Launching a successful career with longevity used to have a very simple formula.
You went to college, graduated, got an entry-level position, and you worked your way up from there.
For the most part, those rules still apply. However, many employees are finding themselves stuck at lower or mid-level positions of their career much longer than they originally anticipated.
The reasons for this are simple.
Here are six ways 99% of people are destroying their careers:
1. No Personal Brand
You’ve heard it a billion times before. “You need to build a personal brand.” It’s true, and if you’re struggling to reach your potential in your career, you need to begin building a personal brand A.S.A.P. A personal brand is important because it provides validation for your value through the establishment of your brand, which leads to raises, promotions, better job offers, more money, and so on.
Your average employee has nothing more to show for themselves beyond a resume with bullet-points of various jobs they’ve had throughout their career. A person with a personal brand has a website, portfolio, a network (online and offline), a book, a blog, and content they’ve published across the Web. This lets employers know that you’re the real deal and not just another person with a shiny resume.
2. No Network
If you were to lose your job today, who could you go to for a reference letter or a job recommendation? Ideally, you should have a long laundry list of people. In fact, you should have dozens of reference letters and a network of people you know from both offline networking and online networking who can help point you in the right direction in the event of a job loss or a career change.
3. Unattractive Resume
Are you aware that before your online resume ever sees the light of day, it goes through an A.T.S. (Applicant Tracking System)? An Applicant Tracking System is the system that every job posting site such as Monster.com, Careerbuilder, and Indeed use to screen job candidates. If you have an unattractive and improperly formatted resume, you’re potentially missing out on dozens of new job opportunities.
4. No Balance
Who comes first your family or your job? Be honest. Most people think they put their family first, but in actuality they put their job first by allowing their boss to steal away precious time with their family. It starts out with an extra hour here and there and then it turns into over-night work trips, all-nighters, and “home work.” This is ludicrous and this environment only exists because people allow it to.
Before you spend one more day on the job, you must begin formulating reasonable excuses for common occasions in which your boss will ask you to steal time away from your family. A few times is one thing, but an on-going occurrence is another. For those who wish to retort by saying, “If I tell my boss ‘no,’ I’ll be fired,” ask yourself if missing out on your children’s childhood is really worth it. Ask yourself if you’re really enjoying your vacations by taking your company-issued laptop along with you? Is this the life you really want to live?
5. De-Valuing Their Wages
The average annual raise is between 2 – 4%. Of course, this assumes your employer is nice enough to give you an annual raise, which most employers do not. That being said, the only way you’ll ever earn what you deserve is to job hop. If you’ve hit a plateau at your company and aren’t seeing a raise or promotion on the horizon at least once every 4-5 years, you should find another job. Employers that are looking to hire are more money motivated when they have a deficiency, so often times they’re willing to pay more than a current employer.
6. Employed At The Same Place Too Long
As a piggy-back off of #5, most people stay employed at the same place too long. Contrary to popular belief, it is typically not a good idea to stay employed at the same place for longer than 4-5 years. Doing so could prevent you from reaching your earning potential. You will also miss out on new training, skills, or methodologies provided by other companies. Bottom line, you’ll prevent yourself from having a well-rounded experience. Also, in case you think I’m crazy, look at the track record of executives. The tenure of your average executive lasts no longer than 4-5 years. They are serial job hoppers constantly on the prowl for the next big thing, and you should be, too!
About the author
Michael Price is the author of What Next? The Millennial’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the Real World, endorsed by Barbara Corcoran of ABC’s Shark Tank. He is also the founder of Conquer Career Course, where he teaches students how to increase their salary, build a career with longevity and become unemployment-proof. View the trailer below:
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.
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