6 Costly Career Mistakes Developers Should Avoid
We can all learn from our mistakes. But it can be costly if you continue to make mistakes which influence the future of your career. The software industry, like any other, is a learning path which can lead you to success if you avoid these major career mistakes.
1. Staying Too Long VS Job Jumping
Staying with one company for an extended period of time shows commitment and loyalty and indicates that you are valuable to the company. But it can lead to issues if you skills stagnate as you are no longer challenged and you are less likely to encounter new techniques or approaches.
“Staying with one firm for too long – while comfortable and seemingly safe – can put you at risk of being made redundant when your company decides to downsize”says Kate Jones, a business writer at Viawriting and Studydemic.
On the other hand, job jumping can be a red flag to employers, especially if a company is looking for loyalty and commitment in potential candidates – this will not reflect well on your ability to fulfil this need for dependability.
2. Declining Promotions
As a software engineer, you may be hesitant to move into management and make the shift from coding to running projects, as it requires an entirely different set of skills. Before passing on a promotion to a position of management, however, consider how your career will progress if you decline the offer. You have to decide if it is the right move for you, as you don’t want to get stuck at the same level for the rest of your career, but it may not be the right time to move up.
3. Not Developing Soft Skills
It is important to pick up soft skills over time, to understand the nuances of interpersonal interactions with co-workers, mentors, and other professional relationships. Having people skills also aids in customer interactions and understanding what they want/need with empathy and compassion.
Social skills are not typically associated with such careers as development, but they are still vital to getting customers want they want and working collaboratively on projects. They are also a necessity when it comes to pitching projects to management and being able to communicate on their level of technical understanding.
4. Neglecting to Create a Career Plan
Having a plan for how you imagine your career panning out is vital to your success in the software engineering industry. This means setting goals and re-assessing your progress toward them throughout your career. Be careful, however, to remain somewhat flexible and agile in developing your plan. Use the skills and experiences you want to develop as a roadmap for your career and be upfront with employers and with yourself about what you don’t want to do or realistically can’t achieve.
5. Not Admitting Mistakes
We all make mistakes and while taking responsibility for them can be daunting, it is vital. Be transparent about the process, what went wrong and why, as this aids in remedying the issue, learning from your mistakes, and preventing it from happening again. Hiding mistakes can be more detrimental to your career than admitting them in a constructive manner.
6. Keeping Knowledge to Yourself
Keeping valuable information or knowledge to yourself creates a false sense of job security; you may feel that you are making yourself invaluable by doing this, but you can end up in a prison of your own design. Natalie Timmerman, a career blogger at Simplegrad and Academ advisor, says
“Not sharing knowledge with others is a self-destructive habit – you won’t acquire new responsibilities and skills, you may be passed over for promotions as you can’t delegate or work well collaboratively, and you put yourself at risk of becoming un-scalable, out-dated, and redundant.”
While we all strive for success, it is a long process and takes dedication, effort, and focus to achieve it. This means avoiding simple mistakes by learning not just from our own experiences, but those of others. These are some of the most costly mistakes a developer can make, so avoid them at all costs.