career killersThere is a big difference between your job and your career. Succeeding at your job can be as simple as showing up on time, doing what’s asked of you, and being friendly to your co-workers. But when it comes to your career, it takes much more. Below are 11 career killers to watch out for.

1. Insecurity
Don’t be afraid to speak up. Human tendency is to think that other people know better. But you, just like every other employee at your company, have a unique view of what is going on. Don’t be afraid to share your observations and offer solutions when possible.

2. Lack of Curiosity
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but lack of it can kill a career. Einstein once said, “I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious.”  Curiosity about new things and a desire to learn how they work is a key component to any successful career. This is true no matter what your profession. A curious employee is one that will solve problems and is an asset to any company. The Internet is a powerful tool that can help satisfy your curiosity on virtually anything.

3. Complacency
No one has ever advanced their career by sitting idly. There is a fine line between appreciating what you have and striving for more. Those that can successfully balance the two often find themselves not only with successful careers, but successful lives.When their is an opportunity to work on a special project or to attend training, do it! Being proactive can turn a job into a growing career.

4. Sense of Entitlement
John F. Kennedy famously stated, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”  The same can be said for your career. If your attitude is “my company owes me”, you need to shift your thinking. Successful people think about what they can do for their company not what their company can do for them.

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5. Fear of Failure
Abraham Lincoln lost six separate elections before becoming president. Henry Ford’s first company went bankrupt. Walt Disney didn’t get a job as a newspaper cartoonist because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Learning to fail is often cited as the most important aspect of success. Don’t be afraid to try something new and when you receive feedback on how to do it better next time, pay attention and don’t be defensive.

6. Letting Your Job Title Define You
Sure, you have a job title and certain responsibilities tied to that title. But you are an employee of the company. Don’t get stuck in the mindset that you can’t contribute outside of your assigned job duties. Be the person that knows everyone at the company and what they do. The more you know the better you will do your job. And you’ll find ways to help others as well; when they know you understand their work, they’ll ask for your help. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your department is all you should care about.

7. Office Politics
Gossip and office politics can be a career killer. Successful people operate above politics and focus on solving problems, getting results, and making sure the job gets done. Being seen as a gossip is a quick way to ensure you won’t be moving up the career ladder.

8. Not Playing Well With Others
Working in a team is vital for almost any career. Freely exchanging ideas, respecting others opinions, and working with others to come up with solutions is a necessity in today’s working environment. It also goes a long way towards creating value for your company and advancing your career. Remember your manners; being polite and respectful when presenting your ideas or questioning others is a critical skill. Don’t be the person no one wants on their team.

9. Lack of Focus on Results
The most important thing in any job is results. Whether its customer service, product design, accounting, or sales, every job function has a desired result. A laser focus on this without getting caught up in busy work is a key to career success. Always make sure you know what the priorities are and spend most of your time and effort in those areas. The filing can wait if there’s a client call to return!

10. Poor Attitude
Thomas Jefferson claimed that “Nothing can stop a man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal.” The opposite of that is also true. Nothing has killed more dreams and goals then a poor attitude. Always focus on what is possible, how to overcome a problem, or finding an elusive answer. Individuals with a negative, defeatist attitude will find their career at a dead end, quickly passed by those with a positive attitude.

11. Not Listening
Truly listening is one of the most difficult things to do in life, especially at work when everyone is trying to get their points made, ideas heard, and accomplishments recognized. But remember, you learn nothing while you are speaking and a good listener gains the respect of their co-workers and managers alike. Being a good listener will make you smarter about your job and help you get noticed in the right way, which is great for advancing your career.


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