Human resource managers and employment professionals agree there are several common mistakes made by young professionals that may be keeping them from climbing up the career ladder as quickly as they’d like.
According to Business NH Magazine, these are the top five common mistakes made by young professionals:
1. Poor Communication Skills
Some young professionals lack proper verbal writing and presentation skills which influence how they are perceived. Particularly in the public relations industry, poor writing can make or break your career.
Good rule of thumb: Always spell check a document, email, letter, or presentation or ask a peer to review. If in doubt about your writing abilities, explore taking certificate courses or one day seminars to shore up these skills—on your own dime, don’t expect the company to pay for it—if you’ve graduated from college with any kind of degree, this skill is assumed.
2. Impatience and Entitlement
Today’s young professional is highly adept at multi-tasking at a high rate of speed. For years they have handled phone, email, text, IM, surfing the web and holding a conversation—all at once. However, in the work place this can come across as scattered and unfocused. Consider these pitfalls:
• Don’t talk over others if the pace is not up to your speed.
• Don’t show disregard for others
• Don’t believe you know everything
• Don’t speak in a manner that can be disrespectful or disregarding
Yes, these all sound obvious, but like it or not, nobody should be calling anyone “dude” in the work place.
3. Distracted by Social Media
Young professionals, particularly in the PR and Marketing industry where social media tactics and tools are employed daily by clients and peers for the greater good of the company and/or marketing campaign, have grown up with a different mode of communication—email-texting-Tweeting-Facebook—but this style does not always translate well in the business world.
Common employer complaints include cruising Facebook or Twitter and or receiving personal texts during the work day. Advice for young professionals: turn off your cell phone during meetings and adhere to company policies and culture regarding social networking.
4. Dressing Inappropriately
Yes, professional dress has evolved during the years, but young professionals need to see themselves through the client’s eyes. Common issues include showing too much skin, or clothes that are wrinkled and worn, too tight or see through.
Don’t for a second think that business casual means cargo shorts and flip flops—after all, your appearance is a representation of the company and its values.
5. Lack of Business Etiquette
Among all else, young professionals must remember that basic politeness and manners go a long way.
• Don’t share too much personal information or use inappropriate slang
• Watch table manners and alcohol consumption
• Consider lunch time subjects—avoid the taboo topics like politics and religion
In closing, as a young professional navigating his/he career finding a mentor can help you find your way and to set you on the right path early in your career. Having somebody you can trust, give you honest feedback, and understand you will undoubtedly have life-long positive impact.