10 Ways You May Be Sabotaging Your Career

January 19, 2017  |  
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Sabotaging Your Career


You come to work every day, you do your thing but there seems to be no career movement–or any on the horizon. Well, it may be that some of the things you’re doing are actually sabotaging your career. Some of these things are subtle, others not so much. Here’s a look at 10 ways you may be self-sabotaging in the workplace.

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You Show Up…But Late

Being late to work consistently sends the message you are not taking the job seriously. Okay, once in a while the traffic jam excuse will work, but not every day.

“It’s an unfortunate reality, given you may work through lunch or late into the evening in order to make up the time, but it’s a reality, nonetheless. Aim to be on time whenever humanly possible,” reported The Zoe Report.

“I Work Alone!”

Even if you have your own company, being a success in business depends on how well you work with others. It’s a team effort and you cannot always go it alone. If you do, it sends the message you are not much of a team player or that you are only looking out for your own interests and not those of the company. “It’s totally OK to accept help at work, even though you may think it’s better to work hard and get everything done solo. ‘Success is rarely achieved alone,’ said life coach Victoria Joanna Bailey on Best Health. ‘You sabotage your efforts when you don’t allow yourself the opportunity to succeed by putting in place the support you need.’ So if a coworker offers help, or your boss wants to lend support, by all means take it,” reported Bustle.


You Don’t Get Your Boss

When you work for someone you need to understand the way they work and go with that flow. Get to know your boss’s “language” and crack her code.

“I once had a boss who never said ‘I think’ but always ‘I feel.’ I myself had never used the words ‘I feel’ (except in a strictly emotional context — i.e., regarding my cats), but I started using them — and others like them. When I did, (I feel) my boss became more responsive. Why? Because I was literally speaking her language. (And guess what? Now I say ‘feel’ all the time.),” wrote


Self-Doubt Rules

Even if you are having some doubts about your abilities, remember you were hired because of your abilities. So be confident. “You may not even notice it, but walking around with a general sense of inferiority does you no favors at work…So start looking for ways to feel more confident at work, and remember that you were hired for a reason,” reported Bustle.

Business woman in an office cubicle


You’re Stuck In Cubicle Think

Okay, at work you are supposed to do what you have been told. But to stand out from the cubicles, you have to show initiative and leadership skills. Think past your cubicle to the corner office. “The key to getting ahead in most careers is to ask for the responsibilities you want. If you want to one day have your boss’s job, ask to take over some of his or her duties now. If you’ve found yourself in a company you love but in a position you hate, look for a more desirable position within the organization, and then ask whoever feels most appropriate (your boss, a co-worker at your level in that department, etc.) if you can start to learn some of the skills associated with the other position (in your free time, of course). The truth is, people are lazy, and they won’t look at you outside of the box you’re in now unless you ask them to,” reported The Zoe Report.


Are You An Office Diva?

There is one in every office. And usually those diva employees get stuck in their current positions because no one really wants to deal with them on a higher level. So it’s best to stop the theatrics in the office if you want to move ahead. “Everyone is entitled to their emotions. And yes, some days at work simply suck. But that doesn’t mean you have 100 percent clearance to be whiney and upset all day, every day. This can kind of give off the appearance that you can’t handle yourself, according to Jacqueline Smith on BusinessInsider.com. That can leave people wondeing what else you can’t handle. Not good,” reported Bustle.


No Woman Left Behind

As you strive to make it to the top of the corporate ladder, have you taken time to thank those who have helped you? Not just your mentors and boss, but your fellow workers? “Over and over, I’ve seen colleagues sabotage themselves by thinking that people in positions of obvious power are the only ones who matter. Whenever I’ve interviewed for a job, I have always sent at least two thank-you notes: one to the person or people who interviewed me, another to the assistant,” wrote


You Try To Be Superwoman

Yes, at work we want to prove we can not only do the work but do more than asked. Still, being an overachiever all the time can backfire. “A recent study showed that employers prefer working with those who seem talented, rather than those who seem to work hard. This may seem unfair, but it’s a phenomenon with which to contend, nonetheless. Though we do advocate for alerting others to your achievements, it’s important that those efforts look, well, fairly effortless…It’s not wise to work long hours just to look as though you’re doing more than everyone else—your boss is likely to instead wonder why it’s taking you so long to complete your tasks, and possibly even assume you’re not 100 percent competent,” reported The Zoe Report.


You’re Unseen & Unheard

If you want to be considered a star employee you have to offer your opinions about projects. “It can be nerve-racking to pipe up in meetings, especially if you’re dealing with that inferiority complex. And yet this can cause you to blend into the wallpaper, or worse — be seen as a doormat..It may take some getting used to, but practice speaking up in meetings, and be honest about your thoughts. I promise it’ll come off as mighty impressive,” reported Bustle.

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You’re Afraid To Be Vulnerable

Having your guard up all the time makes people leery of approaching you. You have to let others you work with in, even if it makes you vulnerable.

“I once worked with someone who took every opportunity to undermine me. Sure, some people think that in a situation like this the only way to get ahead is to fight for so-called supremacy — but I took the counterintuitive tack: I started asking his advice on things and even asking him to critique my work. This was far better than a battle,” wrote “On the surface, I looked weak, but my play paved the way for a great relationship between the two of us — and also made me look like management material: I was the one person who could work with the impossible employee.”

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