4 Career Mistakes I Made

Geoff Livingston
7 min readAug 5, 2020
Dilapidated buildings in Cuba

Sometimes creating a path for the future requires reconciling the past. The passing of mother earlier this year and a series of life events (COVID included) has triggered such an exercise. The following four mistakes

These mistakes are ordered in a manner that hopefully provides a coherent and interesting read. If there is one take-away, consider Shakespeare’s famous line from Hamlet: “To thine own self be true.” If you let others become your career guide, you may lose your path.

1) The Sound of My Silence

Ship Harbor Trail

In recent years I stifled my voice. Writing this article seeks to remedy that. Many, many times in the past ten years, I restrained my tongue and pen. I felt expressing my views would harm others, or be too risky for my career, or that no one cares.

The first point remains important. Sometimes we need to weigh the value of an argument against the harm it causes. I know: In this era of social media show-boating, it seems odd. But during the height of my blogging “nanofame,” I erred too often towards making a point and harmed others.

Looking back, I believe I overcompensated, opting for silence over risk. When I…