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  • Writer's pictureMarleen Greenleaf

8 Mistakes That Derail Your Career

Your career won’t manage itself. Even if you’re a superstar at work, it’s possible to make mistakes that harm, or even end, your career. You spend a lot of time at work. It would be a shame to undo all of your effort by making an easily avoidable mistake.

Avoid these mistakes that harm your career:

  1. Undervaluing your worth. Avoid being afraid to ask for a raise or a promotion if you deserve it. Few companies will give you more than you demand. If you’re content to stay in the same place and make the same salary, they’re happy to accommodate you.

    • Be assertive, but stop short of being a nuisance.

    • You can always look for another position if you’re being undervalued.

2. Failing to toot your own horn. If you’re doing good work, ensure the word gets out. Take advantage of LinkedIn and keep your activities updated. Do your peers know what you’re up to? Let everyone know how great you are.

  • Take on projects that showcase your strengths. Be willing to be seen. Others will notice, and your reputation will grow.

  • Avoid bragging, but avoid being bashful.

3. Gossiping. Talking about others is generally a mistake. Whether it’s social or professional, avoid speaking about other people unless you have something positive to say. Everyone has been negatively impacted by oversharing at some point. Discuss ideas, yourself, and the other person taking part in the conversation.

4. Failing to make your boss look good. At the end of the day, you’re there to serve your boss. If you’re making her look good, your job is secure. If you’re not, you’re not doing your job properly.

5. Being too negative. There’s no place at work for anyone that complains or criticizes. Maintain high standards and be supportive of your workplace. If you can’t think of anything positive to say, it might be time to find new employment.

  • It’s also a good policy to stay away from negative people. You might be penalized for associating with them.

6. Searching for another job on company time. Your company is likely to check your internet log from time to time. If you’re spending time each day on, you might find your employment ending. Search for a new career on your own time.

7. Publicly searching for a new job. What you do on your own time is your own business, but you don’t want your employer to know that you’re seeking greener pastures. Keep a lid on your social media messages. It’s not necessary, or smart, for the entire world to know that you’d like to work for someone else.

8. Under-dressing. Look around your office building. The people with the more prestigious jobs are better dressed than the rest. A good rule of thumb is to dress as well as your boss. Avoid dressing like your peers.

  • People will begin to associate you with the more powerful people in your workplace. When a new job opportunity becomes available within the company, you’ll have a better chance of success.

A career can be ruined very quickly. Avoid making the mistakes that can derail your career. Remain professional and value your worth. If you’re thinking about another career, keep your search to yourself. You can share after you’ve secured a new position. Avoid being complacent in your career. Be proactive and see your career blossom instead of fade.

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