Saturday, February 16, 2008

How to avoid sabotaging your career

There is nothing like the fear of success. So how do you avoid sabotaging your career? There are a lot of ways to sabotage a career. Don’t think that just because you have the job that’s it. You still have to keep the job, work with others and survive the politics. Being able to do the job, and doing it well is not enough.

There is nothing that destroys a career faster then alienating your co-workers. Trust me, management notices when some one does not fit in, or work well with others. No one likes some one who is disruptive to the harmony of the work place. If you don’t fit in will anyone recommend you for a better position, or more responsibility? You may even find yourself with out a job. Working as part of a team toward a common goal looks much better.

Take all jobs seriously. Doing poorly at one job can have a long-term affect. If you are looking for a job would you be able to use that job as a reference? Even if you'r boss gives you what looks like a make work job still do the work to the best of your abilities. If you don’t then how will that look, will they trust you with other jobs, more important ones if you slack off on this one.

Follow through. If you commit to doing some thing, do it, even if it is just picking up coffee. Other wise you are just full of empty promises and are not to be trusted. Not following through means you are not dependable or reliable.

Be truthful. Take responsibility for when you make a mistake. If you don’t know some thing then be honest about it and ask for help. Don’t hid it, dishonesty in any way will always come back to haunt you.

Be on time, both getting to work and completing your work. It is a sign of disrespect when you do not show up on time. Not showing up for work on time means you do not care about the job. Not getting your work done on time can be seen as you are unable to do your job.

Dress appropriately. Appearance does affect how people perceive you. If you dress like a slob, or like you don’t care it does not create a feeling of confidence in you or your abilities. If you don’t show that your respect yourself, why should others respect you?

Don’t make work your place to socialize or over share you life. There are times and places to make friends, and share what ever you want with them. Work is not that place. It is not professional for one; you are there to work. Being friends with your co-workers is fine, but do your socializing and chatting outside of work. Never say bad things about co-workers and keep your personal life private. You never know when you tell some one some thing if it can be used against you. It is office/work place politics, never give people ammunition.

Treat others with respect even if you don’t like them. You never know how you deal with some one is going affect how people see you. If you blow up at some one then you are a hothead, unstable and untrustworthy. If you keep your head, be polite, use your inside voice for what you are really thinking, it looks like you are diplomatic, a team player, and dependable.

Don’t take a job just because it is offered; make sure it fits your needs. There is nothing like a bad fit. If there are no growth options then how are you going to move your career up the next step? You are going to have to look out side of that company or be stuck in the same position. So you have to spend your time doing the job searching, find the right job, and establish yourself all over again.

Most of this is common sense. When you are stressed, or unhappy at work or with work it is easy to forget how this job can affect your long-term career. How what you do and say today can haunt you or help you. You never know when some one in your past can be part of your future, or how they can affect your career.

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