Career Pitfalls For Professionals And How To Avoid Them

Career Pitfalls For Professionals And How To Avoid Them

There are basic things that can cause a pitfall in a career. As we climb the career ladder, our perceptions about things begin to change which may affect our decisions and also determine how far we will go in achieving our career goals. Here are some things we should look out for and how to avoid them:

Pursuit of Money and not the Quality of Experience

I know a lot of people may be quick to disagree because the reason why we are working or even building a career in the first place is to get money to pay bills and meet financial expectations. However, this should not be your main focus when building a career because it can be a blinder in achieving career goals and would later form regrets when you are about to retire. Some people move to a job that pays higher but would lead them astray in terms of their career goals. This is unwise and I call it being penny-wise and pounds foolish. You may get the money NOW but loose the greater money you would have gained in few years’ time. These type of people are not futuristic in their career and would miss out on achieving their career goals on time. You should ensure that what you are doing is in line with where you want to be in the years to come. You should also ensure that you are gaining exposure and relevant skills. Although, no knowledge is lost, some skills gained in some places are just not really what you need to achieve your goals. An appraisal of your career should be done yearly or bi-annually. In the long run, quality experience always guarantees more money.

Getting too Comfortable

This can be a blinder for senior executives. You may be working in a ‘good’ job doing what you are comfortable with and you tend to have the mentality that you have ‘arrived’ and that it cannot get better than this. Please note: this is not a call to change jobs or to be a job hopper. Rather, this is a call that no matter how fulfilled you are, it can always be better. How are you using your skills to impact lives? Have you found true purpose in your career? Are you working at your topmost potential? or you’re just living a robotic life, so far it pays your bills you don’t care ? A somewhat ‘successful’ career can be a blinder. The ‘I have finally arrived’ mentality can hinder a lot of things. Constantly strive to improve yourself and ensure you are working at your topmost capacity.

Choosing the wrong career path and Impatience

Choosing a career path just because it is popular and everyone is going into it is wrong. E.g Human Resource(HR) is a hot career path a lot of graduates want to venture into. While some have carefully thought out why and how they plan to be successful at it, others are just all about it because it ‘seems’ like the best career for them while forgetting a whole lot of profitable and exciting career paths they can follow. The result of a wrong career decision is dissatisfaction and lack of fulfillment no matter the Salary. Impatience is also a big career blinder. Some people are not patient enough in choosing the right things for themselves and are blinded by unnecessary things. A practical example: I referred someone for a role in line with the persons’ career goals. The person eventually got back to the recruiter that she wasn’t really interested because it’s not in line with what she wants (Apparently, she just perused through the website and didn’t really understand it). When she told me, I was surprised and explained more to her and also told her to go back and read through properly. She did and was totally interested after better understanding and by that time, it was too late because it was a turn-off, also the recruiter wasn’t interested in her again.

Other Helpful Advice

Be futuristic about every decision you will make in your career and consider the impacts in your career. It may not seem like the best decision according to other people’s rating but it’s your life and career not theirs. It’s wise to take advice from people but you will be the one to face the repercussion in the future. If you’re successful at what you do, don’t allow praises blind you from doing better or achieving more. Praises which leads to pride can be a career blinder. Stay focused on your goal and keep working towards it.


I wish you the best in your career journey!

Photocredit: Pixabay

Yewande Jinadu

Yewande Jinadu is a Young and Dynamic HR Professional who is a passionate about employability of Young Graduates. She is the Founder of CareerLife Nigeria ( and the convener of The Employability Fitness Program, a program that helps young graduates overcome interview phobia through live interview mock sessions Her passion for impacting others and starting CareerLife Nigeria was borne out of her own personal struggle to get a job. As an engineering graduate who finished from a public university with no previous employability training, she struggled to find a job. She made up my mind to switch to HR with the desire to help young Nigerian graduates achieve measurable success in their career. Through CareerLife Nigeria's initiative, several graduates have become employable and gotten job several Job Offers. Recently she was recognized as one of the top 150 global HR Professionals and Top 50 Career Influencers by The Workbooth Yewande is changing the narrative for Young Nigerian Graduates You can reach out to her by sending a mail to: and follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @careerlifeng

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