When it comes to finding ways to sabotage your career efforts think of how a poor Thanksgiving turkey wound up a sacrifice for the joys of your holiday meal. It’s not so much that you have to be plucked, sucked and tucked to fit into your turkey suit, but what have you done to help escape your fate? Here are five sure fire ways to slaughter your career in any season:
- Telling Your Boss How Miserable You Are: We all love to vent and we all hope and pray there is someone out there who cares enough to listen. Your boss however may not be one of them. Even though you have a great working relationship don’t think your boss can assume the role of your mother, shrink or priest. This is a professional relationship first and foremost and thinking your boss can analyze, interpret and coach you in your career when you are miserable or disappointed is a big mistake. Your boss is not responsible for your happiness only you are. If you are miserable then find a neutral party preferably OUTSIDE of your company that might offer their ear and helpful advice. Your boss is not your confidante and thinking otherwise is certain to put a nail in your coffin even if you are not dead in the water.
- Speaking Ill of Your Company Even if you are on an interview, a breakfast meeting or in any situation where your words can take on a life of their own, you need to stop and think about what is about to come out of your mouth. Even if you have issues with your boss, your company or you just hate your parking spot, keep it to yourself. Don’t think everyone finds your bitch sessions amusing or even informative. It’s a small world and no matter how innocent you believe your comments, remember you are not going to like it if your words come back at you while you are in a meeting or even up for a performance review. Discretion is a good thing under any circumstances so remember breath and think of something nice to say or say nothing at all.
- Embellishing Your Salary Requirements Talking about your salary to a co-worker or a perspective employer in terms that would make Donald Trump blush is not going to make you seem any more or less important than you already are. Compensation does not define you but the way you position yourself and stretch the truth might. Be careful on how you present your compensation whether you are in a salary negotiation, completing a background check or reference request. Making you seem bigger than life by boasting and grossly misrepresenting your compensation will surely kill any chances you have at furthering your career goals whether you are looking for a job or not.
- Listing References Who Don’t Support You Make sure you know who your friends are. Listing people as references you think liked you or who would support you may not necessarily be the case. Make sure you engage the assistance of people who truly supported you and would like you to succeed. Ask their permission BEFORE listing them as a reference because what you think someone may say about you and what they actually do say about you may be the difference between life and death in getting your next job offer.
- Your glass is always half-empty You may truly believe everyone has it better than you and the truth is some people might but always telling people how bad it is or how difficult it is for you is not going to help you. No one likes to help someone who is unwilling to help themselves so stop crying, pull up your grown-up pants and stop thinking the world is against you. If you want others help, start by offering some support to them instead. See how far you get when you actually help yourself first and see how others might be in a different position to help you. Thinking of the lack in anything only produces more of it. Be grateful for what you have and start acting like it and see how many more doors you can open with a smile rather than a frown.
So when you are asked to give thanks for what you have been given in your life think about that poor turkey who probably got in his own way, otherwise he’d be clucking up a storm some where other than your dining room table.
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