Things I Did Wrong During The Start of My Career

As graduation is around the corner and all college grads would be busy running around looking for jobs, some will get a chance to work soon, some won’t (but don’t worry, you will find the right job at the right time), I thought of sharing the mistakes I did on the first few years of my working life that you might not want to do.

1. I thought I was better than some of my managers

During the first few years of my working life, I had several managers who didn’t have college degrees. Some of them can’t even spell some English words (I’m talking about my managers when I was in Dubai), most of them speak in broken English. I thought the world wasn’t fair. Why do I have to get a college degree only to be supervised by undergrads?

I was still young and foolish and still full of wrong ideas and full of myself. I thought degree is everything. Well, it is important but one should not undermine the power of experience. These folks who may not have been polished theoretically are honed by their experiences on their trades.

So never underestimate your managers. Don’t judge them by their mistakes or shortcomings. Observe and learn from them.

2. I listened to rotten apples

In every company, there will be rotten apples. These are the people who spread gossip and bad vibes. They are always unhappy and discontented  but wouldn’t want to leave the company because they couldn’t find any other better place to work.

I used to listen to them because as a youngster, I never knew who the rotten apples were. They lured me with their red, shiny and crispy covers and before I knew it, I myself have become rotten too.

3. I mixed business with personal

Being civil at work is very important. We gain friends and of course we also gain enemies. We don’t live in a perfect world. We can’t help but get into a bad blood with someone. However, work is work. Personal life shouldn’t be mixed. Show professionalism and no matter how angry you are with a colleague, be neutral when at work.

This, I learned just lately. I used to have bad temper and I used to mix business and personal stuff. But not anymore. I’m trying my best not to.

4. I wanted an immediate promotion

Whenever I completed a year with the company, I expect to get a promotion. If not, I will apply to another company for a higher position. I always thought if my company cannot appreciate my hard work and won’t promote me, I will promote myself. 

This strategy to get your own promotion might work but this is not good  for your career in the long run.

5. I didn’t tell my managers that I wanted a promotion, I thought I didn’t need to 

Earlier, I didn’t know what appraisal was. My previous managers showed me a paper with scores and some comments of how good I was at work. They asked me what I wanted for my career, and I said nothing. 

I didn’t know that performance appraisals are the best time to let your managers know what you want for your career.

I always thought that your promotion is automatic when you perform well but performance isn’t all. Letting your managers know about your interest in climbing up a level will help as they might put you into some managerial or supervisory training or program to develop you before they promote you.

Always remember that getting a promotion especially from a rank and file to a supervisory level is the toughest one. Anyone can be a hard worker but not everyone can be a good leader.

19 responses to “Things I Did Wrong During The Start of My Career”

  1. I really enjoyed this article. All of them I can certainly relate to in one way or another. I write on workplace performance and issues too, would love to hear your thoughts on some of my posts at


  2. Very very well said! We are in charge of our own career! We drive our career. During coaching and appraisal sessions, my manager would always ask me what I want to be. And it really helps telling them. It can be hard for them to promote you if you do not even know what you want for yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

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