If you have a couple of years or even a couple of months under your belt in your career there are a few things you should try an avoid. The list is simple to remember and tough to execute, but a consistent attack on these will help you in the long run.
1. Comparing your path with your colleagues or peers– A key thing to remind yourself of on a daily basis is your path is going to be unlike anyone else’s. Your divine life plan has been developed for you and you only. Consistently investing your energy into someone else’s salary, promotion, or job title is an easy way to lose focus.
2. Assuming no one is watching– People see everything and surprisingly we know this but kind of slack off in one area or another. Kick those ‘harmless’ bad habits to the curb soon, wouldn’t want these to hold you back from your next recommendation.
3. Waiting to invest in your retirement– A year or two makes all the difference, see my detailed post about 401k’s here
4. Following the money– It is easy to do something just because there is a lot of money involved, but are you really gaining what’s really important in the long run? Do not get me wrong, pay is important and a relative factor for each individual. I will just pull out the cliché and remind you to do what you love/enjoy and the money will follow. Putting money at the forefront of your career could set you back rather than push you forward.
5. Putting your integrity at risk– Avoid this completely and anyone who would risk their integrity. This is the one thing that makes you who you are, and sticking to your guns is no better way to personally define your career path.
Of course this list is subjective, but I think from what I have seen in the workplace these five areas are the easiest to fall into.