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How to Stop Sabotaging Your Own Career

It’s no secret that we are sometimes our own worst enemy. For some reason or another, we metastasize into a self-saboteur and inflict unnecessary wounds on our careers and successes. The amount of personal malevolence that we can seep into our jobs can become the barrier to overcome. 

Whether it’s because of immaturity, a paucity of knowledge or disrespect for one’s self, our careers are placed in jeopardy. From chronic lateness to a lack of proper email etiquette, our actions can act as swords of deplorable judgment that slay each step on a ladder. It can sometimes be head-scratching, indeed. 

How do you know if you’re sabotaging your own career? Well, there are various signs to find out if you are either intentionally or unintentionally doing so. The most important thing to do, though, is to solve it before it gets out of hand and you can’t reverse any of the mishaps. If you don’t conjure up solutions, then you’re doomed to the doldrums of remedial office tasks. 

Here are eight signs that you’re on a path of career destruction:

See also: How to Overcome Self-Sabotage

1. Chronic Lateness

It recently made the news that night owls suffer from chronic lateness. Although this just seems like common sense in a world where we work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, lateness is a problem that needs to be rectified. With alarm clocks on nearly every digital product, there really is no excuse to be regularly late. If you’re late at least once a week, then you’re likely committing career suicide because being on time is a virtue in the corporate landscape.

2. Social Media Obsession

Are you absolutely obsessed with liking, tweeting and sharing selfies? Are you so immersed with social media that you even spend much of your day scanning through Facebook and Twitter during office hours? Well, not only will management learn about this unfortunate behavior, it can also depict you as irresponsible, immature and perhaps destructive if you utilize social media to vent about your company.

3. Being Complacent and Disenfranchised

Working at the same job for several years without any career advancement or significant pay rises can prompt many professionals to become complacent and disenfranchised with their jobs and employers. Constant yawning, consistent complaining and avid resentment can give management the impression that you simply don’t want to be there anymore.

4. Looking for Love at Your Office

It’s permitted to build friendships and office relationships with your colleagues, but one should never seek out love in the place of business where you want to grow in. It’s fine if you work at a McDonald’s or a call center – places where you don’t plan to spend the next ten years at – but if you’re in an intimate relationship at your law office, medical clinic or graphic design firm, then you could risk promotions.

5. Improper Email Etiquette

Many millennials can certainly concede to the fact that the way they communicate online, and via emails and smartphones is straight out of high school. This means that millennial workers will regularly type in "LOL" and "OMG", insert smiley faces and add emoticons to their messages. Fortunately, this is a huge no-no in the workplace and something that should be avoided at all costs. Superiors will often view this as jejune and sophomoric conduct and will lead to a long-lasting negative impression.

6. Your Affair with Smartphones

Akin to your love affair with social media, you’re just as preoccupied with your smartphone. Instead of talking to others, paying attention at meetings and performing your tasks, you’re just on your smartphone. This isn’t a wise move. Although it’s prevalent to see everyone else on their mobile devices every single minute of the day, you should refrain from using your smartphone all the time and limit your usage, otherwise management will portray you as someone who can’t focus on work.

7. Thinking of Everything But Work

With complacency and resentment comes absentmindedness. Instead of thinking about how to help improve the job or excel at your productivity levels, you’re mulling over everything that’s going on in your personal life, the outside world, friends’ relationships, and distant memories. In other words, you’re thinking about everything but your responsibilities and office duties.

8. What If...?

Similarly, you’re also pondering about the "what ifs" in your life. What if you submitted your resignation and applied for another business? What if you took a different major in school? What if you never started working for your current employer? All of these what ifs are perfectly interesting topics, but for outside office hours. Besides, you can’t change the past.

See also: How to Make Your Inner Critic Your Best Friend

With an ultra-competitive labor market and only so many employment opportunities at your disposal, each employee has to think about how they conduct themselves. There’s a lot that you can do that can keep you in corporate purgatory or get you dismissed from your occupation. Do your work, participate and, most important of all, be professional.

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