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4 surefire ways to kill your career

The rat race. The nine-to-five. Your career is a huge part of who you are, so here are ways to avoid derailing yourself.

working desk laptop

A silent countdown to career self-destruction

The rat race. The nine-to-five. We’re going to work, working towards higher goals, hoping to climb the corporate ladder, make that next sales goal, or grow our personal business. Maybe you’re playing golf when you’re not a golfer.  Maybe you’re working into the wee hours of the morning in order to see a project to completion. Or maybe you’re doing an obscene number of Starbucks runs hoping to make an impression on the boss. While these things may give your career a boost be sure to do a self assessment to be sure you’re not on a silent countdown to career self-destruction.


Looking at your neighbor’s grass

OK, that sounds naughtier than it should…but in reality you shouldn’t be comparing your situation to your coworkers, friends, and peers. It’s one thing to be aware of opportunities and have your finger on the pulse of the industry you work in, to constantly compare yourself to others is detrimental.

Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side because that’s where all the manure is being dumped.

Focus on the reality of your current situation. Are you working to your potential? Look to your coworkers for new skill sets, make your goals known to your superiors, and get your deliverables done. The grass is greener where you water it.

Not truly working a job

Showing up to work shouldn’t be considered the hardest part of your day. Work is called work for a reason – which doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyable.

Be sure you’re putting in the effort that is needed to accomplish the responsibilities of your job.

Showing up to the office and spending more time by the coffee maker than on tasks gets you nowhere and noticed by no one.

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Flaking on responsibilities

This is different than simply not working, as discussed above. In fact, frequent “flakers” actually are quite busy.

Flakers often have a lot on their plate but have a hard time saying no and/or managing their time.

Overcommitting happens easily, so having a well-maintained calendar and gauge on your current workload is a must. Don’t be afraid to say no when you truly can’t meet a deadline or make a meeting. Being upfront about conflicts is always better than over-committing and underachieving.

Being replaceable

If you can go to work, look around, and see a lot of people who could do your job and do it well, you have a problem.

In times of budget crunches and restructuring, being replaceable will cost you your job.

Make sure that your skill sets stay sharp, you’re fulfilling the duties of your position and you’re continuously self-evaluating what you bring to the table.


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Written By

Megan Noel, a veteran ex-educator with a PhD in Early Childhood Education, enjoys researching life through the eyes of her two young children, while writing about her family’s adventures on With a nearly a decade in small business and marketing, this freelance writer spends most evenings pouring over new ideas and writing articles, while indulging in good food and better wine.

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