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5 Things That Will Derail Your Career

It's time to rethink your priorities.

BY Agnes Amondi

Feb 08, 2023, 11:43 AM

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More often than not, when discussions about careers happen, we get to hear about what we should do to climb the ladder. How to ace an interview or how to impress on your first day. As good as the advice is, the one side we don’t hear much about is career killers.

Basically, career killers are those things that you do that diminish your chances of making a step up or even getting into your desired job. Some people do this consciously and others unconsciously. 

Whether you are trying to get your foot in the door or are already practising, it is important to know some of the things that can hold you back so as to prevent or plan on how you can get rid of the habits. Let’s go through some of them.

Bad Communication.

What I mean here is not being open and sharing information when needed. Communication is an integral aspect of our lives - at work or outside - and thus for people to know what is going on, you need to speak up. 

Failure to communicate, whether you are the leader or not creates suspicion. Additionally, it crushes people’s interest in the work they are supposed to do and creates an air of mystery and thus mistrust in the operations of the organisation.   

Bad Interpersonal Relationships.

If you are someone who burns bridges unnecessarily, you might want to think twice about it. The kind of relationships you have with people dictate whether you are able to get along enough to work with them. I know they say that your colleagues are not your friends but you need a certain level of camaraderie to work. 

Avoiding Office Politics.

There’s so much talk about avoiding workplace politics and understandably so. No one wants to find themselves in a situation where they have to pick sides or gossip about a higher-up or another employee. 

That said, whilst you want to only do your work and go home, you also want to know the goings on of office affairs. And no it’s not about who is sleeping with whom. It is simply about being in the know about the progress of the organisation, what your team is up to, and the people who affect decisions in the company among other things.

You don’t have to indulge in office gossip to do this. Talk to the right people. If there is a rumour going around, approach the relevant authority and find out the truth. Be proactive in relevant conversations. Show your interest and in one way or another, you will be in a position to know what’s going on.

Talking Unnecessarily.

If you tend to hog all the spotlight saying anything and everything, you will have to tame yourself when you get to the workplace. As they say in journalism, always act as though you have a microphone on because you never know who is listening. When you don’t have anything substantial to say, it’s better to maintain your silence. 

Lack of Emotional Control.

Are you the person who bursts out every time, even on the small things that don’t matter? You might want to have this under control as you are likely to spark fights or arguments with fellow employees because of trivial matters. 

Anger management is important, not just for your job but in life overall. These are just some of the things that may prevent you from rising to the top or even keeping a job. It’s time you learnt how to work around this.