9 Subtle Habits That Will Definitely Kill Your Career

There are so many bad habits that could kill your career, even if you’re determined, hard-working person who does everything by the book.

Sometimes, unintentional mistakes could have shocking consequences.

Most people kill their careers slowly, in subtle, undramatic ways, which is a real shame because it happens continuously.

A survey by VitalSmarts shows us that 83% of people had seen someone make stupid mistakes that had disastrous results for their career, reputation, or business, and 69% confessed that they had done the same mistakes that influenced their career:

  • 31% revealed it cost them a raise, a promotion, or a job
  • 27% revealed it destroyed their relationships with colleagues
  • 11% revealed it ruined their reputation

This research shows how careful you should be when it comes to your career. Sometimes, only one wrong move is enough to take you out of the game and to kill your career. But, there doesn’t have to be a single moment with such impact. In fact, little, insignificant things, can add up over time and irreversibly kill your career, just as much as one huge, fatal omission in the working process. Just don’t get upset, it’s not the end of the world. The good news is that if you detect your flaws, your bad habits, and stay aware of them, you can easily control them before they attack your career.

Related Article: 11 Really Good Reasons to Quit Your Job Right Now

9 Subtle Habits That Will Definitely Kill Your Career

Here are the most common subtle habits that could easily kill your career that you need to avoid:

1. Over-committing and under-delivering

Sometimes it happens to promise a lot of things to your colleagues and your clients, believing that you can do it with your hard work and dedication. There is absolutely no grounded reason to create additional, unnecessary pressure that will make you look exhausted and desperate. If you promise to finish something unbelievable fast and you miss the deadline, everybody will be disappointed in you, although you actually did a great job, just a little bit later.

Remember, the moment you promise something to someone, they expect it to be done exactly as you promised, nothing more or less. I advise you to set up realistic expectations from the very beginning i. That way you’ll avoid all the pressure and dissatisfaction from your colleagues, which will additionally boost your self-confidence.

2. Stagnation

Tell me honestly how long has it bees since you’ve done something different than just doing your job? If you can’t remember, unfortunately you’re stagnating, and you’ve stopped growing. What happened with the desire to improve yourself intellectually and emotionally, to learn a new skill, to leave a legacy in the business, to build strong relationships with your colleagues, or to become a better version of yourself?

Stop being stagnant and complacent, because stagnation and complacency are real career killers. Make continuous growth and improvement a priority, and you’ll be prepared to face all the challenges that are coming your way.

3. Resistance to change

This habit complements the previous one. If you’re in a phase of stagnation, you actually reject changes. You’re a person who thinks about every opportunity as a scary risk, finding flaws and roadblocks to each one. You spend your valuable time in your comfort zone, instead of taking actions. Remember: Things are changing rapidly these days to latch on so tightly to the status quo, and the costs of doing so can be huge.

Related Article: Keys to Achieve Sustainable Work-Life Balance

4. Being egoistic and selfish

The person who knows what he or she wants to do and has no desire to consider any alternate options. Convinced they’ve got the perfect master plan, they continue doing what they want, not what is right. Co-workers and managers see them as too controlling and rigid, which often has negative result, for example, they can’t get promotion, or they don’t participate in any team because they’re considered to be bad team players.

5. Forgetting the big picture

It’s easy to become head-down busy, working so hard on what’s 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’s 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. You need to have a vision of what is it you want to achieve, because where your mind goes, energy flows.

6. Negativity

Sometimes when you’re feeling negative and down, your mood can leak out and affect other people, even if you don’t intend it to. You were hired to make your boss’s and your team’s jobs easier, not harder. People who spread negativity through their department and complain about the work or other people complicate things for everyone else.

If people always have to tiptoe around you so as not to dislodge that massive chip on your shoulder, they are unlikely to be willing to do it for very long. Don’t do this if you don’t want to kill your career. Always tilt to the positive side of any action, feedback or outcome.

7. Lack of emotional intelligence

Everyone knows that you can get fired for being unable or unwilling to play nicely with others, but what trips up a lot of people is having a poorly developed poker face. If everyone can tell when you’re bored or irritated or that you think something a colleague says is stupid, this 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.

8. Sucking up to your boss

Some people suck up to their boss and call it managing up, but that isn’t the case at all. Sucking up has nothing to do with a real relationship built on respect; it is sneaky and underhanded. Suck-ups try to get ahead by stroking the boss’s ego instead of earning his or her favor. That doesn’t go over well with colleagues who are trying to make it on merit.

Yes, you want to bolster your relationship with your boss, but not by undermining your colleagues. That’s the key distinction here. For a boss-employee relationship to work, it has to be based on authenticity. There’s no substitute for merit.

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9. Manipulating

Working hard to build strong work relationships is very different from instigating conflict, choosing sides, undermining colleagues, spreading rumors, and all of the other things that fall under the umbrella of “playing politics.” Again, it comes down to authenticity. 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.

Looking back on your career, can you identify any of these habits that could kill your career? Have you ever seen people killing their careers? If so, share with us that experience in the comments section below, and do not hesitate to express your opinion about it.

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