- Playing politics. Instigating conflict, choosing sides, undermining colleagues, spreading rumors, and all of the other things fall under the umbrella of “playing politics.” If you find yourself sneaking around or if you’re embarrassed if some of your behind-the-scenes manipulations come to light, that’s politics. Stick to strategies you’d be proud to discuss in front of your colleagues.
- Over-promising and under-delivering. The moment you promise something to someone, they expect nothing less. You end up looking terrible when you fall short, which is a shame. You could have done the same quality work in the same amount of time with great results if you’d set up realistic expectations. Perception matters more than reality. Just be realistic about the results you can deliver so that you’re certain to create expectations that you will blow out of the water.
- Complacency. If you become complacent, and complacency is a real career killer. It’s what happens when you’re just along for the ride and assume that nothing will ever change. But we’ve seen enough disruption - technological and otherwise - to realize that change is inevitable. If you’re always too busy to learn something new or to expand your network, you’ve got your priorities mixed up. If you make continuous growth and development a priority, you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way.
- Fear of change. Fear of change is another form of complacency. It actively works to keep things the same. 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. Successful employees are the ones who can adapt to the changing workplace. Change is a constant part of our lives, both personally and professionally. You don’t have to love it, but you do have to learn to stop resisting it and to start adapting to it.
- Having an inflatable ego. Success is great. It definitely boosts your career, and it feels really, really good. If you start thinking that success is going to last forever and that you’re entitled to it. Never, ever be content with resting on your laurels. Once you start thinking that you’re the cat’s meow, you’re setting yourself up for very painful failure.
- Low emotional intelligence. Everyone knows that you can get fired for being unable or unwilling to play nicely with others. If everyone can tell when you’re bored or irritated or that you think something a colleague says is stupid, this lack of emotional intelligence will catch up with you. Emotional outbursts, belittling others, shutting co-workers down when they speak, low self-awareness, and just generally being difficult are other ways that a lack of emotional intelligence will do great harm to your career.
- Sucking up to your boss. Some people suck up to their boss and call it managing up. That doesn’t go over well with colleagues who are trying to make it on merit. You might want to bolster your relationship with your boss, but not by undermining your colleagues. For a boss-employee relationship to work, it has to be based on authenticity. There’s no substitute for merit.
What ever is worth doing, is worth doing slowly & correctly.
The bottom line is that you will have your job/career as long as you give more than you take. Be nice to all and productive and you earn respect. Punctuality & discipline are ways of respecting others. Always find a way to be punctual, no matter what it takes. Try to achieve goals with merit and hard work, never by manipulations. Honesty makes your presence warmer and simplifies communication. Strive to avoid mistakes and blunders, which at times could be expensive or even catastrophic. Remember accuracy is more important than speed. The secret is filling vacant time slots intelligently rather than wasting it. Never procrastinate, it won't solve any of your problems. Be a patient listener to know others better. Never compromise long term big benefits for short term small gains. Finally, be worthy of it than having it and never have it and not deserve it.