Your career is something that will be with you for a large part of your life. During your twenties, you lay the foundations for your career and if possible, it’s a good idea to try avoiding the most typical mistakes people tend to make during this time. While you won’t be able to avert them all, and really learning the hard way is sometimes good for you, this article will help you to at least be alert to the potential for bad career mistakes.

Be focused

Focus on what you want to achieve so that you know your goal where to reach. One of the worst mistakes you can make in any career is to follow or try to live up to someone else’s expectations instead of following what you know is best for you. For example, if a parent, aunt or uncle, grandparent or someone else in your life insists that you follow a certain pathway but you feel it just isn’t working out for you, then listen to your inner self and not that family member who means well but simply isn’t you.

Learn early on to balance work and the rest of your life

Hard-headed people may insist that work comes first, second and third. Good for them, that’s their choice but be warned it’s a mistake to put your work before the rest of your life. Seek to both find and implement a balance that lets you find love, have a family, see your friends, be involved in hobbies and volunteer pursuits, have down time, travel, and so forth.

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Be careful about your reputation

Your workplace reputation is worth protecting and it should reflect your reliability, integrity and ability to make good judgments. It also means being super careful about not being seen as the drunk one at office events or being a wild party type who fails to turn up to work on time.

Be considerate

Coming back once more to the idea of balance, while it’s important to know that you’ve worked hard to get where you are and that you are worth it, it’s equally as important to not grow a big head and assume that you’re better than others or that anyone “owes” you anything. Behaving in an entitled manner in a workplace will earn you enemies and you’ll quickly find yourself pushed into a situation where you’ve been set up to fail. Be humble, smart and friendly, not arrogant or opinionated.

Socialize a little, not a lot, with your workplace colleagues

Once again returning to balance, it’s important to be seen as participating in social events related to work and to have occasional catch-ups with colleagues outside work. However, it’s not a good idea to do everything with your workplace colleagues and never see your other friends and your family socially. In other words, don’t replace your usual friends with only having work friends; that would be a mistake. Instead, seek to widen your circle of friends by all means but don’t neglect the people outside of your work.