Break up With Your Bad Career Habits
10 Damaging Behaviors That Are Slowing Down Your Success
Settling into a not so great for your career habit can happen without any warning. You go about your Monday through Friday routine and get lost in the minutia of the day. You have your rituals, your calendars, your status meetings, and, before you know it, another month has scrolled past. Sometimes the monotonous rut of the daily grind can keep you from acting in a way that serves your bigger picture and bad practices are formed. In an effort to help you weed out those parts of your work life, here is a list of 10 damaging career habits that you need to call it quits with, permanently.
1. Not protecting your goals
Not everyone comes from the place of "follow your dreams". Some people’s beliefs about success, money, and work are limiting and therefore, they will either bad mouth your ambition or try to talk you out of it. Keep their repressive opinions far away from your dreams. When you share your goals with these types of people, you inadvertently invite naysayers into your journey. For that reason, it is important you only share your aims with people that will be supportive. Holding goals close to the vest will keep you focused on moving toward the prize rather than drowning in everyone else’s doubts.
2. Waiting for a title to be a leader
Leadership skills aren't exclusive to those that hold supervisory titles. Don’t live in the land of ‘responsible for’ and only cling to what’s in your job description. If you want to be seen as someone who gets things done and has the support of their peers, take initiative and lead when you see the opportunity. Speak up when you have a smart idea or if you see something just isn’t working as it should. Don’t simply be a button pusher; become an active part in getting to positive solutions rather than waiting for someone else to step up. It won’t go unnoticed.
3. A bad attitude
Everybody knows someone at work that just has nothing positive to say about ANYTHING. Every project is a chore, every client is an idiot, and every day is a debacle. Their reputation precedes them and it isn't favorable. Don’t be the Negative Nancy of your office. You’ll find, no matter how good you are, your career will stall because no one wants to work with you. Restrict your venting and complaining to outside the office walls. Better yet, if you hate your job that much, think about making a change!
4. Workaholics anonymous
Loving your work is great; spending too much time in the office, however, may eventually lead you to the discovery that work is all you have. Make sure you aren’t neglecting the rest of your life in the pursuit of your career goals. Take care of your health, relationships, and outside interests as well. Goals are wonderful, but it is good to have them for things other than your work. Work-life balance, anyone?
5. Lacking self-awareness
If we could impart one piece of wisdom to every person that reads this article it is this: Get to know yourself. We're not talking about superficial likes and dislikes but real insight into what makes you tick. It is important in all facets of your life but particularly in finding true career happiness. Identify what your real top skills are, what you love and hate about your work, what actually motivates you, etc. When you know these things you can pick jobs that are a genuine fit and set yourself up for success.
6. The blame game
Even with the best of intentions, people make mistakes. You will inevitably screw something up. What will matter and what you will be remembered for, is how you handled it. Stop blaming everyone else for their part in YOUR mistakes. Take accountability. It won’t be fun and there may be consequences, but owning your part in what when wrong will earn you respect and free you from a lot of sleepless nights.
7. Poor follow-thru
Follow-thru seems like something you shouldn’t have to tell someone; sadly it is! Do what you say you will do. Plan your time accordingly, set calendar reminders, find an accountability partner; whatever it takes for you to get it done. Missing deadlines, forgetting to send clients materials, and neglecting to call a coworker back all result in you looking like a flake at best, useless at worst.
8. Not using LinkedIn because you aren’t looking for a job
If you aren’t on LinkedIn, what are you waiting for? This is no longer an optional part of your career branding. You need to have a profile, whether you are job searching or not, and you need to keep it up-to-date. It is a perfect way to join industry peer groups, follow influencers in your field, and stay on top of what your professional circle is up to. LinkedIn is not your resume 2.0; it is your digital calling card that provides access to a vast network of resources, knowledge, and people.
9. Being interested, but not committed
Change is often incremental but it will never happen if you don’t start taking the steps. Most people are interested in changing, but not committed. There is a huge difference. Being interested sounds like this…I’d like to; I wish I was; I would love to try; I’ll look into it. None of these add up to a plan. If you are committed to doing something, you map it out and take action. It all boils down to how much you really want it. Get off the fence.
10. Treating your resume as an afterthought
Resumes that are written or updated at the 11th hour never get results. It stresses you out and leads to less than stellar examples of your value. Your resume needs to be updated every year! Set a #ResumeDay on your calendar and stop leaving this important marketing tool to scattered memories of accomplishments and late-night job searching manic behavior.
No one is without flaws or weaknesses but identifying them and taking steps to do better can make a significant impact. Bad habits can be broken. You’ve worked hard to get to where you are, use this list to help you adjust your course as needed and keep your career moving in the right direction.