by my dear friend Debra Benton
It’s true that we learn from our mistakes, but the wise young businessperson corrects his/her mistakes before they are made. What mistakes should you be weary of? I surveyed 100 CEOs to reveal the “seven career sins” that sabotage success.
1. Focusing on tasks not people. If you invest time and energy in building professional friendships, in addition to the job itself, you will improve performance at work. You have to develop basic face-to-face social skills as opposed to just social skills alone.
2. Staying in one job (and/or organization) for too long. Don’t allow yourself to get comfortable with the routine; the job becomes easy, the pay is good, your spouse likes it, or any other rationalization. You will likely stay too long and all of a sudden instead of two years going by, 22 years have. Life is about change; take it upon yourself to avoid getting sucked into comfort. Or worse, others will view you as settling and you will lose promotion potential. Too much loyalty to the company means too little loyalty to yourself.
3. Dismissing the fact that image matters. People expect substance but they hire and fire on fit. You have to fit in and look like a leader in how you walk, talk, dress, act and think to become one. If you expect your work will speak for itself then you might find that it has to speak a lot louder.
4.Waiting for opportunities to be presented to you. If you wait until someone taps you on the shoulder and bequeaths you a promotion – you may wait a long time. You must initiate learning and development so you deserve a promotion, explore potential opportunities to see where you would fit in and clearly communicate your desire to climb to the right people. Have the courage and confidence to move on if you discover your situation will not allow the upward movement you desire. Frequently, the “ceiling” you hit, is your own.
5. Concentrating on making you look better rather than others. This is probably the biggest career killer at all levels of management. A leader thinks we not me; thinks how will this affect my team, not how will it affect me?
6. Being a usurper. If you are rude to the boss or colleagues, unruly buck the system, demean others’ value or usurp accountability, you will not be viewed as fitting in. It is great to stand out but also you need to have the executive maturity to know when and how to fit in.
7. Denying the need to network. Everyone who goes anywhere has contacts. You never do it on your own. If you miss out you on an opportunity, you complain someone else had more contacts. If you get the job it’s because you are the one with the better contact, network or relationships. If you find my site valuable please pass it along to your friends and family. I really appreciate you helping me in my personal mission to empower as many people as I can.