Are YOU getting in the way of your career?

There comes a time when you have to assess what you are doing to your career. If you seem to always be the one who is being let go or you struggle to get hired when people all around you are finding new positions, you need to think about the cause.

Could it be you? Are you the one getting in the way of your career? Let’s examine some ways that can happen:

While you are in a job search

1. You apply for jobs you are clearly not qualified for, such as Vice President or Managing Director when you don’t yet have the background in the field or have climbed the corporate ladder.

2. You make sure you loudly voice your political opinions every chance you get — in any phone calls, in the interview, and in your online presence.

3. You give the interviewer the impression that you could do his job better than he can.

Or perhaps you are smart enough to realize that you need to be careful in the interview or job search process and you do all the right things, apply for a position that fits your background and skills, and you are hired.

But you are always the first to be let go. Sometimes you don’t even make it a week or a month.

Perhaps the hiring manager said something like this: “Wow, with all that you accomplished in the last month (week) (fill in a time frame), you’ll be bored in 6 months.”

First to be fired

1. You are the one with attitude. In my survey of business leaders via my Christian Business Leader monthly breakfast, I checked how the business owners and managers assess their employees. Attitude is the prime reason they either don’t hire or they fire. As one owner said, “Last hired, first fired is the one with attitude.” In today’s market, there is no room for someone to carry around a bad attitude. It is infectious and destroys the morale of the other people on the team.

2. Just like number 2 above, you can’t keep quiet about your politics (or religion). There is a time and place for everything. Not that you can’t have opinions but if you try to sway everyone to your viewpoint, people will easily tire of you.

3. You’re not a team player. You are the one who has to get the credit. You know it all. You have to be top dog all the time. At some point, you have to put you aside and realize you are part of the company. While strokes are great, make sure you give some and I guarantee you will get some back.

If you recognize yourself in the examples above, you need to figure out if you can change your behavior or if you need someone to help you get there. Sometimes talking with a career marketing professional will help you quickly figure out those issues.

Whatever it takes, if you need extra help, take steps today to find that help or you will never get past having YOU in the way of your career.

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  1. Gavin Ryan on May 12, 2011 at 5:37 am

    Hi Julie,
    Lots to be learn’t from your post!
    For me attitude is everything.
    Thank you.

    • Julie Walraven on May 12, 2011 at 5:39 am

      Thanks for stopping by, Gavin. Attitude is everything! And I hate seeing people destroy themselves and their career when they could make it better so much more easily.

  2. Barb Poole on May 12, 2011 at 7:21 am

    Great post, Julie! So often people do not take time to reflect on their workplace behavior. It’s easy to blame the organization or others in it. But the good news is that attitude and behavior can be adjusted!

    Thanks for the mention; very kind of you!

    • Julie Walraven on May 12, 2011 at 7:37 am

      You have different skills, Barb, and for some of my readers, they may need your talents. Happy to mention when it can help everyone!

  3. Mark Harai on May 12, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Hi Julie – this post is sooo true. I have hired and fired many people throughout the years. The one thing that motivated either of these actions was attitude.

    A bad attitude is poisonous to an organization and it can’t be ignored. It will hurt your business and perhaps even put you out of business.

    Attitude is a key ingredient to everything that has to with success in life and/or business.

    Thanks for the reminder Julie!

    • Julie Walraven on May 12, 2011 at 10:19 am

      You’re welcome, Mark. Thank you for sharing from the perspective of a hiring manager. SO many people don’t get this!

  4. Melissa Cooley on May 12, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Negativity has such a detrimental impact on a career! Bad days happen, but if the bad attitude is a chronic issue, people won’t want to keep that person around.

    Another issue that can hamper a career is self-doubt. If folks continually second-guess themselves, why would a company have any faith that they have the abilities necessary to succeed?

    • Julie Walraven on May 12, 2011 at 3:52 pm

      That’s true too, Melissa. Sometimes some of the behavior I mentioned is caused by low self-esteem. When you are not confident or you are feeling less talented than your colleagues you can desire to cover it up by sounding off.

  5. Keith Davis on May 14, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Hi Julie
    Team player is so important these days.
    You have to learn to fit in and become part of the team.
    Don’t be too opinionated and if you can… be helpful.

    Guess it boils down to “do unto others…”

    Thanks for an easy read.

    BTW – love the Headway theme.

    • Julie Walraven on May 15, 2011 at 5:50 am

      Thanks, Keith. Appreciate you stopping by. It does boil down to due unto others. I love Headway too!

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