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Stay on the tracks...

I’m perfect.

Ok, well how about close to it? Of course not!

That’s mistake number one I’ve seen from young professionals in my short career. And I’m as guilty as the rest of them. You’re not perfect and you don’t know everything despite what your mother may have told you growing up. :)

3 Common Mistakes That Derail Young Professionals” is a great read. In fact, I think it was nice Susan Davis-Ali only pointed out three mistakes because there are definitely many more. However, she does point out that these common mistakes should be avoided. To this I argue that making mistakes is all part of the learning process. So while young professionals may be able to dance around these after reading, there are still many more hurdles to trip over.

Belaboring a point, showing off and offering advice are all valid concerns brought up by Davis-Ali. They all fit into that umbrella of trying to be perfect and know it all. If I’ve learned one thing so far it is that you really start to learn once you realize how little you do know.

It’s only natural for young professionals almost done with or recently graduated from school to feel on top of the world. It’s an exciting and nerve-racking time when you are trying to start your career off right. But it doesn’t have to show. Hopefully these tips will help us start our train off on the right tracks as we look to begin our careers…

1)  Show you want to learn – I’ve long suggested to young professionals starting a new position or internships to schedule a meeting with managers outside of your day-to-day interactions. Show you want to learn what they do, how they do it and why it is important.
2)  Ask questions – Well, not too many. But let your co-workers know you are there in a positive way. Show you are taking an interest in meetings and want to help out.
3)  Be yourself – There is such a thing as being too professional that comes off arrogant. Be friendly. People work well with people they like.

What are some of the mistakes that have tripped you up? How can others avoid those pitfalls?

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