Career Mistakes

2nd November 2012 at 00:00

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."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today