Women In Business

10 tips to stop sabotaging your career

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We all do things subconsciously and often don’t know about them until someone tells us.

And it is these subconscious actions that can cause us to sabotage our own careers because of self-doubt and thinking that we’re not good enough to achieve our goals and grow.

This is also because, sometimes, we can be our own worst enemies without even knowing it and without realizing that we are holding ourselves back.

Fortuantely, we can easily stop these bad habits and ways of thinking by becoming more aware of ourselves and what we are doing that can prevent us for succeeding and leading great careers.

1. Seeing meetings as a waste of time

Nobody loves meetings. They can be boring, run over time and leave you daydreaming about all the fun, wonderful things you’d be doing if you were outside.

But unfortunately, they are necessary.And while it might be tempting to avoid them because you have work to finish or you think they’re a waste of time, attending them is a very good idea.

This is because, even if you have nothing to present in the meeting, you never know what you might learn or what you’ll be able to contribute.

Additionally, attending meetings is also a great way to show that you are, and want to be, an involved member of staff who is interested in what’s going on within the company and what everyone is working on. to them.

So, no matter how much work you have to complete, always try to attend meetings because, if you don’t, it could really affect your progress within the company and your career.

2. Leaving your hair down

It may seem like a silly thing to get hung up on, but leaving your hair down is not a good idea.

This is because it can leave you prone to fidgeting with, and frequently touching, your hair, which can give people the impression that you are anxious, uncertain and shy. Or worse, are being flirty.

It can also suggest that you lack the confidence to work productively and independently and are uncertain about where you stand within the company you work for and among your co-workers.

So, no matter how lovely your hair is, it may be more appropriate to put it up while you are at work so that you always send the body language message that you mean business and are confident about it.

3. Neglecting the point and not being direct

Nerves can often get the better of us and make us go on huge, rambling tangents when asking someone for something.

But here’s the thing. While it can be hard to stop ourselves from rambling, what we have to remember is that no one likes having their time wasted.

This is because everyone has their own work to get on with and, while they may not be unwilling to help you, they don’t want to spend ALL their time helping you. Or even just trying to work out from your rambling approach exactly what help you are asking for.

So, whether you’re asking a co-worker for a favor, making a presentation or asking your boss for a raise, don’t beat around the bush and just be direct about what you want.

Be polite, be warm, be approachable. But get rid of the fluff and be to the point.

4. Using too many words

Like the tip above, you don’t want to talk too much about X, Y and Z and talk about everything around the point but not the point itself.

This is because using too many words suggests that you are uncertain about what you want or that you don’t know how to ask for it.

So, when you do ask for something, make sure you be concise without being rude or abrupt.

5. Being reckless with blame

Blame is a very damaging thing and if you’re caught trying to pin something on someone else, the results could be even worse for you than if you had just been honest or taken the blame in the first place.

This is because, while it may not be explicitly said, employers really do prefer that employees are honest about their actions and don’t try to blame others.

So, don’t be afraid of the consequences of your actions because fear and nerves can also hurt your career and just being honest will work out better for you in the end.

6. Skipping work events

Although it may not be your idea of fun, working for a company that has a softball team, company picnics or an annual costume party, can be a beneficial thing to participate in.

This is because the people coming up with these ideas are really just trying to boost morale between co-workers and bring them together.

Additionally, skipping work events can suggest that you aren’t interested in getting too involved with the company or with your co-workers. Which can be just as bad as not showing up to work events in the first place.

So, no matter what work event the company is throwing, at least try to make an effort by showing up from time to time, joining in activities and building stronger relationships with your co-workers.

7. Sending tweets in the heat of the moment

While it may be tempting, sending out tweets in the heat of the moment is never a good idea because of how wrong it can go and even come back to haunt you later in your career.

This is because, while it can be therapeutic to let out your anger or frustration, doing this in the heat of the moment can result in a trip to see your boss or HR, some kind of disciplinary action like anger management or it can result in you being fired.

So, before you send out your “heat of the moment” tweet, take a step back and try to think about what you are doing and what the possible consequences are.

8. Over-sharing

There always comes a point where you tread the line between sharing an appropriate amount of information about yourself and sharing far too much.

And while you may think you’re “just sharing”, others may not feel the same way and could even feel uncomfortable around you in the future because of your over-sharing.

This, in turn, could affect your career because your boss and co-workers may start to think that you have no boundaries and may try to avoid starting conversations with you.

Conversely, if you share too little about yourself, they may start to think that you’re not comfortable sharing or that you don’t like them.

So, while you shouldn’t be afraid to share things about yourself with your co-workers, you should also be wary of sharing too much information.

9. Comparing yourself to others

Comparing yourself to others only spells out disaster for you.

This is because, if you focus too much on what others are doing and how well they are doing it, you’ll have no time to improve yourself and work your own way up the ladder.

Additionally, concerning yourself with what everyone around you is doing and how much faster their career is moving than yours is like peddling backwards on a bike. Sure, it’s interesting to try but it ultimately gets you nowhere.

So, no matter what is happening in your co-workers careers, put on some blinders and focus on your career.

10. Overwhelming yourself

Overwhelming yourself with too much work or trying to get a day’s worth of work done in an hour can really exhaust you because, not only can it put your effectiveness as a worker to the breaking point, it can also impact the quality of your work.

This is because overwhelming yourself with too much work at once stresses you out and can also cause you to rush work and hand in a poorly written article or a report with the wrong information.

And sure, employers may like an employee who is able to complete tasks in an efficient and timely manner, but they would hardly want it done too quickly or poorly.

So, no matter how much work you have to do, what might help is if you prioritize which tasks need to be done sooner or won’t take as long to complete than others and just work your way down the list.

About Rowena Nagy

Rowena Nagy is a Journalist at The Business Woman Media. A graduate in Journalism, Media and Communications, she is passionate about in writing, travel journalism, video journalism and Public Relations.

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1 Comment

  1. jazellison@yahoo.com'

    Jaz Ellison

    June 5, 2015 at 3:09 am

    The tips on sabotaging is a excellent way to get you on track to meeting your goals because sometimes at work the above things can happen.

    I will pass them along…

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