Don’t Make These 5 Common Mistakes On the Job

In any job, mistakes are inevitable—but some are more avoidable than others. If you want a satisfying, successful career with opportunities for advancement, there are some mistakes you should actively try not to make.

Be aware of these five common job mistakes that could hamper your career.

DON’T be unavailable

At some point you’ll be asked to help out with an assignment or project that isn’t in your job description (if it hasn’t happened already). It’s a mistake to believe that no one will remember whether or not you turned down the request.

Many people already feel overworked and overstressed, and it’s tempting to either ignore the request to do more, or offer some excuse for why you can’t. Resist the temptation—if it’s possible for you to take on outside work and still complete your normal duties, grab the opportunity to make a lasting, positive impression by pitching in.

DON’T hide at your desk

Maybe you’re already the type that goes above and beyond, accepting every request to add more to your plate and working away diligently in isolation, even through lunch. This opposite extreme is also a mistake. There’s a strong possibility that all your hard work will be overlooked if you don’t get out and mingle.

Give yourself an occasional break to interact with your co-workers and supervisors. This comes with plenty of benefits: lowered stress, increased visibility, and the potential to create strong professional relationships.

DON’T wait for feedback

Despite the fact that frequent feedback has been demonstrated to have a positive effect on employee satisfaction and productivity, many companies still offer feedback on a formal schedule of once or twice a year. If you wait that long to find out whether or not you’re doing a good job, it could be too late when your performance review comes around.

Ask your manager or supervisor if you can set up a quick meeting to discuss your current work, your progress, and whether there’s anything you can do to improve. This will benefit the organization as well as yourself.

DON’T be afraid to ask questions

While a lot of people say there’s no such thing as a stupid question, most don’t actually believe it. You may be afraid to ask questions when you’re confused because you think it’s either a sign of weakness, or you’ll look stupid because it’s something you “should” understand.

But it’s even worse to fumble through an assignment without knowing what you’re doing. If you screw things up, you’ll only cost more time and money when you have to do it over the right way.

It’s always better to ask questions when you’re not sure how to proceed. Talk to your manager, supervisor, or even a senior co-worker and ask for a little direction, so you can take it the right way from there.

DON’T be a perfectionist

Of course, we all want to turn out perfect work every time—but that simply doesn’t happen. Not every detail of every project is going to turn out exactly the way you want. It’s important to remember that obsessing over perfection will only delay your progress, and probably irritate your co-workers and supervisors. Spend your time worrying about the truly important aspects of your job.

Instead, give every assignment your best effort—and when it’s finished, let it go. Focus on the quality of your work and meeting any deadlines you have, and don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s more important to turn in consistently solid work. For more tips or to reach out to a top behavioral health recruiter, contact PsychPros today at (513) 651-9500 or by email at

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