8 Common Errors That Will Damage Your Career


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Guest contributed by Jennifer Tait

From time to time, most of us see or hear about some crazy behaviour at work. Whether it’s a full-blown argument, a dramatic resignation or gross misconduct, you know that irreparable damage has been done to that person’s career.

However, it isn’t just the crazy moments like these that damage a career. There are actually a number of behaviours (and relatively common ones too) that cause your colleagues to view you in a negative light.

Here are 8 behaviours that you should avoid at work if you don’t want to damage your career.

  1. Boasting

Bragging about your achievements is a sure-fire way to make your colleagues dislike you. Generally speaking we simply don’t like people who boast about themselves and appear big-headed. Plus, if you’re shouting about your successes this makes others think that success isn’t a common thing for you, hence when you get it you have to shout about it.

On the one hand, it is important for you to promote yourself and your skills at work, however, you should always ensure that it is in a way that doesn’t come across as boasting.

  1. Taking credit for someone else’s work

It’s never a good feeling when someone steals your idea and naturally, it stirs up feelings of resentment. You should never take credit for someone else’s work as it shows that you have no regard for your team. It will cause significant damage to your working relationships and therefore also your career.

  1. Gossiping

We all love a bit of juicy gossip, but it’s important not to get caught up in it at work. If you get carried away chatting about your colleagues’ mistakes then the only person who is going to look bad is you. What you say about others may easily find its way back to them, so don’t be the gossip who spreads negativity.

  1. Going over someone’s head

While it’s not uncommon to go over someone’s head in an attempt to avoid conflict, this can come across as backstabbing. This tends to be a cause of even more conflict as soon as your colleague bears the brunt of your actions.

Going over a colleague’s head always makes them look bad whatever your intentions so do everything you can to resolve problems without getting others involved.

  1. Saying you hate your job

We all have our down days at work where things just don’t go our way. However, no one wants to hear about how much you hate your job. Being negative has an impact on everyone else’s mood in the office and good managers are quick to address anyone who is bringing the team down.

If you really need to vent, save it for when you get home.

  1. Having an emotional outburst

Being able to control your emotions is a skill that is central to your professionalism at work and the success of your career. An outburst of anger demonstrates that you have low emotional intelligence and will make your colleagues question whether you can be trusted to keep it together when it counts.

Emotional outbursts are a quick way to win yourself a lot of negative attention and in extreme cases to get fired. Keep your emotions in check and never make others feels that you are intimidating and unapproachable.

  1. Lying

Most people don’t intentionally tell lies at work. You may tell a small white lie in order to protect yourself or somebody else in your team, however if you’re found out it could be very damaging for your career.

Being caught in a lie will cause others to distrust you. Also, lying can be exhausting and is likely to cause you more stress and worry in the long term. If you can’t be honest and genuine in your workplace then you are unlikely to be happy there.

  1. Burning bridges

Your business connections and working relationships are so important to the success of your career. No matter how you feel about people, you should aim to never burn bridges as you never know when a connection will prove useful to you in the future (a broken connection can also prove quite harmful).

Quitting your job and leaving without notice, for example, will not only cause a lot of problems for your boss but also your colleagues who will have to take on your workload.

Bringing it all together

None of these common errors are particularly surprising, but they are something that many people forget about and dabble in from time to time. If you can avoid behaviours like these, you’ll have a better chance of maintaining strong working relationships that are key to career success.

About the Author

Bridgewater Resources UK work with market-leading businesses across the UK and Ireland, connecting top talent with outstanding opportunities. They offer roles within wholesale, distribution and manufacturing industries, recruiting highly skilled individuals at all levels.

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