Coming in the office late is most certainly a way to undermine your climb up the corporate ladder of success, but what about some of the not so obvious ways you could be stunting your career growth or earning potential?
Andy Thomas, career and life coach of Andy Thomas Careers Now, is based in Charlotte, and has 190 clients nationwide. He shared six ways you might be undermining your success.
(1) You don’t toot your own horn
It’s okay to talk about your accomplishments, just as long as you have the right intention. Managers are busy and they may miss what you feel is a great achievement.
“There’s nothing wrong with communicating your successes, managers may not know you had a major sale, etc. and it is appropriate to share your wins with them,” Thomas said.
He cautions to “not be haughty, sarcastic or egotistical” while doing so though, and on the flip side, if you receive a compliment, there is no need to downplay it.
“A simple ‘thank you’ or ‘I really appreciate you noticing me’ can lead to more gratification and positive feedback,” he said.
(2) You’re afraid to say no
Overcommitting can lead to underdelivering, so don’t be afraid to say no.
“If you keep saying yes, you are teaching your employer you will always do it,” Thomas said. “Learn to set parameters and guidelines; and talk with your manager about it.”
To ease into a firm no, a great boundary example Thomas shared is if you are working late, but have an important engagement at 7 p.m., he suggests telling your manager that you can stay one more hour that evening and could come in early the next day. He said it’s about “give and take.”
(3) You’re always the last one to leave
Thomas thinks that you should, at times, extend your day so your boss “knows you are fully in the ballgame”, but that work-life balance is essential too.
“It’s not as important how long you stay, but about getting the work done effectively, and what you have achieved,” Thomas said. “Ask yourself questions like, did we make our goals? What have I achieved today? What has been accomplished?”
(4) You skip the office party
Skills and credentials play a major role in determining who receives promotions or is assigned key projects, but so does being a team player. This can be accomplished from something as simple as showing up to the annual holiday party. Thomas encourages participation in these types of events, even if you are not a social person.
“Energy and interacting with coworkers is important in the workplace; and for corporate trips and getaways,” he said.
“Be careful what you do at these events…the bosses are watching,” Thomas said. “Don’t drink too much and be careful what you say.”
(5) You have a questionable social media presence
Thomas stressed you must be “very careful” about your social media presence.
“Artificial intelligence is beginning to be used during the application and hiring process that will help in identifying what type of employee you will be in the workplace,” Thomas said. “A young professional should not have a photo sitting on their Facebook page with them upside down with a keg, unless they work for a beer company that likes that.”
A good place to have a professional social media presence? Thomas believes LinkedIn is the most powerful tool for young professionals in business today.
(6) You participate in gossip
While it may seem harmless to engage in negative chit-chat about colleagues, or even a supervisor, this could lead to major self-sabotage in the workplace.
“Stay clear,” he said. “Don’t get involved. Don’t be a part of the pack. Make your own opinion. Those participating in water cooler talk are typically the first ones to be let go.”
He urges his clients that have issues to “bring it up with the manager and not coworkers.”
Be sure to avoid these habits (and heed the tips from Andy Thomas) to keep your job secure and continue climbing the corporate ladder without self-sabotage.