There are so many things that can kill the careers of good, hard-working people. Honest mistakes often carry hard-hitting consequences.
As initially published on Inc, Travis Bradberry shares that Little things can add up over time and undermine your career just as much as (or more than) one huge lapse in judgment. The good news is that if you stay aware of them, these are all things that you can control before they creep up on you and kill your career.
1. Complacency. How long has it been since you proactively learned a new skill, reached out to your networking contacts, or even polished up your resume? If you can’t remember, you might have become a bit complacent, and complacency is a real career killer. It’s what happens when you’re just along for the ride and assume that nothing will ever change. But we’ve seen enough disruption–technological and otherwise–over the last few years to realize that change is inevitable. If you’re always too busy to learn something new or to expand your network, you’ve got your priorities mixed up. However, if you make continuous growth and development a priority, you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way.
2. Low emotional intelligence (EQ). Everyone knows that you can get fired for being unable or unwilling to play nicely with others, but what trips up a lot of people is having a poorly developed poker face. If everyone can tell when you’re bored or irritated or that you think something a colleague says is stupid, this will catch up with you. Emotional outbursts, belittling others, shutting co-workers down when they speak, low self-awareness, and just generally being difficult are other ways that a lack of emotional intelligence will do great harm to your career.
3. Losing sight of the big picture. It’s easy to become head-down busy, working so hard on what’s right in front of you that you lose sight of the big picture. But smart people learn how to keep this in check by weighing their daily priorities against a carefully calculated goal. It’s not that they don’t care about small-scale work; they just have the discipline and perspective to adjust their course as necessary. Life is all about the big picture, and when you lose sight of it, everything suffers.
4. Fear of change. Fear of change is complacency’s evil twin. It actively works to keep things the same. I’m sure you’ve seen this one first hand at work when someone uttered the dreaded words, “But we’ve always done it this way.” Things are changing too fast these days to latch on so tightly to the status quo, and the costs of doing so can be huge. In one survey, 91% of respondents said that the most successful employees are the ones who can adapt to the changing workplace. Change is a constant part of our lives, both personally and professionally. It doesn’t matter whether you think things should change or whether you prefer the old ways–change just is. You don’t have to learn to love it, but you do have to learn to stop resisting it and to start adapting to it.
5. Negativity. Sometimes when you’re feeling negative and down, your mood can leak out and affect other people, even if you don’t intend it to. You were hired to make your boss’s and your team’s jobs easier, not harder. People who spread negativity through their department and complain about the work or other people complicate things for everyone else. If people always have to tiptoe around you so as not to dislodge that massive chip on your shoulder, they are unlikely to be willing to do it for very long.
In conclusion, Travis added that A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that they can only damage their careers by making one huge misstep, but the reality is that it’s usually not that dramatic.
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