5 Unintentional Executive Career Mistakes to Avoid

It’s easy enough to identify a scapegoat when your executive career path doesn’t go as planned and you want someone or something to blame. Corporate changes, misaligned values, and economic uncertainty are all common culprits and can undoubtedly derail your career, but what happens when the perpetrator of your misfortune is actually you?

You may unintentionally be making some serious executive career mistakes without knowing it. As a CXO, you have a lot on your plate and have to stay on top of an infinite number of details to ensure your area and strategy reach their full potential. Spreading your attention thin may result in you overlooking some or all of these common issues.

Common Executive Career Mistakes

  1. Not knowing yourself and your value. Take ownership of your executive career by fully understanding your strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes. If you are dissatisfied with your career path, take some time to self-reflect and look inward. If you’re struggling, try reaching out to an executive resume writer and career coach. They are professionally trained to help uncover and describe your value proposition and accomplishments.
  2. Not identifying and acting on opportunities. As Alexander Graham Bell stated, “When one door closes, another opens.” Some of life’s most unexpected and devasting moments may be blessings in disguise. Keep an open mind and look for opportunities in obscure places. You may be surprised at what you find.
  3. Not appreciating your network. Networking is a significant part of every executive’s career trajectory, and it’s advantageous to think of previous colleagues, coworkers, and managers as accomplices in your success and growth. Doing things like checking out after submitting your resignation or disrespectfully handling a clash of opinions can burn bridges and eliminate some executive career opportunities you would otherwise have been able to access.
  4. Not adapting and modernizing your approach. As a master in your field, it can be challenging to change the way you’ve done things your entire executive career. However, being unwilling or unable to consider and embrace new ideas and ways of doing things can stop your career train in its tracks.
  5. Not keeping your ego in check. Even if you’re used to making tough decisions and communicating less than pleasant information to people, remember, you and your coworkers are team members. Expecting others to accept and act on feedback willingly and positively goes both ways. If you become defensive and ignore criticism, you may send the message that you are self-interested and may find yourself plateauing because others may not want to work with you.

To find out how we can help you stop self-sabotaging your career, book a complimentary and confidential call with us here.

Mary Elizabeth Bradford is the Founder and Executive Director of CEOresumewriter.com and Maryelizabethbradford.com and a past executive recruiter. A thought leader in the career services industry for over 20 years, she holds 5 distinct advanced certifications for senior-level resume writing, online branding and executive-level job search coaching (CERM, CMRW, CARW, MCD, NCOPE). She has been seen and heard in major media including Forbes, Time, WSJ, Newsweek and NBC affiliate stations. She holds 2 CDI TORI awards and is a top tier judge for the elite CDI TORI awards for four consecutive years. Mary Elizabeth Bradford’s elite team of award-winning, certified, top executive resume writers, former top executive recruiters, and global HR executives help many of the world’s premier C-suite, board members and thought leaders secure the transitions and compensation packages they want. She works with clients all over the globe.

If you are a Director, VP, CxO, or Board Member interested in an executive resume package or working directly with Mary Elizabeth, click to schedule a complimentary 15-minute call.