Building a career can take years to do; however, it only moments to kill that hard work and effort that took so long to establish. Here are 10 ways that can kill your career.
1. Absence of a Network – It is important to become affiliated with people in your industry. Align yourself with individuals and companies who are in your line of work. Join social media websites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. You want to know what’s going on and you want people to know who you are.
2. Poor Communication Skills – being an effective communicator takes practice and work! The messages you send both verbally and non-verbally are important and noticeable. You must have the ability to get your point across in a positive manner through presentations, emails, in business correspondence, and most importantly one-on-one conversation.
3. Lack of Professional Development – Today’s society is constantly changing; it is important to stay on top of the latest developments. Whenever possible take a class, workshop, seminar or attend a conference. Not only will you brush up on skills, you may learn new ones that will be important to you longterm. Get a certification. These are great additions to your resume and make you more marketable.
4. Inappropriate Behavior/Poor Attitude – negative behavior such as rudeness or arrogance are sure ways to kill a career. Whether you are an employee of a company or an entrepreneur, you are representing that business and yourself- poor attitudes will make clients not want to do business with you, co-workers will shun you, and you are subject to poor performance reviews. We all have bad days, before your attitude spills over to others, take a break, get some air, or maybe excuse yourself for the day.
5. Poor Organization/Time Management – Keep deadlines. Use calendars, reminders, learn to prioritize. If you need more time on a project, ask for a moderate extension or seek help. Make every effort to complete the initial proposed deadline; however, if you need more time to conduct research or prepare ask for the extension in advance of the deadline. In other words, don’t wait until the day before.
6. Too Many Unexcused Absences – We all know life events happen; however, constantly taking time off (unexcused absences) is a negative sign to the employer. If you are experiencing “job burnout,” talk to your supervisor immediately –you may need a mini vacation, practice relaxation techniques, or take additional small breaks throughout the day in order to temporarily get away from the office mania.
7. Misuse of Company Policies – For example, social media is on the rise and a benefit to any company and person’s career. However, there is an appropriate time and place to view these sites. Review your company’s policy before visiting these sites on company time. Remember, your online activity can be tracked and inappropriate conversations via instant messaging and other sites can be viewed by your employer. If the online activity is not company approved or for business purposes, wait until you get home.
8. Misunderstanding Critiques/Criticisms – Performance reviews are a time to receive feedback and see what areas in your professional development need improving. Accept these critiques openly. This is a great time to ask for funding to attend seminars and workshops to improve on the suggestions made by your supervisor.
9. Inappropriate Dress Attire – Get re-acquainted with your office’s policies on dress attire. You want to be taken seriously by your peers, clients, and customers, a professional appearance is important.
10. Poor Work Ethic – Incomplete projects, missed deadlines, unreliability and not being dependable are ways to murder your career. You will not get good references when needed, people will not ask you for help, and you will receive poor performance reviews. Your credibility is one of the most important assets in your career and should not be de-valued.
Stay on the career path to success. Don’t be a murderer and get a life sentence that will make it more difficult to rebuild what you worked so hard to create. Protect your career and your employer’s investment – YOU!