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Career Mistakes

Failing to keep enough options open

We start at the foot of a well-defined ladder, knowing what the next few steps will be, and we make decisions based around those assumptions. So we miss what might be more suitable opportunities in other areas of education or beyond, simply because we do not know enough about them. As a result, you have the unhappy head who would have made an indispensable IT consultant, and the frustrated year leader who might have been happily teaching English in China.

What is the right thing to do?

Three qualities are needed. First, curiosity: "That sounds interesting. What would I have to do to get there?" Second, courage: "This is a one-off chance. I'm going to go for it." Third, a canny continuing professional development plan: "Not another management course. I'll do a TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) certificateupgrade my music diplomaget an IT qualification instead."

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