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The Top 5 Ways to Sabotage Your Career

The Top 5 Ways to Sabotage Your Career

The Top 5 Ways to Sabotage Your Career

By Catherine Conlan
Monster Contributing Writer
 
It’s distressingly easy to sabotage your own career. One ill-timed comment, a social media indiscretion, a careless joke about a former boss -- all of these can mark you as untrustworthy, unstable or someone who just has poor judgment, and that can affect your career.
 
Here are the top five ways you could be sabotaging your career.

Being Negative, Confronting Co-Workers and Sharing TMI
 
Boundaries are there for a reason, and in the workplace, they should be respected. Career coach Karen Southall Watts discourages “talking negatively about former bosses, co-workers or clients in a job interview or meeting in an effort to look smarter or more qualified” and “giving in to the urge to publicly call someone on their obnoxious behavior instead of privately providing professional feedback.” Finally, displaying a lack of emotional intelligence by sharing too much information can also disrupt your career, she says.

Mismanaging Your Online Reputation
 
The horror stories are true: A photo from that crazy getaway weekend you posted on Facebook can come back to haunt you. “I've seen numerous people sabotage their own careers by failing to manage their online reputations,” says Ia Jimenez, owner of Your Best You Coaching. “There is a fine line between ‘being transparent’ and professional tact, and it's apparent that many professionals still don't know where that line is when they sound off on Twitter or Facebook with disgruntled posts about co-workers, bosses, customers and clients.” Check your privacy settings (twice), and watch what you say and post on social media.

Letting Your Skills Stagnate

People have gaps in their career history for all sorts of reasons, but if you let your skills stagnate, your career will as well, says Bernard Morgan general manager of Computer Recruiter. “Time and again we've seen people take a long career break only to find it difficult to get back into the industry.” Employers tend to prefer candidates who are coming fresh off another job, but if you do take time off, find a way to keep your skills up-to-date.
 
Becoming Attached at the Hip
 
While it’s great to have a mentor, Karin Hunt, CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, says “over-alignment with a boss” can be a mistake. “Like other good things in life, a great boss relationship, taken to extremes, can wreak havoc with your career. I’ve seen otherwise smart and talented people lose credibility by over-aligning with a great boss.” She recommends diversifying your relationships in the workplace.

Declaring War
 
While conflict in the workplace is unavoidable, holding a grudge against another department is. Inter-departmental conflicts can bring out the worst type of behavior, says David Reischer, a founding partner of LegalAdvice.com. “All too often I have watched as seemingly once professional members are transformed into petty monsters because of some perceived slight or other silly injustice.”
 
While inter-departmental conflicts may arise because of competition for resources or credit, they can sabotage your career, he says. “I have witnessed inter-departmental conflicts boil over into full-fledged verbal attacks and inappropriate emails.” 
 

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