the team. Bottom line: Shift your focus to "who would recommend you if I called?" not "what did you do at your last job that was amazing?"

3. Mistake #3: Taking a one-dimensional view of "work."  When I was growing up, in the late '70s-mid-'80s,  the images I saw on TV were of women trying to break out of traditional roles; as such the question "do you work?" meant "do you have a job outside the home?" While this was great at the time, today it's nice to see a different paradigm take hold. Gender role flexibility, work-life balance, and creative solutions to the physical location of the workplace are all combining to create a healthier world for all of us. To go along with this shift, there is a definite renaissance of online skill-building for all things home and family, from homeschooling kids in art to building a double-corner bookshelf for a space that seems impossibly small. As Sigmund Freud famously said: "Love and work are the cornerstones of humanness."

___

By Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal. All opinions are the author's own. Public domain.