Hi, I'm Gio, the Chief Technology Officer at Kinaxis. I’ve spent many years in tech, and if you're like me, you'll have seen all kinds of great self-help articles on how to progress in your career. However, people don't really talk about the mistakes that we can make in our careers.
We are all human and we all make mistakes. However, some mistakes can cost you time and set a negative perception around you. I know this has happened personally to me as well, so I just wanted to share some of my experiences.
Career goals and strategy
For me, at the beginning, I lacked any real type of goals. Whether it was in my career or just in the way I approached my career, I didn't understand what the bigger picture might be. At the time, I couldn’t even think about what I wanted to do tomorrow, let alone in five years. However, what I found helpful was figuring out which skills and experiences I wanted to be exposed to, so that in the future, I’d be able to use those skills and talents I had acquired.
The grass isn’t always greener
There were times in my career where I thought I was stuck in a rut. I was bored. I’m one of those personalities that loves to learn, but as soon as I learned and practiced something, it becomes a routine – and that’s when I would feel dissatisfaction. I learned that to grow, I needed to make sure I embraced every aspect of my career journey, even the ones that were less than thrilling. This helped me learn not to just make a move for the sake of money, prestige, or just to make a move.
As you go through your career, you will face challenges and other obstacles. As such, receiving critical feedback – especially when you don’t want to hear it – can help you address those issues and avoid future pitfalls. Feedback is a gift and can be valuable in your career development.
People matter along your career journey. While it’s easy to appreciate the positive moments in relationships, sometimes emotions can rise when things aren’t going your way. Don’t burn bridges even when it’s tempting to simply speak your mind. With our communications becoming more and more interconnected and online, it is very easy to be misunderstood. If you do need to do damage control at some point, own your words and clear the air.
Investing in yourself
Ongoing development, education and training are things we don’t always think about in our busy day-to-day lives. It took me a long time to realize that if I’m going to refine my skills, I had to be comfortable with taking the time to invest in keeping my skills up to date. This included going back to school, taking some type of technical training, reading on my own and keeping up with tech trends.
Email etiquette may seem basic, but email etiquette breaches happen all the time. The most infamous example of a breach in email etiquette is where you accidentally send a “reply all” e-mail while not being as courteous or thoughtful as you can be. Emailing when you’re experiencing negative emotions can set a negative perception around you as an individual and may even paint you as being a leader that’s not very good.
Even if you make a mistake, the good news is you can recover and make successful strides in your career. There are a couple things I've learned from my own mistakes that have, in hindsight, really helped me. I hope that these insights will be helpful to you no matter where you are in your career.
Stay tuned for more career insights posts from Gio!