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Three Career Mistakes to Stop Making From the Author of ‘Promote Yourself’

After concluding our exclusive interview with Dan Schawbel, author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success, it was clear the strategies to brand yourself and self-promote are up to you. They’re within your grasp and more importantly, within your power.

He explained, “Your career is in your hands. It’s all about career accountability, taking charge of your life and making things happen. If you can’t promote yourself, no one will want to support you. If you can’t make yourself successful first, who’s going to back you?”

While his book uncovers specifics such as becoming more than your job description, turning your passion into your position and getting ahead by asking for more work and doing your manager’s job, further into our interview Schawbel dished about common mistakes people make (Millennials in particular) and how to overcome them.

1. Not asking for work. Schawbel told us, “One mistake is not asking for work. They’re just thinking that if they keep doing what they’re doing they’ll get ahead. That’s not how it works.” The solution, of course: Ask for work.

2. Not getting feedback. Instead of assuming what your manager’s expectations are, go ahead and ask. And while you’re at it, get specific criteria in order to advance within your company. “Find out what skills you need to develop to pull them off,” he pointed out. “Let them help chart your own career path. You just don’t know any better when you’re just starting out.”

3. There’s no nine-to-five day anymore and there’s no 40-hour work week. Just because there might be a nine-to-five workday, Schawbel indicated this is a misnomer “because business is 24/7, that’s what it is.”

Lines are blurred, boundaries are erased and consequently work is ubiquitous. He added, “If business is 24/7 and your’e only working nine-to-five, you’re always on call no matter what you’re position. A lot of people are upset about this but it’s the new reality.”

Plus, he noted the importance of social media and how work transcends itself online. “When you get home, don’t think that what you did outside of work won’t impact how you’re viewed and perceived inside of work. What you post online is a reflection of you and that could be workplace gossip in the morning if you’re putting out the wrong thing.”

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