Advertising
Advertising

20 Qualities That Will Make You Fail At Work

20 Qualities That Will Make You Fail At Work

Dead man walking! That’s what you are, especially if you have these 20 qualities that will make you fail at work. If you’re feeling the heat and suddenly your panel made cubicle feels like a 6 by 8 jail cell. Or lunch breaks feel like a last meal delivered by a prison warden. Or, you feel that your co-workers are secretly conspiring to have you executed, you need to read on. Your work life doesn’t need to feel like you’re a prisoner on death row. Save yourself from the walk of shame by avoiding these 20 damaging qualities that will make you fail at work.

1.Being delusional.

Robert Steven Kaplan, author of What You’re Really Meant To Do, says that people need to be brutally honest about who they are. In fact, most people have a tendency towards illusory superiority. What does that mean in dummy terms? It means that people have a grave misconception that they are above average in their performance and abilities.

2. Not listening to people who are brutally honest with you.

The truth hurts. Naturally, we have a defense system that protects us from pain, both physically and mentally. So when someone criticizes you, by telling the brutal honest truth, the neurons in your brain are charge to lash out in defense. They may send signals that trigger certain behaviors such as withdrawal: denial, telling offbeat jokes, or lashing out at your boss or co-workers in retaliation. Just understand the criticism can only offend you if you feel that a part of what others are saying is true.

3. Not preparing for criticism.

First, you need to mentally prepare yourself for criticism. Just imagine the worst possible feedback from a colleague or loved one. Then, visualize how you’re going to react. Once you have the scenario rehearsed in your head, ask your boss or supervisor to evaluate your performance. Then, ask how you can improve your performance.

4. Lack of long-term vision.

“I have a theory and I really believe it. I think your worst weakness can become your single greatest strength.” Barbara Corcoran

Advertising

Barbara Corcoran, renowned real estate agent, investor and momma shark on the hit show Shark Tank, explains that her success stemmed from a series of failures. One of which, was a flower company that she had invested a great deal of money in. Her friends and colleagues eventually convinced her to quit, mainly because she was losing her shirt. Corcoran then took the information from her failed business by turning a $1000 loan into a multimillion dollar real-estate firm. Corcoran understands that your greatest failures can become your greatest successes.

5. Confusing dreams with goals.

Someday is not a day of the week. We have dreams. Sadly, we all don’t craft those dreams into goals. There is nothing more satisfying than dreaming for a better life. However, with each dream, do one little goal to move toward it. For example, if you’re writer, commit to writing a page, or even a sentence each day. You’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish over a short period of time.

8. Lack of perceived willingness to accept advise or mentorship.

Be honest with yourself. Admit that you have certain limitations and are in need of guidance. So maybe you told a few white lies during your interview. Or maybe you omitted some pertinent information on your resume. You can still save yourself from failing at work by asking for help.

9. Not knowing where to look for help.

Now, it’s easier than ever with Google Help Outs. You can get help from real live experts in real time. You don’t need to travel or pay exorbitant fees. You can also keep your sessions 100 percent private. If you can’t find what you need on Google Help Outs, try doing a Linked-In search. Look for consultants in your field that have a great deal of contacts, referrals, and endorsements.

10. Wasting Time

Stop burying yourself with busy work. Too many people deter their long-term goals for minuscule goals that don’t amount to anything. Do you really need to check your emails every hour? Do you really need to answer the phone when it rings? All of these things burn pertinent energy that is needed for more important things like strategy planning, creativity, and innovation.

Advertising

11. Not knowing how to prioritize tasks.

Stop allowing yourself to be pulled in 1000 different directions. Instead, create one email for your important contacts and check that. Return phone calls at certain times of the day. And be sure to spend the bulk of your time and energy doing work that is most rewarding and will lead to accomplishing long-term goals.

12. Not understanding your employer’s mission.

Sadly, many of us live in a bubble. In many situations we are hired based on specialized skills that we may have acquired through college or other forms of training. Although your goal may be to be the best consultant, teacher, developer, or executive assistant, you can possibly be. Your employer’s goal is to make money, and lots of it. I happen to believe that the more profitable a company is, the better it treats its employees. So work to contribute to the company’s objectives, goals and overall mission.

13. Not understanding your company’s bottom line.

If you want to stick around for the long haul, I suggest you learn what services or products carry the best profit margins. For example, fast food restaurants make a great deal of money selling soft drinks. So if you’re a cashier, waiter, or waitress, you need to ensure that all customers get charged for their cokes.

14. Not having proper communication skills.

“Truth is the easiest thing to sell.” Daymond John.

Daymond John is a fashion retail mogul who is one of the more laid back sharks on ABC’s hit show Shark Tank. He explains that he is just a regular guy. Stricken with dyslexia and resigned to being a lifetime worker at Red Lobster in Hollis Queens, New York. Daymond John didn’t accept his fate. He sold T-shirts and hats on street corners, until he was able to create the iconic label that is known today as FUBU. Now, he is well respected by the most educated people in the industry. He signs multimillion dollar deals, despite his difficulties with reading and writing. What’s his major form of communication? Truth.

Advertising

15. Don’t be afraid to admit your weaknesses.

People mistakenly assume that having great communication skills entails being a phenomenal orator or writer. That’s not entirely true. Henry Ford was rumored to have difficulties reading and writing. He was very open about his weaknesses and therefore became one of the best communicators in the world. He communicated ideas and recruited the best and brightest in the industry to join his team. Henry Ford shows us the tremendous power that comes along with owning our weaknesses and turning them into strengths.

16. Having unrealistic assessment of timing.

“Know your business industry better than anyone else. Love what you do, or don’t do it.” Mark Cuban.

Mark Cuban can tell you that success is all about timing. Some people may call it luck; others may call it a coincidence. Whatever you decide to call it. Timing is something that we all must adhere to. It involves synchronicity between your talent and skills and a given opportunity. Good timing can make you or break you. Mark Cuban used his sense of timing to diversify all of his assets right before the housing market bubble burst. While others lost their massive fortunes, Mr. Cuban was able to increase his tenfold, all because he understood the importance of good timing.

17. Becoming comfortable or complacent.

So many people settle, simply because it is the easier thing to do. It’s easy to go on earning bad wages, or taking abuse from a terrible boss. Sadly, very few people understand that when they’re confronted with choices, they need to make the one that challenges them the most. Just understand that if you’re uncomfortable and you’re constantly doing things you don’t want to do, you’re growing. You are also becoming stronger with each courageous step.

18. Allowing arrogance and success to cloud your judgment.

In the words of Mr. Wonderful from ABC’s Shark Tank, “we live in a binary universe and if you’re not making money, you’re losing it.” Kevin O’ Leary doesn’t take too many chances. Instead, he takes tried and true approaches and uses business models that are guaranteed to increase his wealth. He doesn’t have the “I can do anything attitude,” despite his snide remarks and snarky comments on the show. He structures virtually all of his deals the same, because he understands what works, and what doesn’t.

Advertising

19. Lack of integrity.

No one screams lack of integrity louder than Jordan Belfort. Yes, the Blockbuster movie The Wolf of Wall Street was based on his life. Sadly, Jordan Belfort was successful only on the surface. Beneath it all, he was teeming with guilt that he quelled with Quaaludes and cocaine. So there are a great deal of lessons that need to be learned from Mr. Belfort.  Don’t have sex in public bathrooms, do drugs or consume alcohol while working. Most importantly, don’t indulge in lewd or offensive behavior while representing your company. Just understand that Jordan Belfort made millions cheating average people out of their hard-earned money. In the end, he lost everything, his house, his cars, even his family. So what’s the moral of this story? What you take from other people will eventually be taken from you. Be wise and don’t make deals that you won’t accept yourself.

20. Not keeping up with trends and modern technology.

Capitalizing on trends is how a lot of people make their money. No one understands this concept better than Robert Herjavec. Herjavec built several IT companies and sold them to Fortune 500 companies such as At&T and Nokia. Now is known as one of the best business leaders in the world. And is a reoccurring cast member on the show Shark Tank. The secret seems to be to know what’s hot and trending, then to climb on board and ride the wave all the way to the top. Now, it’s easier than ever to identify trends with blog directory sites such as Technorati. You can also find out what’s trending on bookmarking sites such as Digg and Reddit. Don’t forget tried and true approaches of finding hot-topics by searching Twitter using popular hashtags. If all else fails, you can always search on the Trending Topics on Google Plus.

Learn from the cast of Shark Tank on how to avoid the 20 qualities that will make you fail at work.

Featured photo credit: http://www.sonypictures.com/tv/sharktank/images/gallery/sharktank_s2_gallery_3.jpg via sonypictures.com

More by this author

20 Qualities That Will Make You Fail At Work How to Find Self-Acceptance By Mastering These 8 Ego-Destroying Tips 6 Ways To Make Dysfunctional Families Functional 7 Ways to Stop Your Casual Relationship From Ruining Your Love Life

Trending in Work

1 Feeling Stuck in Your Career? How to Break Free and Get Ahead 2 How to Change Careers When It Seems Too Late 3 How to Start a Startup Fast: 5 Essential Steps 4 7 Steps to Achieve Career Success on Your Own Terms 5 13 Common Life Problems And How To Fix Them

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 10, 2020

Feeling Stuck in Your Career? How to Break Free and Get Ahead

Feeling Stuck in Your Career? How to Break Free and Get Ahead

Have you ever caught yourself in a daydream where you’ve gone for that upcoming promotion, and you’re now the boss at work? Or how about the one where you’ve summoned up all your courage to quit a job where you’re feeling stuck in your career and live your dream instead? Or when you’ve changed career paths to do what really makes you happy?

Then, you snapped back to reality and realized that you’re not the boss, not living your dream, and not even happy in the career path that you’re on.

Over the years I’ve worked with hundreds of individuals who’ve told me they feel stuck in their careers, that something had to change for them to break free and be happy, but they lacked the confidence to take that step. My mission is to make sure that nobody feels stuck in their career because of a momentary lapse in bravery that’s dragged on for too long.

Read on to find out how you can stop feeling stuck in your career, break free, and get ahead at work. .

Here are my top ten tips for becoming unstuck in your career.

1. Make Time for You

If you’re feeling stuck, frustrated, or unhappy with how your career is panning out, the first step is to work out why.

Maybe you’ve arrived in your current career by accident and haven’t ever made time to deliberately think or plan what you’d love to do and how you’d get there.

Prioritizing time to think is the first step you need to take to stop feeling stuck and start getting ahead. Book some time into your day where you can have an uninterrupted meeting with yourself. This is your thinking time.

Work out what makes you happy at work, what doesn’t, and where you might want to go. Decide on the steps you want to take to progress your career in the direction that you want it to take.

For example, are there training days, evening courses, or online learning that you can do? Have you considered getting a mentor to help you get ahead?

By booking in a meeting with yourself, it signals it’s important (to you and your colleagues) and also stops others spotting a gap in your day and filling it with a meeting.

Advertising

2. Grow Your Network Before You Need It

Who you know is more important than what you know for career progression. Don’t wait until you’re feeling stuck in your career to start expanding your networks. Do it now.

Adam Grant, the author of Give and Take, says you’re 58% more likely to get a new job through your weak ties than through your strong ones. Your strong ties are those in your immediate circle whom you interact with often. Your weak ties are your friends of friends. They move in different circles to you, they know different people, make different connections, and are more likely to introduce you to new and different opportunities[1].

When I was thinking about setting up my current company, Lucidity, I turned up to every networking event. I drank a lot of coffees with a lot of different people to understand what they did, to ask for advice, to unpick what their problems were, and to look for opportunities for collaboration and connections.

It paid off because, when I launched my business, I let my network know how I could help them, and soon I had my first clients.

Pay attention to building and nurturing your networks and focus on how you can add value to other. That’s where your next career opportunity is most likely to come from.

3. Surround Yourself With People Who Inspire You

According to Tim Ferriss, “You are the average of the five people you most associate with,” and his associations with different people ebbs and flows depending on what he’s working on and trying to achieve[2].

For example, if you are trying to be fitter, it’s easier if you hang around with people who love doing exercise–they help you to up your game.

If you want that promotion, a career change, or to set up your own business, seek out people who are excelling at it already. They’ll have valuable things to teach you about breaking free and getting ahead.

4. Work on Your Personal Brand

Jeff Bezos defines a personal brand as “what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” People will talk about you when you are not in the room anyway, so you might as well be deliberate about what you’d like people to say!

Your personal brand isn’t about pretending to be something you’re not. That can actually keep you feeling stuck in your career. It’s really about being your best “real you.” It’s about owning your strengths and being purposeful about how you want to be perceived by others.

What do you want to be known for? By being more deliberate about how you want to come across and what you’re looking for in your career, you’ll increase your chance of attracting the right opportunities.

Advertising

Once you’ve given your personal brand some thought, make sure that you show up online. Is your LinkedIn profile up to date? And if you don’t have one, get one. Make sure it communicates what you want to be known for and that it’s consistent with your other social media profiles.

Try these 5 Steps to Master Networking Skills and Perfect Your Personal Branding.

5. Be Accountable

Achieve your career goals faster, and grow and learn by making yourself accountable. Tell other people your goals and a timeline. and have them to hold you accountable.

For example, you might want to get a promotion by the end of the year, have decided the sector you want to move to by the end of the month, or have got your new business idea before the next pay day. Whatever your ambitions are, you can tell a friend or a colleague, or share this with a mentor or a mastermind group.

When we tell other people our goals and intentions, they hold us accountable, and we are more likely to make progress faster.

6. Make Sure Your Values Are Aligned With Your Company’s

All the professional development, goal setting, and networks in the world won’t make you happy if you’re working for a company that ultimately has opposing values to yours.

Figure out what’s important to you in a job. For example, does your company’s product help people live a better life? Do you feel strongly about your company’s ethics and social responsibility? Does the company culture allows employees to be themselves and shine? Or maybe flexible working and more holidays for employees with families is where your heart is?

Some companies put their employees well-being at the core of their business; others put profits first. If you feel that your values don’t match the core values of your employer, it could be a reason why you’re feeling stuck in your career and unhappy.

It’s important to work through this and identify whether it’s the job that is not right for you, or if it’s a great job but the organization or sector is wrong for you.

7. Get out of Your Comfort Zone

Your comfort zone is your safe place. For any change to happen, you have to step out of your comfort zone.

It’s actually much easier not to change anything and to keep grumbling on about how you’re stuck and unhappy in your career than to step outside of your comfort zone to address the fearful unknowns associated with change. It’s part of human nature that we’d put up with the devil we know rather than risk the devil we don’t.

Advertising

This is true even if the devil we know is a boring, unfulfilling job because we’re wired to think that making a change to find a better option might actually leave us worse off.

If you feel stuck, it might be that your confidence has got the better of you.

To get ahead at work, start taking small steps outside of your comfort zone. Consider what you’re scared of that is stopping you from making a change. Then, tackle that in small steps.

For example, if you know that to move into the job you want, you’ll have to do more public speaking, but public speaking terrifies you so much it’s stopping you from going for the job, then start small to build your confidence. You can speak up more in team meetings, then slowly build from there.

You might also choose to set up or be part of a specific group. One of my clients, who found that confidence was holding her team back in achieving work goals, set up a “get out of your comfort zone club,” where they challenge and support each other to build their confidence by regularly leaving their comfort zones.

8. Learn to Embrace Failure

Failure is part of life. A New York University study found that children learning to walk averaged 2,368 steps and fell 17 times an hour[3]. Failure is simply the natural path to success.

The truth is that we don’t get everything right the first time. We fail, we learn, we pick ourselves up, and we try again.

In my experience, it’s common that whilst the theory of learning from failure is supported, the reality of being open about failures to enable personal learning is much harder to achieve.

We don’t like to admit that we’ve failed. We have a fight or flight response to failure. It’s a normal gut reaction to ask ourselves: “Will I get away with it if I don’t tell anyone?” We are fearful of criticism, of losing face in front of others, or even being fired for failure.

However, if you’re going to stop feeling stuck in your career, you must be open to learning from failure.

Reframe failure by viewing everything as an experiment because you can’t have a failed experiment—you just learn whether something works or not. Think of Edison inventing the lightbulb, when he said:

Advertising

“I’ve not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

9. Build Your Resilience

Resilience is the ability to tackle difficulties and setbacks, to bounce back, regroup, and to keep going.

Getting unstuck in your career, taking a different path, and achieving the results you want will take resilience. Having resilience is also the capacity to choose how you respond to the unexpected things that life throws your way and adapt and thrive in times of complex change.

Given that the world we live in is in constant flux, and the only thing that is certain is uncertainty, the ability to adapt and bounce back is an important life skill, as well as a career skill.

In her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth’s research shows that when measuring success, the ability to persevere beats talent every time.

Learn more about how to build resilience in this guide: What Is Resilience and How to Always Be Resilient (Step-By-Step Guide)

10. Ask for Help

It can be hard to ask for help, as it can make us feel vulnerable.

No one person can be expected to have all the answers. That’s why we need a group of people that we can go to for help, people who can pick us up when we have setbacks and also help us to celebrate success.

My advice is to be deliberate about creating your group. You can do that with a tool called a “Me Map”:

  1. Write down all the things that you might need support with, like help with career progression, interview practice, making new connections, talking through business plans, learning from failure, etc.
  2. Next to each thing, write the names of the people you go to when you need that particular thing.
  3. Make sure you get in touch and regularly connect with them.

Final Thoughts

You can stop feeling stuck in your career, break free, and get ahead at work by applying the tips in this article. Start small by incorporating three new things in your first week, and then adding more as your comfort zone and capacity expands.

Remember, no matter how stuck you feel, it’s never too late to make a change and land the career that you truly want.

More Tips to Stop Feeling Stuck in Your Career

Featured photo credit: NEW DATA SERVICES via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next