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Five Workplace Habits that are Killing Your Career



Most people are constantly looking for ways to get ahead at work; they have a desire to climb the corporate ladder, get the promotion, earn that next pay raise. Of course, there’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to be the best at what you do; in fact, the desire to excel is a key ingredient in the recipe of career success. Problems arise, however, when the focus on getting ahead becomes so great that other important factors necessary to becoming a top-notch employee are overlooked. Could you be sabotaging your career without knowing it? Consider the five subtle career-killing habits below:

Giving unsolicited advice. Giving suggestions to co-workers and managers in a gracious manner is a sign that you’re a conscientious worker and a team player. However, sometimes there’s a fine line between making helpful suggestions and assertively giving unsolicited advice. The former is typically appreciated; the latter is likely to give you a reputation as a know-it-all. Instead of frequently trying to push your ideas onto others, make an effort to truly listen to the members of your team.

Forgetting to take care of yourself. So, you want to get ahead at work. The obvious way to do that is to live at the office– skipping lunch breaks, coming in early, and always being the last to leave. Right? Actually, not having a work-life balance is often detrimental to your career. Eventually, neglecting yourself and your personal life will catch up to you– and it will be evident in your performance at work. Remember: balance is key. So, get plenty of sleep, be mindful of your nutrition, and engage in some level of physical activity daily.

Not being open to feedback. While most people don’t particularly enjoy criticism, it’s important to be open to it– especially when it comes from management. Employees who become defensive or even aggressive when approached with constructive criticism are not likely to be viewed as team players. Even if you don’t necessarily agree with the feedback being offered, it’s important to listen to it. Otherwise, you deprive yourself of the opportunity to learn and grow. It’s also important to remember to take responsibility for your mistakes, rather than making excuses for them or trying to cover them up.

Being overly negative. Let’s face it: no one likes a chronic complainer. They’re not pleasant to be around and they’re an office morale killer. Instead of constantly complaining about the new work schedule or a particularly difficult client, try looking for solutions. Speaking negatively about co-workers won’t get you ahead at work, either. While people might initially be amused by the airing of your grievances, you’ll quickly earn yourself a reputation as a pessimist.

Chronic disorganization. You might not think it’s a big deal to forget to respond to an email or to turn in that project just a few hours past the deadline, but clients, co-workers, and managers all gauge your reliability based on their interactions with you. Thus, if you’re known to be timely and always follow through on your promises, you’ll be viewed as someone who’s true to her word. Alternatively, if you’re always a day late and a dollar short, you’ll quickly build a reputation as someone who can’t be counted on.

Recognizing habits that are detrimental to your career is the first step in getting your career back on track. For more tips on eliminating negative workplace habits, contact us today. Additionally, if you are looking for a finance job in the San Diego area, allow us to help match your unique skills and experience with the right opportunity for you. We are a boutique staffing firm specializing in finance, accounting, and administrative jobs. We look forward to hearing from you!