We have all experienced situations in our lives we regret. Some were self-induced, and some were outside of our control. When it comes to the former, we could do our best to avoid the regret. However, with regrets experienced at work, there are many questions you might ask yourself along the road to making a decision.
For example, should you search for another job or commit yourself to the job you have?
As you work through career decisions, questions will present themselves, but how can you make sure you avoid a job decision you’ll regret? Start by removing the following practices from your professional life:
Getting Involved in Gossip – This is the most common-sense way to avoid making a job decision you’ll regret. Participating in office gossip takes you away from your job responsibilities and puts you in other people’s business. Once you become a participant of the chatter, don’t think you’re somehow absolved from being talked about too. When you engage in gossip, you open yourself up to becoming a subject of it and risk being seen as untrustworthy or toxic.
Compromising Morals – Never make a decision that goes against your core values. It’s good to be someone who can adapt to different situations but doesn’t do so in a way that compromises what you believe in. No matter how much you seem to like your job or the company, if they challenge you to accommodate in a way that doesn’t allow you to stay true to your values, it doesn’t let you respect your morals. As a result, no one else will either.
Obsessing Over Money – Everyone works for a paycheck, but that shouldn’t be the end-all-be-all in how you make decisions for your career. Consider an organization’s culture and how that shapes your mood or attitude at work. For example, is the culture worth it if you’re making great money but working nights, weekends, and holidays missing out on time with family and friends? Even if you’re willing to look past that, what if you’re making good money but working in a toxic environment? Is the money worth surrounding yourself with the consistent negativity?
Burning Bridges – You never really know where your career and life will take you. Don’t do something that puts you in a situation where the impression you leave negatively impacts your future opportunities. Build a solid network and maintain your professional brand. Some steps to take in making sure you don’t burn bridges:
- Remain professional on social media
- Communicate transparently and honestly
- Ask for feedback
- Do what you say you will do
- Stay in contact
- Ask permission to use people as a reference
- Be appreciative of opportunities
- Give enough notice when leaving
- Remain humble
Becoming Stagnant – Step out of your comfort zone when opportunities present themselves. For example, suppose you’re fearful of rejection. In that case, you might hold yourself back from taking that next step in your career or allowing yourself to be vulnerable en route to a possible promotion. From time to time, check-in with yourself and take inventory of your skills. If there are certain ways you can make yourself more competitive in your industry, develop the skills needed. Challenge yourself always. Take on a new project or task that helps build your skill set and makes you a more desirable professional.
Making a decision at work that you regret can have a snowball effect on your career projection. So, what are some things you can do to avoid a job decision you’ll regret? Join the conversation on LinkedIn and check out Supporting Employees with Mental Health Challenges.