Everyone wants to get ahead in their career. I'm talking about promotions, raises, and paid vacations. Oh, and the general sense that you love your job, and are good at it. (Always a good thing.) And yet, it's possible to find yourself feeling stuck, and without any of these amazing perks. When that's the case, the problem could be that you're accidentally sabotaging yourself at work.
Because, if you've been in your career for a minute, it's totally reasonable to expect some of these benefits to come your way. You may see your coworkers being whisked away for secret meetings, and coming back with new job titles. You may find yourself sitting at work every day, and feeling super busy, but not actually getting much done. Or maybe you're constantly trying to prove yourself by working extra hard, and yet no one seems to notice. It can be frustrating, to say the least.
If any of the above is happening, it may be time to rethink how you're handling yourself at work. These are all signs that something needs to change, or that you're not actually doing as well as you think. So check out some of the below tips for ways you may be sabotaging your career. Fix them up, and you may find yourself getting more done, gaining more respect, and maybe even getting in on that paid vacation action.
1. You Aren't Being Mindful
It can be tempting to plow through the day, responding to emails when they pop up, and leaping from one task to the next. But this can lead to some pretty fast burnout, and the intense desire to run screaming from your office. Thankfully, mindfulness can help. As Kara Baskin said on HuffingtonPost.com, "... the practice of mindfulness has been scientifically proven to reduce burnout and boost wellbeing. Mindfulness helps us to focus more sharply and perform better, and studies show it can boost creativity, reduces stress, and even promote better decision-making." Sounds pretty good to me.
2. You Don't Market Yourself
Since bragging isn't the most cherished of qualities, it may feel like flying under the radar at work is the right thing to do. And yet promoting yourself is absolutely necessary — especially if you want to move up in your company. "Few people want to be seen as boastful or a shameless self-promoter," said Dominique Rodgers on Monster.com. "Instead of trying to find the right amount of personal branding and promotion, some people just give up entirely and never market themselves." Even thought it's scary, it's way better to put yourself out there, whether it be with Instagram, Twitter, or going after that next job promotion.
3. You Work Way Too Hard
There's something to be said for looking busy. And yet, giving off a total overworked vibe may do more harm than good. "Recent research ... found that people who displayed inherent talent were preferred over those who obviously put their nose to the grindstone," said Molly Triffin on FastCompany.com. So save the theatrics and harried walk through the office, and instead remain calm. It may end up being more impressive.
4. You Show Up Late
You can be great in every other way. But trust me when I say that, if you're always running late, your boss will remember forever. And it almost always ends up being a problem. "Being chronically late ... sends the message that whatever you’re doing is simply more important than the task at hand — and that your time is more valuable than everyone else’s," said Ruth Zive on TheMuse.com. It also messes up your productivity for the day, since you'll likely need an hour to collect yourself once you arrive. In short, lateness isn't good for anyone.
5. You Try To Go It Alone
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.
6. You Act Kind Of Dramatic
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 wonder what else you can't handle. Not good.
7. You Get Down After A Failure
Like I said, work isn't always going to be great. You're going to mess things up, sometimes badly, and have to suffer the consequences. So knowing how to recover from the horribleness is key — and that doesn't mean sulking at your desk, or considering handing in a letter of resignation. "The next time you experience a setback or failure, don’t allow your concept of failing to sabotage your efforts," said Bailey. "Shift your perspective and decide to see the lessons in your experience." Then get back to it.
8. You Secretly Feel Inferior
You may not even notice it, but walking around with a general sense of inferiority does you no favors at work. That's because viewing yourself as less than, according to Smith, is a great way to stagnate yourself, and feel unhappy in your career. So start looking for ways to feel more confident at work, and remember that you were hired for a reason.
9. You Never Speak Up
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. "Every time you decide to keep your innovative ideas to yourself, avoid asking clarifying questions, or accept poor company policy, you send the message that you're a doormat or largely disengaged," noted Smith. 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.
10. You Forget To Take Breaks
Again, being the person who never leaves her desk is a little bit impressive. But working nonstop is actually detrimental to your productivity. "It’s been said time and time again that the secret to getting more work done in less time is to work in bursts, with breaks in between," said Erin Greenawald on TheMuse.com. "You’ll feel more energized during your work sessions and ultimately be way more efficient." So, by all means, walk around, hover near the water cooler, and circle around the office. It'll do you some good.
11. You Try To Do Too Much
How often have you gone into work promising to do everything on your to-do list? And how often do you actually get everything done. Never? I thought so. That's because it's simply asking too much of yourself to do it all. "Most to-do lists are way too long, which leads to overwork and stress when it doesn’t all get done," Greenawald said. Instead, try focusing on one big task, three medium tasks, and maybe five little things. You'll be more likely to get stuff done.
While all of these things sound like admirable traits, they're actually doing you a huge disservice. So keep them in mind, and stop sabotaging yourself at work.
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