Are You Making These 5 Common Career Mistakes?

If you’ve attended a school or academy for career training, then chances are you care about your career. You’re interested in progressing and being successful, both professionally and personally. Unfortunately, you might be making common mistakes without even realizing it — and these mistakes can seriously hurt your career. You could lose out on promotions, gain animosity from your coworkers or even lose your job.

So we’re going to break down the top 5 common career mistakes, and how to avoid them.

Being negative.

Almost any job comes with positives and negatives. If you focus on just the negatives, then you’ll create an unhappy work environment that makes it more difficult for you to get your work done. What’s more, your negativity will flow into the people around you. This can either turn your coworkers against you, or sometimes it can cause the negativity to build on itself until everyone feels frustrated and unhappy. That’s not conducive to success!

To avoid this career mistake, make sure to keep yourself from discussing negative thoughts with your coworkers. To fight against the negativity itself, try this exercise: every time you think of a negative, think of a positive. For example, you may work long hours as a patient care technician, but you do so because your patients rely on you for medical care and support. That’s an important, meaningful job.

The more you find the positive in the negative, the better your outlook will be, and ultimately the less negativity you’ll put out into your workplace.

Refusing to help your coworkers.

If you’re buried under work, it can be difficult to want to help anybody else. You might also think, “Hey, that’s not my job — I wasn’t hired to do that.” Those thoughts are understandable, but they’re also a common career mistake.

Your success as an employee often depends on how well you work with your team. If you repeatedly refuse to lend a helping hand, then you might gain the reputation of being a selfish employee who doesn’t care about the team or the mission. And once you lose your coworkers’ trust, they could stop including you in important projects, which will cause your career to stall.

The solution: Be open and willing to help, when reasonable. If you know you have something important due and stepping away from it will hurt your medical office or facility, then by all means, politely decline. But if you have the extra time, you should agree to help — or even offer to help without being asked. Remember, you never know when you’ll be the one who needs assistance, and you won’t want everyone to turn their backs on you in your moment of need.


Offices and healthcare facilities are made up of people, and people naturally like to talk about other people. While it might seem innocent in the moment, gossiping about your coworkers — or worse, your patients — is an incredibly common mistake that can trump career progress. Especially if you gain your coworkers’ trust only to turn around and tell their secrets to everyone else.

The solution to this is simply to rise above the gossip. Don’t start gossiping sessions and don’t join in when they occur. You could even use your office influence to dissuade your colleagues from gossiping, which will create a better, more welcoming environment for everyone.

Showing up late or not showing up at all.

If you’re not reliable, then it doesn’t matter how good your work is. Timeliness is particularly important in the medical field, when the health of patients can depend on it.

Of course, sometimes things happen that are outside of your control, like your car breaking down or your child contracting an illness. But even so, you should never make tardiness or absences a chronic habit. Nothing halts your career faster than the label of “unreliable.”

To fix this common career mistake, set up a morning routine that allows plenty of time to get ready and commute to work. Add extra time for common traffic patterns and errands like picking up coffee. When it comes to missing work, you should only call in when you absolutely have to. You should try to provide your manager with notice, as well. If you’re not feeling well the night before, for example, email your boss immediately to keep him or her updated.

Not going above and beyond.

If you go to work every day, do the tasks assigned to you, clock out and go home, then you might be successful in your position. But you won’t impress your supervisors enough to think of you when time comes for a promotion.

In order to advance in your career, you need to prove to your employer that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to support the mission. That doesn’t mean taking on more than you can handle, and you should know your limits. But you also need to show that you’re willing to take on more in-depth responsibilities and leadership roles.

That’s how you show your manager that you’re committed, which can earn you higher positions within the company and ultimately progress your career.

Have you made any of these mistakes before? It’s okay if you have — most of us do at some point or another. But put focus into avoiding each of these mistakes from here on out in order to have the career you’ve always dreamed of.