10 career killers (or 9, or 26, whatever)

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My colleague Julie Rawe forwarded me this piece of joy. It’s from someone named Merilee at Kern Communications, and promotes “world-class career coach John M. McKee, author of Career Wisdom among other business success titles.” McKee, she says, “details 10 key self-destructive workplace habits sure to endanger one’s longevity on the job.” The advice itself isn’t bad, though I don’t like the pejorative losers to describe people who apparently don’t display enough career wisdom. Also, the tips listed don’t exactly add up to 10. Take a look:


2. Not keeping your skill set current – The business landscape is ever-changing and there is more demand for jobs than supply. Not staying on par with colleagues and those vying for your job will be a death knell.
5. Failing to deliver results – Winners in business know that it’s all about accountability. Those who harbor a sense of entitlement for simply having put forth effort, irrespective of the results of those efforts, are guaranteed to fall by the wayside.
8. Confusing efficiency with effectiveness – Those who think that communicating via e-mail replaces the need to actually talk with people around them fail to recognize the importance of personally connecting with others in today’s highly automated and technological environment. Communicating in person whenever possible is imperative for success-seekers.
11. Believing that you are irreplaceable – There is no room for “divas” in the workplace. As soon as you convince yourself that you and only you can do the job “right”, your star will surely start to fall.
14. Knowing all the answers – The old adage remains true: knowledge is power. Professing to know it all can readily stagnate a career. Winners remain unceasingly interested in learning new ideas and approaches.
17. Surrounding your self with “brown-nosers” – Losers like having people tell them how smart they are, whether or not it’s true, while successful managers and other professionals accept and encourage intelligence and creativity in others.
20. Forgetting to give credit to others – Losers inappropriately take full credit for positive events despite the help or input received by others, while Winners give credit where credit is due. Losers inevitably reap what they sow.
23. Failing to self promote – Bragging is one thing, but letting colleagues throughout your industry know of your success through case studies, promotion bulletins, or other such tools is quite another. Losers often fail to recognize the importance of letting others know about their successes, or go about it in entirely the wrong way.
26. Losing perspective – Intuitive business people recognize that, despite their best attempts to do everything right, sometimes they approach roadblocks and seek the advice and perspective of a respected friend, colleague or even a business coach. Those who fail to recognize their shortcomings are destined for the unemployment line.

And if you count them, technically there are nine, not 10, tips. Counting. Such a forgotten skill.