10 Mistakes That Could Kill Your Career

mistakes you make at work or in the office that can kill your career

It takes anywhere from three to 15 months to find the right job, yet just a few days or weeks to lose it. We bring you the 10 traits that can poison your career.


Janine Lloyd, a business coach at my-coach-online.com – a life coaching web portal – identifies 10 career-sinking mistakes you may be making at the office.


It’s never a good idea to pass the buck or to blame someone else for a mistake or bad judgment call. Employers value people who take ownership and show they are willing to take responsibility and learn from mistakes. While you may not be wholly responsible for a mistake or project failure, own up to where you think you may have gone wrong, or where the team can improve. Often, the person who made the mistake will follow your approach. On the flip side, don’t protect someone who constantly makes mistakes – encourage them to take ownership and allow them to learn from their mistakes.


No one likes a gossip. While others may be interested in your juicy gossip, they will always be thinking: “I wonder what she says behind my back?” They will never truly trust you. No matter how much you think others won’t repeat what you say, if you gossip about your manager or the directors, they will get to hear about it. Never spread gossip. You never know what the truth is, so it’s best to just zip it.


Most managers trust the suck up the least. They never know their true intentions. Are they doing something out of love for their job or to get ahead? Are they just being nice or are they secretly plotting something? Your best approach is to focus on doing your best and letting your work speak for itself. Be open and honest, but don’t brag about what you have done.


While everyone knows that you can become close to your co-workers and boss, it is best to keep your personal life personal. Bosses don’t want to hear about how drunk you got, or how you got dumped or why your life is such a mess. If you need help speak to a non-work friend or a counselor and if it is seriously affecting your work, take sick leave to get through it. If you fall apart in the workplace, your manager will believe that you can’t handle pressure, which may affect your chances of promotion.


There is no privacy on social media. So, don’t criticise your company, boss or co-workers on social media platforms. Be mindful that your co-workers, clients and boss will most likely see what you post on social media and be careful about the photos you share. When bosses employ people, they always check out their social media sites to see what kind of person they are. Employers are more likely not to hire the person who drunkenly dances on the tables in every photo, moans about their life nonstop or openly criticises others.


While this approach has some merit in extreme cases, if you have an issue, discuss it directly with your manager. Even the difficult conversation about something you are upset about is worth airing, your manager will respect you for bringing it to the table. If you don’t, you will lose the trust and respect of your manager – the one person who can either help or ruin your career.


Negativity is contagious and can affect others in the workplace. Be aware of when you are being too negative and ask yourself why this is taking place. Work on pulling yourself out of a cycle of negativity because if you don’t, it can hurt your chances of a promotion. Employers are looking for employees who are positive, enthusiastic and who have a good attitude. When you moan all the time, they believe your negativity could affect others and they are less likely to promote you.


A smart boss will know the ins and outs of who is doing what in the office, so when you take credit for others’ work without acknowledging the person/s who actually did the work, you are undermining your own credibility. You will also not earn the respect of your co-workers who are important, especially if your company does peer review performance evaluations.


Do not ever publicly or privately put someone else down, whether you feel they deserve it or not. Employers are looking for individuals who can resolve issues maturely. If you demean people, it means you cannot be trusted or respected, which are two very important qualities in are valued in employees.


Always put your company first. If you hear a negative rumour about your firm or manager, take it to your boss. If another company tries to poach you, be honest with your manager about the approach and seek their advice. If you have an employee who is bad mouthing the company and it is affecting the business’ reputation, speak to them about it or bring it to your manager’s attention. Remember, never to close a door behind you when you leave, you want to do so on good terms to keep your reputation in tact.