There are many steps you can take to improve career prospects. You could quit your job for a better-paying one. Or, you could switch to a work-from-home job, put in more hours or pursue additional training.
But making certain missteps at work can sabotage your own best efforts to advance. And you might not even realize you are doing 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 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 co-workers 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 the company and co-workers.
4. Ignoring feedback
Managers generally try to establish good communications with the people they supervise. They want to make certain their instructions are understood and carried out.
So, ignoring — or even simply forgetting to heed — your supervisor’s requests to change the way you work 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 co-worker, but also on social media.
All companies have problems. If you look for reasons to dislike your job, you will always find something to grumble about. People who focus on negative things lower morale and distract their co-workers from their duties. Causing such problems, even unintentionally, can sideline your career.
6. Gossiping about co-workers
Similar to complaining about work, gossiping about co-workers 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 co-workers.
7. Lacking professionalism
Outstanding employees take pride in their work and adhere to high professional standards.
Do the opposite, and you can 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.