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6 Common Career Mistakes That Are Holding You Back

6 Common Career Mistakes That Are Holding You Back

You never want to damage your working life, but some of the decisions you make might kill your career. There are a lot of ways that people are committing career suicide without realizing the implications of their actions. Workers should be equipped with a list of all the major career mistakes you should avoid. To start, here are six major career mistakes that should be avoided at all costs.

1. Being a Sore Loser

Sometimes you don’t get what you want, in or out of the workplace. But in the workplace, it’s especially important that you keep your cool. Don’t expect sympathy if you blow up after getting passed over for that big job promotion. You’re in a professional environment, so act professionally even if you’re disappointed by something that happens. No one bats 1000. When you go back to the dugout don’t arrive with a sour attitude that will turn off your teammates unless you’re seeking a dim future for your career.

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2. Not Taking Pride In Your Accomplishments

If you don’t take pride in what you’re doing, you won’t maintain the motivation to keep doing your best work possible. You may feel like you’re being modest, but modesty can go too far. It’s good to not brag excessively about your success to others, but please take pride when you deliver stellar work. Don’t shy away from congratulating yourself every once in a while for a job well done.

3. Not Demonstrating Pride In Your Accomplishments

You don’t want to show off too much, but you should certainly make it apparent to those you work with that you’re happy with what you’re doing so that they will be too. You don’t even need to talk about yourself, necessarily; pride can be demonstrated by nonverbal cues like just acting confident. That confidence will not only make you feel better about yourself, it will infect everyone you work with and convince them that you are that good.

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4. Spelling Team With An “I”

Worst typo ever. Make sure to double-check that you’re getting the word “team” right, because the people around you at work, whether they be your employees or peers, inevitably play a big role in your success. You can’t do all the work; you need people to assist you with tasks you aren’t skilled at and collaborate with you when you need a partner to deliver the best possible product. So don’t shortchange your teammates; appreciate them fully for what they’re worth.

5. Not Seeking Other Opinions

A huge career mistake. Just like you should work well with people, you should also heed their advice even on things that you’re doing by yourself. Your boss might have a different idea of how to do something, or your co-workers could have tricks for improving something you’re spending your time on. You should even check in to make sure that you’re coming across the right way. Like we covered earlier, confidence is good, but you don’t want to rub people the wrong way. Ask a person you trust what your co-workers think of you, whether it be positive or negative.

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6. Not Accepting Change

Change is unavoidable, and trying to avoid it is a big mistake for your career. It shouldn’t even be avoided in the first place; change should be embraced so that you can constantly stay ahead of the curve. You shouldn’t let a revised role or new job responsibilities hinder your future success. Be quick to adapt to change, even if the change might not be ideal. It’s probably coming no matter what, so fighting against it will only make you enemies. Besides, no matter how dire the change may seem, there are always ways to flip negatives into positives. Don’t just complain about the problems, start finding solutions.

Featured photo credit: Flazingo Photos via flickr.com

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Matt OKeefe

Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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