You’re ready to take the next step—the one that will bring you closer to the job you’ve always wanted. But there are hazards along the way! While there may not be quicksand or rattlesnakes, you may be falling victim to these four pitfalls keeping you from your dream job.
Obstacles Keeping You From Your Dream Job
- Complaining about your job. We all have rough days. It’s tempting (and satisfying!) to vent on social media or to your coworker buddies. But is complaining going to improve your circumstances? Probably not. It might earn you a little sympathy, but in the wrong hands, especially in the permanence of the interwebs, complaints can damage your professional image. So instead of complaining, what steps can you take to actually make things better?
- Networking when you need something. You know that friend who only calls when they need a ride to the airport or when they need to borrow a hundred bucks? Don’t be that person to your professional network. Keep regular tabs with people, build genuine relationships, and keep your LinkedIn profile active well before you’re ready to take the next step in your career (think: promotion, retirement, or job switch). Ask how you can add value to other people’s lives before you start asking for favors.
- Waiting . . . and waiting . . . for a raise or promotion. Good things come to those who wait, unless nobody knows what you’re waiting for. So if you want something, ask! For salary increases, gather the info that showcases your value add, pair it with market data, then sit down with your boss to talk things over. The same goes for promotions. If you’re looking to move up the ladder, make your goals known early. You may find support in your network, such as training or mentoring. You wouldn’t want to be passed over simply because you never said you wanted to promote.
- Not regularly updating your resume. Most people wait to update their resumes until they need to look for a new job. This is always a terrible idea. Resumes are constant works in progress: an ongoing snapshot of your career journey. What details will you remember about the last ten years, or even your last big project, if you don’t write them down while they’re fresh? Even if you don’t formally rewrite your resume every three months, keep good notes on your key accomplishments. You never know when you might need to bust out a current resume.
The good news? Now that you’re aware of these pitfalls keeping you from your dream job, they are easy to overcome. Put on your distance runners and get ready to jump the fire, the scorpion, the snapping crocodiles—whatever stands between you and the finish line. You may find yourself one (or four!) steps closer to the job you’ve always wanted!