There are so many things that can kill the careers of good, hard-working people. Honest mistakes often carry hard-hitting consequences. Little things can add up over time and undermine your career just as much as one huge lapse in judgement.
The good news is that if you stay aware of them, these are all things that you can control before they creep up on you and kill your career.
Here are some habits that can harm your career.
It is tempting to promise the moon to your colleagues and your clients, especially when you are honest and hardworking and believe that you can do it.
The problem is that there is no point in creating additional pressure that can make you look bad. If you promise to do something ridiculously fast and you miss the deadline by a little bit, you will likely think that you did a good job because you still delivered quickly.
But the moment you promise something to someone, they expect nothing less.
How long has it been since you proactively learned a new skill, reached out to your networking contacts, or even polished up your resume?
If you cannot remember, you might have become a bit complacent, and complacency is a real career killer.
It is what happens when you are just along for the ride and assume that nothing will ever change. But we have seen enough disruption — technological and otherwise — over the last few years to realise that change is inevitable.
If you are always too busy to learn something new or to expand your network, you have got your priorities mixed up.
However, if you make continuous growth and develop a priority, you will be ready for whatever comes your way.
Fear of change
Fear of change is complacency’s evil twin. It actively works to keep things the same. I am sure you have seen this one first hand at work when someone uttered the dreaded words, “But we have always done it this way.”
Things are changing too fast these days to latch on so tightly to the status quo, and the costs of doing so can be huge.
Change is a constant part of our lives, both personally and professionally. It does not matter whether you think things should change or whether you prefer the old ways.
You do not have to learn to love it, but you do have to learn to stop resisting it and to start adapting to it
Did you ever work with someone who had a string of successes and started thinking that they were the be-all and end-all of superstardom? Success is great. It definitely boosts your career, and it feels really, really good.
The problems start once you let it go to your head. You start thinking that success is going to last forever and that you are entitled to it.
Never, ever be content with resting on your laurels. Once you start thinking that you are better than the others, you are setting yourself up for a painful failure.
The big picture
It is easy to become head-down busy, working so hard on what is right in front of you that you lose sight of the big picture.
But smart people learn how to keep this in check by weighing their daily priorities against a carefully calculated goal.
It is not that they don’t care about small-scale work; they just have the discipline and perspective to adjust their course as necessary. Life is all about the big picture, and when you lose sight of it, everything suffers.