Let’s take a look at how to avoid some common career-damaging mistakes made by many of us as we work our way into our careers:
1. Not Meaning What You Say or Saying What You Mean
A successful career is all about building trust and credibility. The easiest way to lose your job is by losing credibility you build in the workplace.
Professionals can lose their credibility when they do not follow up on what they say. In other words, if you don’t mean what you say, fail to follow up on your promises, or forget about work commitments, your credibility becomes damaged.
2. Becoming Dependent
When you go about asking for help on every project, your coworkers are bound to get tired of hand-holding you. This is a surefire career-destroying approach.
As an employee, you must display initiative in everything you do, including determining your career goals, setting targets, improving your skills, and taking responsibility for personal development.
3. Focusing on the Past
This is one of the fastest career-destroying ways you can burn up your career prospects. According to a Forbes article, bad-mouthing your previous companies, colleagues, and company practices can hurt your image as a young professional. To avoid this mistake, maintain a positive attitude and avoid any gossip that could hurt your career.
4. Following the “Take It Easy Policy”
If you do not plan your goals and targets, you will be solely responsible for the destruction of your career. The “take it easy policy” practiced heedlessly can cause your career to implode. The best way to prevent this is to plan your career goals and show commitment for advancement.
5. Becoming a Gossip or Negative Nancy
Possessing a negative personality is a great career-destroying approach. According to TheLadders, 36.5 percent of managers fired an employee because of excessive workplace gossip. If you are too much of a wallflower, you will end up isolated. On the other hand, nobody wants to someone who gossips, and if you keep engaging in small talk, you will be seen as being a time waster and unproductive.
Many employees whine about their job, pay, competition, and prospects. If you are not happy, it is better to look for new options that suit you, rather than spoiling the existing environment for others.
7. Not Being Sociable
Social awkwardness and lack of people skills can be a career-destroying way to receive the pink slip. If you are rude to people, you will definitely end up destroying your own growth prospects. At the same time, do not be a people-pleaser. Be friendly and sociable, yet diplomatic and tactful, when you speak. It is important that you to take the initiative and polish your people skills.
8. Committing Social Media Blunders
According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 33 percent of employers have taken disciplinary actions on employees for unacceptable behavior on social media. Any kind of aberrant behavior, insensitive remark, or open disclosure of confidential information on social media can be career-destroying.
You need to be careful about what you say on an open platform by ensuring that your social media activity is safe and not violating the company polices.
9. Missing Deadlines, Even Occasionally
Breaking deadlines persistently can also lead to your career going up in smoke. If your superior has given you a deadline to complete the assigned task, you need to make sure it is finished by the given date. If you are unable to meet the deadline, make sure it is for a genuine and valid reason — and that your supervisor knows in advance.
10. Producing Low-quality or Inconsistent Work
Another common career-destroying reason, which may often lead to dismissals, is the quality of work. A dedicated employee must make sure the quality of work is above par at all times.
11. Not Respecting the Company Culture
Inability to adjust to your company’s work culture is a definite career-destroying approach. Instead of trying to go against the current flow, go along with it and learn new things. When you have the power to make changes, make the desired changes.
12. Not Using Working Hours Productively
One of the most common mistakes made by employees is using office hours for non-work related activities such as chatting, winding up personal work, browsing the Internet and so on.
According to American Management Association (AMA) and the ePolicy Institute, 84 percent employers have fired people for browsing inappropriate content on the Internet, and 34 percent employers have done so for excessive personal use of the Internet. So, when in the office, focus completely on the work at hand.
13. Avoiding Networking at Work
The number of contacts you build within and outside of your workplace is a measure of your personal influence and branding. If you are seen as invisible and not doing enough to add visibility to your profile, you may be in danger of adverse career reports.
If you are inherently an introvert, it is advisable to go the extra mile and learn networking skills, even if it means you take up a course to hone your skills. This is one skill that will help you go a long way in your career and therefore must not be neglected.
14. Being Overconfident
By displaying overconfidence, brashness, and an arrogant attitude, you are more likely to put off your co-workers and your seniors. And it won’t be long, when not even your much-valued talents can save you from being axed, no matter how skilled or how top notch you are. Confidence and self-regulation is vital to ensure a smooth career progression.
15. Not Dressing According to the Culture
Last but not the least, inappropriate work attire can also make you a misfit and lead employers to question your suitability, compatibility and adaptability, which may affect the continuation of your employment and thus can be career-destroying.
What would you add to this list of career-damaging mistakes? Let us know, in the comments below!
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About the Author: Zoey Smith has been an educator with Anglia Ruskin University and is presently working with a custom essay writing service as a Student Counselor. She loves to guide students in their academics and in her free time, loves to read and travel.
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