Six Ways You May Be Sabotaging Your Career

Based on an article published in El Comercio newspaper (Perú) on September 29,2015

Having a fulfilling and rewarding career is a huge priority. But there comes a moment in just about everyone’s working life when we suddenly realize our careers have become limited. We’re not getting the promotions we apply for. Or, we have ceased to be the go-to person for important projects.

It wasn’t always that way. There was a time when many of us thought the sky was the limit in our career growth. But then, something happened and our prospects dimmed.

The reality for most of us is that we will —either consciously or unconsciously— make certain mistakes that sabotage our own careers. The best defense against these career-limiting mistakes is to acknowledge them up front and then make the effort to avoid them.

To that end, here is a list of the top six ways we tend to sabotage our own careers:

Your career opportunities will diminish if you consistently fail to add clear and visible value to your organization; if the results of your work are not easily quantifiable or measurable; or if you always have an excuse for failing to meet a deadline. Why would any organization promote someone who cannot demonstrate a clear value?

Not being committed to the organization or its common purpose is a straight path to undermining your career. Commitment and loyalty are highly desirable qualities but not easily quantified. All the same, fulfilling your commitments, and making it clear you are giving your very best at all times are clear signs of commitment. Commitment and loyalty are even more important if you hold a position of responsibility or leadership.

If you defend yourself from change and new ideas, sabotage new initiatives in favor of the status quo or “the way we have always done things here,” you will lose credibility and limit your career. Employers want enthusiasm and a desire to innovate, learn new things, change, or improve. People who cannot do any of these things are seen as expendable.

If you quarrel frequently with your co-workers, if it is always exhausting to deal with you, or if you go from one conflict to the other making no effort to control your poor behavior, you may be fired. Employers do not want constant negativity or bad attitude.

If you are indiscreet or disclose confidential information that may harm the organization, even inadvertently, you very well may be jeopardizing your career. People who are constantly gossiping, passing on rumors and secrets, or bad-mouthing co-workers and managers, are typically among the first to go when the headcount needs to come down.

If you try to cover up your mistakes and do whatever you can to hide them from managers and co-workers, or if you fail to take responsibility for errors and blame others instead, you will undermine your integrity, credibility, and trust.

The good news is that it is never too late to start turning your career prospects around by adopting a new attitude and approach at work. Remember, remain positive, open to change, and adopt an accountable mindset in everything you do. People who can accept these simple requirements will find career paths with no limits.

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 Spanish version / English version



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