Five Career Killers Every Professional Should Be Aware Of
Hard work is, without a doubt, an indispensable factor in the ladder of success. Without it, there is not much that can be accomplished.
Working hard with sincerity and integrity is sure to take an individual’s career a long way. Unfortunately, there are instances where hard-working individuals can lose their fight and succumb to the various obstacles along the way. These obstacles may look like subtle and honest mistakes on the surface but, in reality, they usually have very serious repercussions.
You don’t need to do something dramatic to be kicked out of your job. In some cases, various honest and subtle mistakes can be enough to end your career.
Here are 5 career killers:
“When you’re a hard worker, the only person that can come in the way of your success is you!“
Everything in this world has its own pros and cons. We’re all aware of the merits of hard work but, like all other things, it can be dangerous too.
It’s a scientific fact that people who usually work hard are differently wired than people who don’t. In the prefrontal cortex of the brain, there’s an enzyme called catechol-O-methyltransferase or COMT. The function of this enzyme is to balance out the dopamine levels in the brain.
Now, there are two types of COMT, a fast acting one and a slow acting one. The slow acting one clears up the excessive dopamine five times slower than the fast acting one and is usually found in hard working people. This makes the hard workers prone to anxiety, stress and over-thinking. These things can negatively affect their performance under stressful situations.
People who work hard tend to focus more on the ‘working’ aspect of the job rather than the ‘result’ aspect of it. They come early to office only to be the last person to leave. They work hard but aren’t able to churn out desirable results because they direct their energies in the wrong direction. These people get so involved with working that succeeding in the work takes the backseat. This has turned out to be a big career killer because, at the end of the day, a good result is all that matters.
Resting on the laurels
“Nothing wilts faster than laurels that have been rested upon.”
Now, it’s an understood fact that with hard work comes success and with success comes glory. But, it is also true that basking in that glory for too long is a sure shot career killer.
Resting on one’s laurels is a common mistake most people make. They get too attached to the pride and glory a particular task provided them and just can’t seem to move on from it.
Working hard for a task is important but it is equally important to get over it once it’s done. We’ve often heard that such-and-such fell because they let the success get over their heads. This is, in fact, a real practical problem that professionals face which can end up ruining their careers.
“Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.”
Complacency is almost like the evil twin of the previous flaw. Being self-satisfied is, perhaps, the biggest hindrance to personal growth. Hardworking people have the tendency to feel self-satisfied, if not pushed hard enough.
When a professional works hard and gets his due success, he is appreciated for his work. This appreciation leads to a sense of smug self-satisfaction which makes him complacent. If they are under-appreciated, they lose the motivation to carry on further. It’s a strange paradox.
Anyhow, this complacency is another legit career killer. The trick here is to not be too attached with work and the outcomes of it. You have to know how to keep working and learning without getting stuck at a single point.
Promising big things
“Rarely promise, but, if lawful, constantly perform.”
Remember hard workers being differently wired than the rest? That strange little chemical responsible for the dopamine balance has another role to play in the career-killing behavior of professionals. Quite a mischievous role biochemistry plays in this whole thing!
So, what happens is, this excessive dopamine makes hard workers much more charged than the rest. While being assigned tasks, they (in their charged up zone) end up promising big things to their senior officials. They have the belief that they can actually deliver without realizing the unreasonable nature of their claims.
When they aren’t able to deliver the promises, it ends up pissing their seniors off. Even though they might have done a good job, their broken promises put them in the negative light.
Sucking up to the boss
“Suck up to your boss if you’re not good at what you do!”
One who is good at what one does will only focus on his work, not on other means to climb the success ladder. This is one of the most obvious and common mistakes people make in order to become successful in their careers and it ironically ends up sabotaging them.
There is no other thing that can place a particular individual in a more negative light than sucking up to their senior officials. It’s just plain wrong and immoral! Most people confuse it with people managing and playing politics smartly when they’re two polar opposites. There is no way one can sugar coat this truth. Sucking up is sucking up.
Working hard is not a sure shot formula to success. In fact, there is no formula to success. It’s just a mix of complicated elements, characteristics and biochemistry! Just make sure you don’t make these general mistakes. Work hard, keep an eye on your results, and keep growing. It might just help you succeed!