Mistakes That Can Help Your Career

positive career mistakesWe’ve talked about career mistakes in the past, but mostly from a negative standpoint. After all, there are many negative actions and qualities that can hurt you in the long run. For example, it’s never a good idea to burn bridges, because you don’t know if it will come back full circle and hurt you later in your career. With that being said, there are some mistakes that can have a positive impact. They help you learn and grow. These mistakes might hurt you in the short-term, but they set you up for long-term success. So, next time you make a mistake in the workplace realize that it may be a positive mistake that will help you for the rest of your life. However, you don’t want to make these mistakes more than once, because you don’t want them to have a negative impact.


Some jobs require you to take on new responsibility and often times it’s the only way to move up in a company. Once your employer realizes your value and versatility, you’ll start climbing the ranks. However, you need to make sure that you don’t take on too much responsibility, because finding yourself operating outside of your realm of expertise can be devastating. However, you’re only going to learn this if you experience it first hand, so it’s a mistake that you can make once. You don’t want to be known as a person who answers “no” to requests about taking on more responsibility. If you promise to get too much done and can’t deliver, it will surely look bad, but it will also make you more comfortable and aware of your limitations. It’s a mistake you can afford to make once, because it will further your long term career aspirations. Balancing being a “yes” person and a knowing when to say “no” are two very important pieces that you need to learn early in your career.

Getting Terminated

Getting fired from a job can be a stressful and disheartening experience, but there is most likely a good reason for it. However, you should try to see the positives. Learn from the mistakes you made that lead to your dismissal, and improve on them. Maybe you were consistently late, or took too many sick days. Maybe you were unmotivated and it’s time to find a job in a different industry. Whatever the case may be, getting fired, especially early in your career, can actually be a good thing. Now we’re not suggesting that you go out and get fired tomorrow, but if it happens, you need to recognize your shortcomings and improve on them. It will make you a stronger worker.

Taking a Job That You are Overqualified For

Often times taking a lower paying job is your only choice, because we all have bills to pay and sacrifices must be made in order to meet these obligations. But, if you knowingly accept a job that is under your skill level you’ve made an egregious error. There are jobs available for you all around the United States, you just need to get out and look for them. Searching for jobs can be very difficult, but you need to show perseverance and keep applying for the jobs you’d be best at. Don’t be scared if you think you are underqualified, because a good interview could change all of that. Taking a job that you are overqualified for is a mistake, but it’s a mistake worth learning from.

As you can see, not every mistake is a bad thing. You need to always be looking at the positives of your blunders and looking for ways to improve on them. You might think that getting fired or being too auspicious will cost you your job, but it’s likely that your managers will be understanding and give you a second chance. Just make the most out of it, because your career depends on it.

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Matthew Welch

Jobdiagnosis blog author Matthew Welch is an SEO strategist and content marketer from Boston, MA. Read blog content relating to job search by Matthew Welch.

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