You’re probably sitting in your cubicle right now; or if you’re a job hunter, likely sitting at home, in a café, or on the bench outside that big company you just failed an interview at, wondering where it all went wrong. Why everything is at a standstill, or why you career aspirations don’t correlate with your expectations. Perhaps more than the rapidly declining economy or that bad boss (though both have a fair share in soiling career goals), your personal behavior may be to blame. Take a look at this checklist of things that could be holding back your career, and how you can move forward.
1. Zero Confidence
‘His idea is probably better than mine anyway’. ‘Oh well. That promotion was unattainable in the first place’. ‘I don’t have the skills to match this job description’. All of this, and more, is just an escapist way of thinking that indicates only one thing: lack of confidence. You know you have the skills, so why sell yourself short? why let your degrading thoughts bog you down?
And this isn’t just about personal achievement, employers also see those who have their own voice and stand firmly by their decisions as valuable assets, which of course leads to workplace success. You don’t have to be a daredevil, you just need to make yourself heard when it matters.
2. Being Too Vocal
On the contrary, loud people-people who are too vocal about their opinions to the point of smothering the opinions of others are perceived by their coworkers and supervisors as confrontational and argumentative. This only leads to avoidance by your peers, and a less than favorable impression on your boss, which may even reflect in your assessments, payroll, and promotions.
So while constructive arguments are healthy for the corporate brain, try being inclusive of your peers. Change your phrases from ‘I’ and ‘you’ to ‘we’, and start listening.
3. Biting Off More Than You Can Chew
An overburdened schedule causes just as much damage as any growth-negative behavior. In fact, it is often a reflection of ‘perfectionist’ tendencies, where one overestimates their abilities and fails to delegate tasks when needed for fear of the work not meeting preset personal standards.
So instead of filling your schedule with multiple things and using up your time trying to complete them, take on and much as you can, and delegate some time to work on the things that really matter: Strategizing, Relationship-building and Trend-searching to really excel in your field. Also, don’t be afraid to ask your peers and subordinates for assistance when things get too busy.
4. Keeping to Yourself
We understand that you’re not deliberately antisocial, it’s just that you need to get your work done because the current competitive work environment demands more hours than as early as a decade ago; but sealing yourself off in your cubicle won’t do any good either. Networking is the core of any business, the not-so-secret recipe of every successful professional.
It not only gives you a likeability boost among your peers, but also translates into good accolades and better career options further down the line. So instead of declining that lunch invitation, step out of your cubicle and socialize. You were going to eat anyway, so why not bring some company along?
5. Not Being Open to Change
Change is what has helped us evolve over the millennia, and change is the principle that businesses now survive by. Organizations need to continuously reorient themselves to stay ahead in the corporate marathon. And so do you. You need to be perceptive, flexible and adaptive to the changes around you, from workplace policies to technological advancement. Getting too comfortable in your original skill set also induces a state monotony which is reflected in your work, and may be the prime cause behind your stagnant career.
Be courageous and embrace change. Expand your skill set by learning and don’t be afraid to take on new tasks. This will only increase your value as an employee and set you up for further success.