CHOOSING A CAREER / OCT. 20, 2014
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Top 5 Career Killers

If you’re wondering why you’re not advancing through the ranks at work, or why no one seems to notice the effort you put in (including those long weekend hours), you may be killing your career through bad work habits. These habits can have a big effect on your impact in the workplace and can even make or break your job security. Here are the top 5 career-killing work habits that every professional should avoid.

You don’t promote your own work

At work, you’re your best cheerleader. No one is going to champion your work for you, and chances are if you’re feeling unnoticed or undervalued, you’re not promoting your work to managers and co-workers. Don’t be afraid of telling your boss about the issue that you resolved on your own time, or the extra tasks you took on to help co-workers out. If a manager knows you’re willing to go above and beyond--and that you often do--they won’t question your value.

People who don’t promote their own work or leave it to fall by the wayside often find themselves back in the job search as many managers just can’t really tell what they’re doing in the office.

You’re not assertive

Companies hire based on skills and expertise. If you showed a strong knowledge and instinct in the interview, but you show up to work and seem unsure of yourself, your boss is going to question why he hired you in the first place. Always be sure to start off your sentences assertively, avoiding phrases such as "I think" or "Maybe". Your opinion is valuable in the workplace and you should take pride in your knowledge.

Likewise, if you think a project is headed for disaster, be honest about it. Offer viable solutions that your team can take on to fix the problem. If your boss sees you taking charge or offering good solutions, he won’t think you’re unsure of yourself.

You lie

Lying is never a good idea in the workplace, under any circumstance. If you get caught in even the smallest of fibs, your credibility takes an extremely hard hit that it may never recover from. Lying tarnishes the trust your managers and co-workers have in you, and it can take a great deal of time to rebuild that. If you lie about something big enough, it may even cost you your job. Honesty is always the best policy, no matter what.

You’re constantly late or unorganized

Though it may seem like a small thing in the beginning, if you’re late often enough, you’re going to really grate on the nerves of your employers. Make an honest effort to be on time, and move your morning routine around if you feel like you’re late more often than not.

If your office or workspace is unorganized enough that you’re losing work or not getting things done, consider buying a manual on organization or getting a co-worker to help you reorganize. Your personal organization should never cause chaos in your work space.

You’re behind the times

If you’re a stubborn professional, you may feel like your current way of doing things doesn’t need to be updated with the latest and greatest technology; your method works just fine. But employers often see this stubbornness as a tell-tale sign of being unflexible and too stubborn. You should always be open to learning new things, even if you aren’t terribly excited about it.

Don’t let your career suffer--or disappear entirely--because you’re making these common mistakes or leaving these habits to run rampant over your job.

Creative commons licensed (BY-SA) flickr photo by flazingo_photos.

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