Don’t Make These 8 Career Mistakes When You Change Career Role

Don’t Make These 8 Career Mistakes When You Change Career Role

career mistakes

By Donovan Grant

Are you secretly afraid of changing career in mid-career in case you mess up? I can so relate to that.

But before I say any more, an article from the City AM Business newspaper in January declared that “more than a third of UK workers – 37 per cent – are hoping to leave their current job in 2015.”

That’s a lot of people! 1 in every 3 people you meet. Maybe these people are not afraid of taking the leap or maybe they just decided it was time.

“Fear isn’t an excuse to come to a standstill. It’s the impetus to step up and strike.” ~ Arthur Ashe

One thing for sure though, if you’ve change role this year or are thinking about changing you’ll know the feel that a new start with fresh opportunities can bring. It can literally feel like breathing life into your career at any stage in life. It’s a great opportunity.

But, when we take a closer look many of these career transitions are not successful. Whether the change of role is internal or external, up to 50% of new hires fail in some way within 12 – 18 months.

"When new hires failed, 89% of the time it was for attitudinal reasons and only 11% of the time for a lack of skill." ~ Mark Murphy is the author Hiring for Attitude

Let’s look at eight mistakes that can harm a new career in the important first 100 days:

  1. Neglecting to clarify expectations. While the formal job description lists desired and essential requirements of you, there are also informal requirements that don’t get written on paper. Take the time to find out as much as you can about what your leadership really expects from you.
  2. Neglecting to understand your new manager including their style and needs. The first 100 days is the time to form a strong relationship with your new manager. What makes them tick? What drives them? How can you best adapt to their communication and decision-making style?
  3. Failing to build credibility and trust with your colleagues. Each employee is different. The first 100 days is an important time to assess your team and set strategies to engage with your colleagues.
  4. Being perceived as an oddity. Take the time to learn the culture and fit in.
  5. Connecting with the right players. The first 100 days gives you the opportunity to understand the informal power structure in the company. Who are the movers and shakers? Who are the coasters? Who is on their way out?
  6. Step on political landmines. Unless you are specifically expected to go in the company and shake a few sacred trees, tread wisely during your first 100 days.
  7. Taking hasty action without taking the time to learn. Give yourself enough time to observe and understand why things are the way they are. This is even more crucial for if you are a new manager.
  8. Failure to continue to grow. Marshall Goldsmith’s book title sums this up so well, “What got you here won’t get you there.” During your transition phase, be modest enough to identify new skills, knowledge, and relationships that will help you continue to advance in your career.

With the continuing change in workforce dynamics, it’s important that employees and freelancers at all levels change too. Treat your new role as if you were making a business case for the company to promote you. Assess where you are, how well you are doing and what you need to be doing differently to keep moving forward to your goal. As Tony Robbins says “set the game up so that you win.

In short, the only thing to be afraid of in career transition is that you don’t make these 8 mistakes too.

From my heart to yours


What is one mistake you’ve seen new hires make in the first 100 days?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below – you might just help save someone’s career.

To learn more about making effective transitions, contact us at or send an email to

Remember to download our free “100 Day Career Transition Assessment” tool by clicking here.

AboutDonovangrantDonovan helps Business Professionals in IT and Payments to get to the core of critical issues so they achieve great results in business and life. Clients make changes to help position them as leaders so they can over-deliver and stand out in a crowd.

For more information about getting shaping and growing your career on your terms please click here. 


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