Career Development

3 deadly career moves

artice image However, if you lie, cheat and manipulate to get ahead, you’re set on a disastrous course (Shutterstock.com)

We spend so much time at work that it fast becomes challenging to remember to leave your professional manners at home. Not minding office etiquette and other small behaviours could jeopardise your ascent up the corporate ladder.

If you’re still not considered for promotions or managerial positions even though you’re the most experienced, hardworking and/or smartest employee in your department, take care that you're not committing one of these three mistakes at work:

Spreading Negativity

In fact, any kind of complaining could be the sole reason why you’re always being overlooked for big projects and new positions. Talking negatively about your company, tasks, or colleagues sends a clear message: You want out. Allowing your emotions (specifically anger) to get the best of you, no matter the reason, will earn you a negative reputation.  Complaining never helps, it’s constructive criticism that’s admired and holds the potential to influence positive change.

Instead of moaning about your work circumstances to anyone and everyone that’ll listen, rather approach your manager after monitoring the root of your unhappiness at work. It is important to go prepared with possible solutions too. Not only will your boss welcome new ideas and better processes but your no-drama honesty will be appreciated and admired.

Asking for applause

This is a tell for people that crave attention, seek affirmation and rely on others' positive reinforcement to raise their self-worth. Usually, boasters are the ones that never get it naturally. For example, someone that receives numerous awards and is familiar with receiving adoration, rarely rubs it in others faces as they do not need affirmation, attention or recognition - they have already realised that there is something bigger than the approval of others. It is those that haven’t received awards that gloat.

You should be able to take it in your stride like it’s business as usual. Because it is business as usual. You’re doing what you’re supposed to - what everyone’s supposed to be doing.

Always remember: Receiving attention naturally is a lot more fulfilling, deserving, and honest than begging, forcing, and prompting for it. Someone that truly believes in their abilities doesn’t require constant external validation.

Only putting yourself first

Putting yourself first is good to ensure that no one takes advantage of you, that your work-life balance is at a healthy level so that you’re not overworked especially if you’re the office doormat.

However, if you lie, cheat and manipulate to make your way to the top, you’re set on a disastrous course. No one wins when they plot against others, not even you. Did you know that allowing your team to win as a whole holds more value (and leadership potential) than performing better than your team mates within a big group project?

A small lie, perhaps told at first to protect yourself, may not seem harmful at first but when you’re caught out, your reputation may never recover.

Basking with joy in others’ misfortune and struggles hurts their feelings, and gossiping makes you look negative and spiteful to everyone that hears your judgement – even your work best friend.

Approaching superiors as an attempt at conflict resolution actually makes your colleague look bad: your boss gets your version first which no doubt makes the other party appear guilty. You might think that you’ll look like the saviour trying to mend all that’s broke in the world by bringing the manager’s attention to it. But all you’ve managed to accomplish is waste your manager’s time with petty things that you should be able to iron out personally. Even if your intentions were pure, it’s best to put on an adult sized pair of shoes and socks, and approach your colleague head on.

Read: You are the annoying colleague

Often, we do not know that we’re self-sabotaging our success. That’s why it’s important to do regular introspection so that we can become better by being made aware of what our vices are. By knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are, (you won’t only nail it as an interview question, but) you’ll become the best version of yourself and you’ll contribute to a healthy office environment and that will get you noticed and climbing the ladder in no time.

Now that you’re ready, you can start preparing for that promotion with the help of Careers24 Advice.

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