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This is the No. 1 career mistake young people make ‘all the time,’ says Uber’s CEO—how to avoid it

By | Morgan Smith |

While some people might argue that the secret to success lies in creating a detailed, linear path to your ultimate career goal, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says over-planning isn’t just ineffective — it can torpedo your chances of building a fulfilling career. 

“Don’t over-plan your career … I see young people make this mistake all the time,” Khosrowshahi told LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky in a new interview published Thursday. “They’ll say, ‘I want to be a VP by this time,’ or ‘I want to make X amount of money.’”

While there’s “nothing wrong” with having a general idea of what you want to achieve in your career, Khosrowshahi said, if your idea is “too narrow,” you risk missing out on opportunities that could help you cultivate a happier, more successful career.

“Have an idea of where you want to go, [but] you’ve got to be open to opportunity, then you’ve got to jump at it, you’ve got to take advantage of it,” he added. “I’ve never been in a hurry in my career, because if you’re open, and you really want to hone your craft, it’s so much more satisfying [to take your time].” 

That includes being open to new opportunities within your current job, and maximizing your skills development within each role before moving onto the next one. Khosrowshahi served as Expedia’s CEO for twelve years before taking the helm at Uber in 2017. Prior to joining Expedia, Khosrowshahi worked as the CFO of IAC (InerActiveCorp), a New York-based media company.

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