5 Common Career Regrets to Avoid
By Glenn Llopis, Contributing Writer at Forbes
No matter what stage of your career you are in, it's not too late to avoid these five common career regrets:
1. Didn't Take Enough Risks
Most people will question whether they are taking enough risks. They start to realize they have been playing it too safe, and haven't been courageous enough to see risk as their best friend. How are you ever going to discover your own potential if you aren't enabling your entrepreneurial spirit?
In today's workplace of constant change, you must trust yourself enough to act upon your own instincts. It's recommended that you stand out from the crowd by putting your ideas to the test. You never have to fear failure when you are learning from your setbacks.
Those with successful careers took calculated risks, and as they built their confidence, they stretched themselves even further to fully leverage their innate capabilities. Don't be afraid to fail and experience adversity. You will never define your career trajectory and build momentum if you are waiting for others to take the calculated risks for you.
2. Didn't Create Distinction
When you don't take enough risks, this usually means that you are not acting upon the opportunities that are right in front of you. This makes it difficult to create distinction and thus harder to establish a competitive advantage for yourself.
Distinction helps you get discovered; it gives you the leverage to solidify a platform that others want to be associated with. People without distinction find themselves stuck in their careers - unable to grow and develop personally and professionally.
You can't create distinction by trying to be like everyone else. Think differently, be your most authentic. Listen to, learn from and observe others - but find your own niche so that you can begin to live what you really stand for and gain from that a unique competitive edge.
3. Didn't Define/Manage Your Personal Brand
When you don't create distinction, you're missing a crucial step in defining and living your personal brand. Personal branding is a requirement for career success, but when viewed as a self-promotion campaign the probability for sustainable success wanes.
Your personal brand should represent the value that you consistently deliver to those whom you are serving. This doesn't require any self-promotion. But managing your personal brand does require you to be a great role model, even a mentor that others can depend on. This is what helps you elevate your relevancy and advance your career.
Being diligent about always refreshing your professional network like LinkedIn - is one example of how well you are managing your personal brand. Are you making your professional network and your personal brand stronger by associating with people that pull you out of your comfort zone, and open your eyes to see opportunity with greater clarity and focus?
4. Didn't Push Yourself Enough
When you don't define/manage your personal brand, you aren't pushing yourself enough to get better and improve. When you stop learning, you stop growing. When you stop growing, you lose strategic focus. When you lose focus, you lose momentum. When momentum is lost, you fall into the trap of complacency - and begin to take the path of least resistance.
Winners focus, losers spray because they don't value their own self-worth. When you don't push yourself to aim higher, you lose the right to have greater impact and influence. If you don't value yourself enough, your stock declines as others start to devalue you, too. Make sure you give it everything you've got for just one year and you'll most likely experience positive results you've never had before.
5. Didn't Prepare Strategically
Those who don't push themselves enough are not strategically preparing themselves to achieve their career goals and objectives. Preparation is the foundation for success. Preparation is the key to evolution and the enabler to avoid substitution in its stead. When people fail or get caught in a cycle of regret, it's highly attributable to their lack of preparation. When an opportunity is missed, it's often because you didn't prepare yourself well enough to be able to see and seize it. Preparation demands accountability; as such, it is an individual's responsibility to strategically plan for their future and to stick to their plan all the way through to fruition.
Preparing strategically begins with the understanding that you never really achieve any level of success alone. When you don't value the power of mentorship and fail to align yourself with those that can guide you rightly through their shared wisdom - you will eventually discover gaps in your know-how and self-awareness. Your decision-making capabilities and instincts begin to weaken. Find a mentor and make it matter!
Glenn Llopis is a nationally recognized thought-leader and author who develops talent that is relevant and leadership that can create sustainable business outcomes through his Immigrant Perspective Framework. Mr. Llopis is the Founder, Center for Hispanic Leadership and a highly sought-after keynote speaker to 50+ organizations each year. Learn more at his website.
Reprinted with permission from JobSeekerWeekly.com