01/03/2014 02:59 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

7 Top Career Missteps to Avoid in 2014


The new year celebrations are over and it is time to come to the real world.

Here are 7 career missteps to avoid in 2014

1. Being Ignorant About the Impact of Your Social Media Activities:

You may think that how you engage in social media channels should not impact your work. In your mind, work and social media may be two separate things. But, they are not.

Everything you post is permanent and can come back and haunt them. A simple rule to follow: If they won't say it on the face, it is not worth saying anything negative about a person on social media. They should also be aware that their attitude is in full-display on social media so thoughtfulness is the key.

2. Thinking That Your Competition is Local

It was the case a few years ago but their job and position is at threat from anywhere in the globe. So, it is their responsibility to distinguish and bring progressively higher value if they want to grow in their careers.

3. Thinking Personal Branding is Optional

It is important to align your personal branding efforts with reasonable overlap to company goals but nobody should ignore the need to build a personal brand based on the foundation of bringing value and be of service to a target audience. Your personal brand will provide some insurance and visibility outside of your current workplace. Plus, when used right your company will benefit big time.

4. Thinking Someone Else is Responsible for Your Career Growth

If you are working for someone, the fundamental equation is all about value exchange. You get paid for the value you bring to the table. For example, if you are bringing 10x value where x is what you are being paid, soon you will be paid more or someone else in the industry will offer you a job paying a lot more. If you distract yourself on the politics and miss the focus on creating value, you will pay a big price.

5. Not Keeping Up With the Trends

Today's darlings may be tomorrow's duds. It is not your employer's responsibility to ensure that you are prepared for the future. While there are trainings and such that your employer might organize, ultimately, YOU are responsible to be ready for what the future holds. Your current skills that are serving you so well today need to be upgraded. You may need to revisit your skill portfolio completely in order to stay "in demand."

6. Thinking Storytelling is Only for Marketers

Life is mostly about stories you tell others or you tell yourself about the events and conversations that are happening around you. You are a storyteller whether you know it or not. In this busy world, if you don't know how to tell a good story, you will be part of the noise and like any other noise, you will be ignored first and forgotten soon after.

7. Hoping Everything Will Turn Out Good

I am all for positive thinking. But, hope? Hope at best is a necessary condition and NOT sufficient enough to move you forward. I have seen many people taking a lackadaisical approach saying - "Whatever happens to others will happen to them" and those are the ones that are most surprised when they are laid off as part of any restructuring. People around you may seem to be happy to hear what you say but will base their judgment of you primarily based the results you produce that matter most to the company.