5 Red Flags That Can Damage Your Career

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Posted September 17, 2013 by Guest Writer in On the Ladder
Upset female laptop

Look over your shoulder. There is probably a long line of qualified candidates standing in line right behind you to take your job, at least figuratively, if not literally. Unemployment rates rose in 28 states in July of 2013, revealing that job prospects continue to look grim, reports USA Today. It’s a good time to have a job — and keep it. Are you making any of these potentially career-damaging blunders?

Office Bully

“Workplace bullying is four times more common than sexual harassment and racial discrimination,” states Forbes, referring to a 2010 survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute. Women have been socially conditioned to believe a hyper-aggressive attitude helps a career gal get ahead in a male-dominated environment. As a result, women can get vicious. Picture Meryl Streep’s portrayal of a tortuous boss in “The Devil Wears Prada” or even further back to Sigourney Weaver’s back-stabbing management strategy in “Working Girl.”

Employers are realizing the negative impact of bullying in the workplace environment and making it a serious subject to address. Bullying can affect morale, motivation, work performance, productivity, and even increase absenteeism, health care costs and turnover. Don’t be the person whom everyone dreads being around, and ditch this career red flag.

Mistake Defense & Deflection

Job mistakes are inevitable. In fact, mistakes are expected. You become a problematic employee though if you’re always defensive about them. Hone up to errors and learn from them. Avoid justifying and making excuses for a project or campaign that’s gone wrong. You’ll earn more respect by showing commitment to learning from your experiences, rather than dodging accountability.

Personal Life Overshare

Bragging about your latest romantic conquest. Detailing that wild night out partying. Venting about your visiting mother-in-law. Don’t talk about any of that. Not only are you interrupting your co-workers work, you’re damaging your professional reputation. Find a balance between your identity at work and your personal identity. You don’t want to be first on the chopping block when it’s time for lay-offs because you casually displayed poor character.

Losing Your Temper

It’s normal to get frustrated occasionally, but you’re crossing the line if you snap at people, slam doors or yell. It only takes one incident to develop a reputation as the angry employee who makes the workplace environment uncomfortable. Practice meditation or deep-breathing techniques for moments when you’re blood boils in a meeting and heart raises at your desk.

Social Media & Smartphone Addiction

The 24/7 digital dependency doesn’t make it any easier for an employee to resist playing with new cell phones at work. A survey conducted by Salary.com in 2012 found that one of the biggest time wasters for employees was surfing the Internet. Texting, looking at social media and taking personal phone calls are also work distractions. Unless it’s work-related, excessive Internet surfing via your office computer or smartphone negatively impacts your company’s bottom line. Always assume that someone is watching, and you’ll keep your job.


About the Author

Guest Writer

Career Girl Network is proud to work with phenomenal guest writers from time to time, bringing you the best information, resources, and ideas from women who are at the top of their game, the head of their class, and well respected in their field. If you are interested in becoming a guest writer or regular contributor to Career Girl Network, use the "Contact Us" link at the top of this page.

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