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what's the worst career decision you've ever made?


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Nathalie’s Answer

Staying too long in the same team. I spent 10 years in the same Global team because I enjoyed the nature of the job so much, I became a specialist, was very comfortable, so I kept working hard and delivering results and in the process I lost sight of my personal development. Eventually my ambition and passion for project management pushed me forward but I was very uncomfortable with my ambition, feeling guilty in silence. I had learned a new skill set on the job and had completed all the relevant professional courses and certifications; I dreamed of being a full time Project manager; but it was very hard to have to re-learn how to interview and apply for a new position after 10 years in the same environment; moreover that guilty feeling I carried inside was overwhelming. I cared about my job so I felt guilty about my ambition, this was completely unnecessary; wanting a change doesn't equate to betrayal (I am a very loyal person). I was lucky I got a fantastic mentor who helped me face the leap of faith I had to take, helped me raise my self-awareness. I eventually saw a job I wanted to apply for, spoke to my director who was amazing, she supported me all the way; I got the job, my dream job and I have never been happier.
My take-away: don't get caught up by workload and becoming the absolute specialist - keep up with yourself, your ambitions, and have a tangible plan to evolve throughout your career; whatever you want to do: speak up and make it happen.

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Kim’s Answer

I was young and just starting out. At the age of 22, I was in the police academy. One of the instructors tried to steer me towards an opening as a fraud investigator for an insurance company. It would have meant leaving law enforcement behind. Being a police officer wasn't a dream job or anything, I had just sort of happened into it. But, I wanted to finish the academy. I thought this instructor was trying to steer me OUT of law enforcement (it was 1984). I didn't realize he saw potential in me and was trying to steer me INTO a career with a great insurance company.

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Leslie’s Answer

I didn't look for a new position when I was really done with a former position because my boss asked me to give her another year. While I like being loyal and supportive, I knew it was time for me to make a move. I needed a change and my family needed me to have more stable and consistent hours. I needed to weigh my critical needs with more importance. If you can help someone and it meets your needs, no problem! If your needs are screaming for change and care, listen and know that the person asking you will just ask someone else if you move on.

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Peter’s Answer

I would say that I wholeheartedly agree with Anne's advice below. I too took on a job with people that I knew I should not have. I took it for the title and some of the benefits but it ended up being one of worst decisions that I have ever made. It was a very toxic environment where no one spoke freely and everyone was afraid of getting fired for all the wrong reasons. My advice is for you to surround yourself with people who genuinely care about you, your voice, your ideas and your career and personal growth. You will wake up happy every day and will want to go to work and contribute.

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Blake’s Answer

Not learning more when I had downtime to further knowledge.

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Anne’s Answer

Accepting a job with people I didn't respect or enjoy due solely to the title I would acheive.

You spend the majority of your day with the people you work with. Those days turn to weeks, weeks to months, months to years, and years into your life. Given that, a bad work environment can become all-consuming.

I can't stress enough how important it is to surround yourself with good mentors who care as much about you as what you can do for them professionally. Everyone wins in that environment!

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Leslie’s Answer

I didn't look for a new position when I was really done with a former position because my boss asked me to give her another year. While I like being loyal and supportive, I knew it was time for me to make a move. I needed a change and my family needed me to have more stable and consistent hours. I needed to weigh my critical needs with more importance. If you can help someone and it meets your needs, no problem! If your needs are screaming for change and care, listen and know that the person asking you will just ask someone else if you move on.

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