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Episode Info: We’ve all been there. Some decisions we make eventually come back to bite us. The worst of these are the decisions that we didn’t even know we were making, or that were made for naive reasons. Sometimes you do things with the best of intentions that end up harming your career, reducing the options you have available, or even trap you in a dead end job. A word of warning. Both of us have done some of these at one point or another and suffered the consequences. We’re not immune either. When you have your head down and are trying to be productive at work, especially in a fast-paced environment, it’s easy to make (and worse, continue making) mistakes that hurt your career over the long term. When we say “mistake”, we don’t mean an intentional, stupid, destructive action that you take that hurts you. As an adult you probably know the crap you shouldn’t be doing and are mature enough not to do it. Rather, we mean things that you do that cause you to paint yourself into a corner in your career, often for the best of reasons. Subtle mistakes are like rain coming in through a hole in the roof – by the time you notice the damage it’s extensive and hard to recover from. We aim to help you avoid these types of career mistakes in this episode. We can damage the quality of our careers even with the best of intentions. In fact, that’s the primary way that it’s done. There are a lot of sneaky things that you probably haven’t thought about that can hurt your career (and your income), and there are probably even some that we haven’t thought of. However, this list should give an idea of the kind of situations that can really hurt you – hopefully that will help you avoid these problems in your own career. Episode Breakdown Staying somewhere with no prospect of promotion (unless you are an owner.) Dead end jobs are everywhere. If you can’t get more responsibility and more interesting work, it’s time to move on. Some people will stay in a dead end job for a decade or more, simply because they are comfortable. If you aren’t learning, especially in tech, you’re sliding backwards. If you’ve been somewhere for a long time, you have a heck of an adjustment when you go elsewhere. This can mean that you have a hard time getting (and keeping) a new job. It’s very easy to get set in your ways when you don’t move around and it’s really easy to get behind. This is more than just getting behind in tech – this limits your opportunities to learn new things in general. Staying somewhere that refuses to use reasonably new technology. Speaking of technology, unless you intend to retire very soon, it’s a bad idea to stay somewhere that doesn’t use reasonably new technology. While there is certainly a place for being good at old technology, there is also an opportunity cost. You should probably only work on (exclusively) older technology at a premium price. Remember, when (not if) you change jobs, you’ll either have to retool ...
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