We often do things in our professional life that seem harmless at the time but have huge consequences in the long run. Some of these mistakes are so big that we end up damaging our career permanently, with no way of putting things back on the right track. With the ongoing recession, the fear of becoming a victim of downsizing is getting greater and greater. No one feels completely safe with the sword of downsizing hanging over their heads and the competition has grown fierce. Under these circumstances, you can hardly afford to make a mistake at the workplace that could cost you your career. While it is true that we all make mistakes, the point is to minimize the number of mistakes in your professional life so that it does not affect your career permanently. Here are a few of the common mistakes that might end up damaging your career permanently. If you are making any of the mistakes mentioned below, rectify them immediately to save your job and professional career.
Poor interpersonal skills
Your relationship with your coworkers, bosses, and clients is of paramount importance in shaping out your career. No one wants to work with a difficult employee and people start avoiding coworkers who have an unpleasant attitude. Being difficult at work is the worst mistake you can make. If you are unpleasant at work people will talk about your attitude and the bosses will also notice your attitude. Under the circumstances, if any of your colleagues or clients file a complaint regarding your behavior, you will be at high risk of being let go sooner than later.
Ineffective time management
Time management is the key to success in any work environment and if you are good at it you are bound to be a precious employee. However, being bad at time management could cost you your career. Not being able to meet the deadlines due to ineffective time management can be disastrous. If your boss asks for an update on your work or he asks you to bring in the project you are working on and it is incomplete, it leaves a bad mark on your credibility and shows that you lack the ability to finish the appointed work in the given time.
Unable to handle the pressure
Employers value those workers above all who are able to work well under pressure. As an asset to the company, you must be able to complete your work within time, meet all deadlines and stay calm while doing all this. If you panic while doing a project or start delegating too much work on others so that you don’t have to take much burden, your boss will notice sooner or later.
Considering yourself irreplaceable
When you start considering yourself indispensable, you are bound to make mistakes that will get you into trouble. While it is true that a hardworking and dedicated employee is valuable for the company, it does not mean that he is free from all vices. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone has flaws and weaknesses. When you become overconfident and start thinking that your company cannot function well without you, that’s when your downfall starts.
Lack of team spirit
Team spirit is one of the most important assets of an employee. In today’s corporate environment there is no room for going solo. You have to work in a team for the benefit of the company. An employee who lacks team spirit and retards the growth of other team members is seen as a liability to the company.
When the boss comes to you with an assignment at the end of the day and you make excuses just to get out of it, you are making yourself highly susceptible to being laid off. Rest assured that your superiors are not fools and are able to distinguish between a real problem and a lame excuse. So keep your excuses to a minimum and do not try to use them as a tool to get out of assignments.
The worst thing you can do is to blame your failure on others and fail to take responsibility. If you make a mistake you should be able to accept that it was your fault and assure the bosses that something like this will never happen again. Picking up a fight with the coworkers or worse, the clients, can end up getting you into a lot of trouble.
Failing to deliver
When you fail to deliver the tasks that have been appointed to you, you are immediately tagged as incompetent. No one wants to keep an incompetent employee on the staff. You need to streamline your work so that you are able to meet all the deadlines and perform exceptionally well. Being unorganized hinders your delivering capabilities and puts you in danger of being let go.
Possessing obsolete skills
Not updating your skill set is the most common mistake that the employees are making nowadays. Everyday new technology and software are being introduced and every new batch of fresh employees is more adept to them than the ones before them. Under these circumstances, if you are not updating your education and skills at regular intervals, you are leaving the spot open for those who are more in sync with the latest skills. You have to keep in mind that even after you finish college, you have to keep educating yourself, or else you will be left far behind others.
Not keeping track of accomplishments
The worst and the most serious of mistakes that you can make is not keeping track of your accomplishments, especially in today’s job environment. No matter how good your performance is and whatever you have achieved, it is going to be worth nothing if you cannot even remember what you have achieved. When a company decides to lay off some of the employees, they interview the employees and ask them what their achievements have been. If you are unable to provide a solid list of achievements, you might as well be typing your own letter of dismissal.
Disrupting office discipline
While you may consider it trivial, office discipline is not something that can be taken lightly. Arriving late and leaving early on a habitual basis is one of the million things that disrupt office behavior. Leaving your seat to chat with your colleagues several times a day makes you appear non-serious about your work and disturbs other people who are trying to concentrate. You need to show the managers that you are serious about your job and are productive for the company.
There is no guarantee that you will be able to avoid getting fired by following these suggestions, but there is a good chance that you might. In the long run, following these golden rules will ensure that you are promoting and building your career rather than ruining your professional life by being careless.