Give yourself every opportunity to establish yourself as a key person of influence in your industry by avoiding the following mistakes:
1. Trusting the wrong people and aligning yourself with the wrong groups can set your career back years. Office politics is a huge part of progression whether you like it or not.
2. Not finding a relevant mentor who can advise you on the things you should concentrate on, the things you should do, and the experiences you should seek.
3. Prioritising salary over learning. The most important thing early in your career is that you are in an environment that exposes you to and involves you in every element of the business, enabling your education to prosper. It is this you will be compensated for later.
4. Specialisation too soon. Generalise and give yourself an opportunity to serendipitously discover what you are best at. Specialisation can come later once you are certain it is the route you wish to pursue.
5. Expecting opportunities to come to you instead of exploring the self-generation of opportunity through building relationships or research. I was happy to wait in expectation that my knowledge and expertise would gravitate people towards me. It didn’t.
6. Not writing sooner. Give yourself every opportunity to establish yourself as a key person of influence in your industry. Write a little every day. Write a lot once a week. Work towards writing a book. Nothing established expertise like a written text you can give to people you meet or have on your resume.
7. Believing your degree is sufficient qualification to enable a smooth transition to professional life. It won’t endow you with the requisite life skills needed to flourish.
8. Thinking you have the skills commerce covets and that you won’t have to work to cultivate your personal brand. Learning should never stop, if you’re standing still, in reality, you are moving backwards as those continuing their professional development overtake you.
9. Thinking you have to work long hours to impress people and failing to recognise the value of your free time. You shouldn’t, it merely highlights your inefficiencies at time planning.
10. Not trusting yourself to build something of value sooner. Be brave, if you have ideas share them. If you have dreams, reach for them. Being confident isn’t just about speaking up in meetings, it’s about being brave in your convictions and trusting yourself to excel. Don’t just be good, be great. Good things come to those who go out and get them, nobody achieved greatness waiting for it to find them.