learn new work skills

When you’ve worked at the same company for years and have been a reliable employee, you may take for granted that you’re in line for a promotion. You’ve put in the time, so you’re owed a new title and more money, you think. But years crawl by and you’re still waiting for that promotion while people with less experience are moving ahead of you. You feel stuck and don’t understand why you aren’t getting where you want to go. And your lack of movement in your career may not be due to your skills, but to bad habits you’ve cultivated over the years. You may not even be aware that you’re doing it! Here are a few things you may be doing that are sabotaging your success and how you can approach fixing them!

You humblebrag
If you haven’t heard anyone use this term before, it basically means that you make statements that sound humble but are meant to draw attention to something awesome about you or your life. “I have so many cars, I can never decide which one to drive to work each day, so I’m always late” is an extreme example of a humblebrag. You may not notice you’re doing it and maybe you’re humblebragging not to draw attention to yourself but because you don’t want to rub your success in someone else’s face. Doesn’t matter what the intention is, constantly humblebragging is going to sabotage your success. It can make you seem like you crave attention and that you’re not really as confident as you pretend to be. Instead of trying to be humble and end up bragging, be self-assured. When a supervisor gives you a compliment, accept it gracefully with a confident “thank you” and move on.

You bring your personal life into the office
It’s common knowledge that when you walk into work, you should leave behind any personal concerns or issues. Whether it’s the fallout from a fight you had with your significant other or your worries about the results of a blood test you’re waiting on, your coworkers and supervisors will not appreciate your being distracted from your assigned tasks. No matter how dependable and trustworthy you are, if you constantly let your personal life bleed into and affect your work life, people will notice you for the wrong reasons. Even if it’s not the case, letting your personal life follow you to work gives the impression that you may be overly emotional and unable to handle more responsibility. When you’re at work, concentrate on work and what’s happening at the office. If you need to deal with your personal life, breaks and lunches are the perfect time for that.

You speak before you think
A major roadblock to career success is often forgetting to speak before you think; you aren’t choosing your words wisely and it’s noticeable. You may not mean to say anything negative or be critical, but if you share every thought you have at work you’re bound to get in trouble for it at some point. You also need to be careful with how you phrase things. Saying, “I deserve a raise” makes you sound entitled, while saying instead “I’d like to speak about my performance” makes you sound thoughtful and open to an actual conversation. Remember, you might not think you’re saying something negative but taking a moment to consider how to phrase certain things can help you get ahead.

You may be exceptionally talented and hardworking, but little things can hold you back in your career. If you take the time to be thoughtful, conscientious, and mindful of what you say and do, you’re more likely to get that promotion you’ve been hoping for. If you’re not sure how to change your bad habits or just want a soft skills refresher to improve, check out the Career Readiness Bootcamp to take steps towards preparing yourself for career success!