There are many steps you can take to improve your career prospects — from quitting your job for a better-paying one or switching to a work-from-home job to the traditional standbys of putting in more hours or pursuing additional training.
But if you’re making certain missteps at work, you could be sabotaging your own best efforts to advance in your career, perhaps without even realizing it. Sometimes it’s the little things you do or fail to do that hurt you most.
What follows are several workplace missteps that are also surefire ways to ruin your odds of winning a promotion.
1. Letting your skills stagnate
Today’s evolving workplace requires workers to adapt to change. In many professions, nothing stays the same for very long. New technology forces employees to learn new skills.
Failing to seek out training and other opportunities to improve yourself can be akin to making sure that a promotion never comes your way.
2. Keeping to yourself
One thing that wins people promotions is their willingness to be team players. Good teams work efficiently while poorly organized individuals often work at cross purposes.
By failing to be an active part of a team, you’ll also learn nothing from your coworkers and share none of your knowledge with others. This should kill any opportunities you have for getting a raise or being assigned to a more desirable job.
3. Doing the minimum
If you do only what is required of you at work, you will likely stay off the fast track. So, be wary of always turning down extra work and declining to come in early or stay late. If you make a habit of that, you risk giving the impression that you always place your needs ahead of those of your company and coworkers.
4. Ignoring feedback
Managers generally try to establish good communications with the people they supervise. They want to make certain that their instructions are understood and carried out.
So, ignoring — or even simply forgetting to heed — your supervisor’s requests to change the way you do your job can hurt your odds of promotion. In fact, if you make a habit of failing to heed feedback, you may get demoted or even fired.
5. Complaining about your job
Chronically complaining shows your supervisors how unhappy you are at work. And this can include not just the complaining you do directly to a coworker but also on social media.
All companies have problems. If you look for reasons to dislike your job, you always will find something to grumble about. And people who focus on the negative lower morale and distract their coworkers from their duties. Causing such problems, even unintentionally, can sideline your career.
6. Gossiping about coworkers
Similar to complaining about work, gossiping about coworkers can sabotage your odds of promotion. Even when it seems harmless, the effects of pointing out other people’s shortcomings at work can range from establishing a reputation for yourself as unprofessional to making enemies among coworkers.
7. Lacking professionalism
Outstanding employees take pride in their work and adhere to high professional standards.
Do the opposite, and you could hurt your chances of promotion. That includes, for example, handing in work that’s incomplete or contains numerous errors, as well as showing up late for important meetings.
Do you have ideas or observations about winning promotions? Share your experiences or thoughts with us by commenting below or on our Facebook page.