Wednesday, September 14, 2011

8 Career Killers

It doesn’t matter which career you’ve chosen to pursue, any of the following blunders have the potential to off-road your future aspirations. Today I’ve listed eight ways you may or may not be unknowingly damaging your career.

Cultivating Impatience
Need what you need and need it now. You have a habit of reminding everyone in your line of work that you’re like a little girl in line at a carousel, demanding cotton candy, insisting the line to let you through ASAP. Wonder just how far you’ll get acting like that.

You’re hurt. You’re insecure. You are certain your way is better…that you are better. Enter—the mouth. You spew. You slander and you slash about so and so to whoever happens to cross your path. Lucky them.

Letting Negativity Fester and Spread
Your dog threw up all over the carpet. Your son couldn’t find his shoe, which is sure to make you late for preschool drop-off. Your husband snapped at you about the laundry (your favorite chore) and you made the nasty mistake of stepping on the scale one day shy of your period’s arrival. It hasn’t been your day. So you pass a little of the Grinch fairy dust around. You sprinkle some on the bus driver as you snarl at him. You shove it off onto little toddler guy fishing his shoe out of the toilet. Then you bring it to work.

You ignorantly step on others on your way up.

Becoming Lazy
Ho hum. Yawn. Too lazy to describe this one.

Ignoring Priorities & Discernment
Deadline encroaching. Gut swishing. But it’s sunny out. But that TV show is soooo good. But. But. Anything but butt in chair (well known phrase in the writing world).

Blowing off the Importance of Communication
You’re confused. You’re stewing. You lack clarity. You’re angry. But they wouldn’t understand. No time to put those complicated feelings and concerns into words. Besides who wants to hear that anyway? You pretend your way through the maze and end up staring at a dead end. No way out.

Being Quick to Argue & Insisting on Being Right
You sing a little Sinatra on your way to work, “I did it my way.” You smile and laugh. Yep, that’s right. No one telling you how to handle business, you think, while blaring your horn at the blue-haired wrinkly grandma driving mph under the speed limit.

Your team offers logical suggestions you quickly dismiss with the wave of your hand. You’ve got it down, under control—nailed. It’s yours, all yours. Hey look, caught there in that fat wrinkle between your eyebrows…your inner control freak is showing.

Squelching Creative Thinking
You play it safe. Wouldn’t want to be different. Wouldn’t want to be seen as ruffling feathers, causing trouble like some business yard critter tearing up the status quo lawn. You do your work and stuff down those exploding ideas, the ideas you nurse when you’re alone, the ones you dream about, certain of their potential for success. But there are toes to step on and people who might declare you—eek—different! So you shut down and shut up.
We’re all a mess. But I also believe all of us have great potential to grow and learn from our own messes. If you recognize yourself in any of the above examples there’s hope for change. I’ve been guilty of some of the above. However, I didn’t stay stuck in any one of the above. I moved away from those career killers. Moving—it’s what I do.

Ever been there, done that only to recognize there and leave that?

*photo by flickr


  1. Yep, I've been there done that. You're right. It's a career killer and it never ends up making me feel good about myself.

    Some days, I want to watch TV, or do things my way. Great tips!

    My husband does his own laundry, so we never fuss about it! ;)

  2. You make excellent points that apply to anyone in any career. These are so true. Badmouthing and negativity are definitely career-killers (and relationship killers) in any and all cases.

  3. Great list Wendy! Funny, I think I lived your negativity scenario the other day - couldn't find kids' shoes, late for drop off, feeling fat and ugly...bad attitude oozed. Also funny is that the moment there's the slightest let up of time pressure, none of that seems at all important.

  4. Wow. I never thought of myself as a little girl pushing her way forward for cotton candy, but that's the truth. Impatience=pride, ie: my time is more important than yours.

    Help me, Jesus.

  5. I try not to get stuck there, but I've def. been in those places. Yikes!
    Girl, I didn't realize you had so much snark. *grin*

  6. Snark snuck out. ;) Jesus knows I need help on a second to second basis.

    He's good at helping when we ask for it.

  7. Great article- boy do I know some people who need it- but not ME- never- My way IS the right way ! ;) Great post! TY

  8. I'm a good example of imperfection and have to work on all of these at times. A couple of weeks ago I felt grumpy and vented to a dear writer friend when I should have kept my yap shut. I've apologized, and she's extended grace, but I sure wish that hadn't happened.

  9. So true! I'm trying to get out of my negativity this week. This helped!

  10. Definitely been there and done that. It's amazing how easy these mistakes can creep into your life.

  11. So true, all of these. And a good reminder to all of us to not let negativity or impatience affect our head space in such a way.

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  12. "When we know better, we do better." (Let's see. Who says that?) I love that line. It keeps us from being too down on ourselves for messing up.

    Thanks for helping us know better, Wendy.

  13. amen, sister. these are spot on.

    that lazy one made me giggle. too lazy to describe it....

  14. Love the practical scenarios to define these types of people. I think I've been all of them at one time or other. If I haven't, I've played them in a skit!

  15. Yup, I've made a number of these mistakes in the workplace -- kind of a miracle I'm still around (although in my defense, I haven't made the mistakes all in one place!). I think the one I make most often is being stubborn and insisting I am right. And that can get pretty wearisome -- both for me and for the poor people on the receiving end!

  16. Good stuff here, Wendy! Or should I say, things to avoid! A couple of these are ringing loud and clear. Time to do some moving!! God bless!

  17. Very practical and true. Have seen some of these behaviors ruin career opportunities. Good post.


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