Career & Education/Climbing The Ladder

6 Work-Related Habits You May Not Realize Are Holding You Back In Your Career

By | Wednesday, December 06, 2017

1. Doing only what you’re asked.

If you want to be more and do more in your career (whether it be within the company you’re already working for, or outside of it), you need to start testing the waters of the role you want before it becomes yours. When you’re doing only what you’re asked to do by your boss or supervisor on a daily basis, you are essentially sitting around expecting a promotion to a new role to be given to you — and that almost never happens. You have to take it. The mark of a good employee is doing what you are asked when you are asked it, and doing it well — but the mark of an excellent employee is seeing the bigger picture of what you’re working on constantly, to the point of being able to anticipate what needs to be done next and doing it before you’re asked, or before it becomes a problem that even needs to be solved.  

Read more here.

2. Not consistently demonstrating value.

It is unfortunate, but we don’t exactly have a job market today that values loyalty to a company. The fact that you’ve been around for a while no longer is a reason to keep you if you’re not performing the way you need to be. You need to remember, as yucky as it feels, that you are very likely replaceable. So many people are desperate for jobs and are just as qualified as you. It would be easy for your job to be filled by someone who can complete the day-to-day functions of the job the same way you can, and perhaps even better than you can.

So every day, you need to be demonstrating your value. You need to show that you’re not only never slacking or letting up on your necessary responsibilities, but also going above and beyond to make sure you (and your boss!) look good. Your tenure won’t affect the likelihood that you’re kept on board in the company as much as constant actionable proof that you are an indispensable asset.

Read more here and here.

3. Asking for more money, but not more responsibility.

One thing that a lot of people get wrong is assuming that a “raise” is the only way to earn more money. But often, going to your boss and saying “I’ve decided that it is time I earn more money for the exact work I’m currently doing for less and have been doing for awhile,” is less likely to get you your desired outcome than shooting for a deal that involves more money for you with added responsibilities. If asking for higher pay isn’t going to work, saying, “I’ve started branching out and doing x-task daily to improve y-function in the office, and I was wondering if we could make it an official part of my job description and adjust my pay accordingly.”

Read more here.

4. Remaining too loyal (or not loyal enough).

Companies are more likely to invest in employees they already know and trust — but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be paying attention to what is happening around you and keeping an eye out for other opportunities. In a lot of cases, your best chance at getting a significant promotion or raise is by switching companies and taking an entirely different position elsewhere.

So, you need to strike a balance; don’t treat your job like it is replaceable, and definitely do your best work and treat everyone with the respect you would if you knew you were going to work with them forever. But know that at the end of the day, you have to do what is best for you and your career, and that might not always mean remaining loyal to the place you know (and possibly even love).

Read more here.

5. Being a disaster in your personal life.

While there are a lot of rules and regulations protecting you from technically being fired for a lot of things in your personal life, generally being messy outside of the office won’t reflect well on you during the hours of your 9-to-5, and may influence your superiors to take you less seriously, or not consider you for opportunities you’d like to be considered for.

Routinely showing up hungover, having personal conflicts follow you to work, and going on weird emotionally-fueled Tweet-storms about inappropriate things reflect poorly on you, and subsequently, your company. And these things will all be considered by the people you work for when it comes to decisions like who will get a promotion or an upcoming opportunity.

Read more here.

6. Not seeking knowledge or asking questions.

The people you work for probably know and understand that you are a human being — you don’t know everything, you don’t have all the answers, and you’re not always going to be perfect (no matter how badly they want you to be or push you to be). But it is so much better for them to have someone who is humble enough to ask a question when a task feels unclear, or try to gain a better understanding of something for no reason other than the fact that they’d just like to know.

Employees who aren’t so comfortable in their roles that they don’t care to seek knowledge elsewhere or try to understand any of the other working parts of the machine are the ones who will go on to learn more and do more with their work, rather than stagnating, taking their paycheck, and coming back to repeat the cycle.

Read more here.

Mary writes every day for TFD, and tweets every day for her own personal fulfillment. Talk to her about money and life at!

Image via Pexels

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