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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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5 Powerful Ideas on How to Be Productive at Work

5 Powerful Ideas on How to Be Productive at Work

Not being able to stay productive at work is a problem that everyone runs into at some point; no matter how much you like your job, there are certain factors that prevent you from staying at maximum proficiency throughout the whole day.

A lack of productive focus at work can lead to extra stress on yourself, missed deadlines, passed opportunities, raise denial, demotion and even termination.

So, if you are someone who has trouble with your productivity, here are five effective tips on how to be productive at work:

1. Take breaks

First and foremost, it’s important for you to take regular breaks. Trying to work throughout the whole day will tire your brain, which will then cause you to doze off and think about something else.

If you keep working your brain, it will fill up and get jumbled with information—sort of like a computer hard drive. Taking a break would be like resetting your computer so that it can start afresh, or de-fragmenting the data so that all the information is in order.

This is a great thing because it allows you to solve problems you were unable to solve previously, by seeing it differently; if you are able to organize your thoughts properly, you will be able to take in new information more easily.

There have even been studies about methods of saving time and staying proficient, and taking breaks is one of the leading factors.

According to Christine Hohlbaum, the author of The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World, eating lunch away from your work area every day will greatly increase your productivity. Eating in your work area will give you the illusion that you are working, but whether you like it or not, your brain will begin to wander and think of something else and then you will be working tirelessly with no progress.

It’s important to take breaks before and during work too: if you come to work in a rush because you woke up late, your mind will not be mentally prepared for the day ahead, and you will spend the first 10 to 15 minutes trying to get organized and composed before you can actually start working.

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Instead, you should try to wake up 20 minutes earlier than the time it would take you to “just get” to work. Take that time to stare off into space and not worry about anything.

If you do this, your brain will be empty and ready for all the challenges it has coming for the next few hours.

If your employer only allows a set amount of breaks during the workday, that doesn’t mean you can’t just get up and walk around for a quick break every now and then.

Even if it’s only 5 minutes, it will refresh your brain and you will gain renewed energy to do your job.

Learn more about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

2. Pace yourself and balance your workload

One problem that most people run into is that they underestimate the amount of work they have to do, and end up doing 50% of the work in the last 20% of the time they have to do it. This is due to an issue of balancing one’s workload.

When you receive a project, or are doing a job you normally do, take some time to really plan out your work schedule.

Consider how much time it took you to do this last time; determine how you can break the project into smaller parts and which can only be accomplished on certain days, and whether anything might come up that could interfere with your plan.

All of these questions are important for starting on a project, and when answered, they will help you stay productive throughout each day.

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For example, if you needed to design a project to map out the amount of aid offered in various regions after Hurricane Sandy, you can break it up as follows:

You will need to know what organizations are offering help to begin with, how much aid those organizations gave or plan to give, which regions were hit by Sandy, and which regions suffered the greatest losses.

You start this project on a Thursday and know you have until Tuesday to gather this information.

In order to stay productive, you need to plan out your work week—now you know you can find out which organizations are involved in helping the Hurricane Sandy Victims any day since that information is online, but gathering information on the organizations may require you to call them.

Since phone calls can only be done during week days, you have to plan on gathering all of that information before the weekend comes.

That is just one example of a situation in which pre-planning your project will help you stay productive; had you researched the affected regions first, you would not have received the info on the organizations until the weekend, and may have missed your chance to call them.

That, in turn, would have wasted time you could have spent working on this project to finish it.

Knowing what you need to do, when you can do it, and how long it will take you, is important in balancing your workload and being more productive and efficient.

3. Put your work first

This is an issue that usually occurs with young people who are new to the workforce: they’re often tempted with offers to go out at midday, and then come back lost in thought and unfocused on their work-related tasks.

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While it is important to take breaks, your breaks should consist of you clearing your mind, not loading it up with other less important information—like sports.

However, that is not the only situation where you need to worry about putting your work first before all else.

In a work environment, the senior employees will oftentimes push some of their menial tasks onto the newer employees. If you fall into that category, you need to know that their work is not your work, so if you have tasks that need to be done, you need to do it first.

If you are a new employee, you must learn to say no to other people even when it means you may not be in their good graces anymore. You can help others out once your work is done, but you are paid to do your own work, not anyone else’s.

4. Don’t open your browser unless you need them

In this day and age, everyone is constantly monitoring their social network. This is a major pain point for companies, which is why many don’t allow employees to access their social networks on company workstations.

When you are at work, disconnect the internet from your phone and keep your browsers closed so you’re not tempted to log onto your social media accounts or browse any sites that are not work-related.

If you keep your browsers closed and phone tucked away, only to be used in an emergency, you will find yourself being a more productive employee right away. 

5. Try to be happy and optimistic

If you always have a negative outlook on life, you will be more distracted and less motivated to get work done, so it’s important for you to start your day off right.

This can be done by having a good breakfast or by taking time in the morning to watch one of your favorite TV shows before work.

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If you are happy, you will find yourself able to work much more productively as your mind won’t wander into worrying about something else.

Also, if you stay optimistic and keep telling yourself that you can do whatever you set your mind to, the tasks will seem much less daunting and will go by much more quickly.

Take a look at more effective ways to stay positive at work:

15 Ways To Stay Positive At Work

Happiness and optimism are the keys to being a productive and happy employee.

All in all, heed the five tips above and you will find yourself being one of the most productive people at your company.

While you do not need to master them all, each and every one of them will help you become a better and more efficient employee.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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