How to Avoid False Starts in Your Working Career

The big problem for new people in the job market is getting jobs that fizzle out, go nowhere, and turn out to be the wrong place for them. It's pretty common, as most people who've had a few false starts in their working life can testify. The problem is made worse by situations where getting a job takes priority over getting the job you need to start a career.

Some jobs look OK when you start, but after a while it becomes obvious that they're more traps than jobs. The level of interest wanes, the job becomes static, and the situation turns into a question of what you can do with what you have. There's a real trap here. Skill sets, particularly current skills, by this point are defined by the job, and those skills only take you to other jobs you don't really want.

Prevention measures

There are two ways out of this situation. Prevention and cures. A good way to avoid getting stuck is partly not getting into the situation in the first place. When checking out the jobs you can get, check out not just the job itself, but what it can do for you as a CV entry.

You've found the right place to work if the job includes these aspects:

  • Definite career skills
  • Education in the career you want
  • Obviously valuable experience
  • A reputable employer (for US residents, a name brand industry employer in the Standard and Poor 500 is a definite plus)
  • A good training program

Cures for false starts

If you're in a job that does nothing for you, the way out is a bit more complex, but it's pretty easy to do. It's really a matter of undoing the damage done by getting stuck. In most jobs, there are possibilities of either developing the job or using it as a way to get training and skills. If not, there are also vocational courses and other jobs related to the basic skill sets in jobs you want.

There's a simple way of planning your escape. Start with the fundamentals of the problem:

  • Where do you want to go?
  • What are your career goals?
  • What do you need to get the jobs you want?
  • What time frames do you need?

You can get training, internships, or other qualifications quite easily. This does mean some hard work and developing a bit of patience, but this approach starts with a personal skills upgrade. Whatever the situation, you've improved your position. You do wind up with the basics of what you need.

The deadly element in a job that prevents you from having a good career is that these jobs get even more restrictive, over time. If you're in a position where your only career assets are old qualifications and experience that don't match what you need to do what you want, the sooner you take action, the better.