5 Harmful Career Mistakes To Throw Out With Your Spring Cleaning

Your career could use a fresh coat of paint if you want to reach the next rung on your career ladder. You don’t want to be a hoarder in your personal life — and you certainly don’t want to hold on to negative career mistakes in your professional life, either.

This year, it’s time to take a spring cleaning approach to your work life and make sure these five harmful career mistakes end up in the dumpster:

1. Put Away Your Ego

Your ego might very well be what’s holding you back from accomplishing your career goals. If you think you know it all, you might shirk professional development opportunities, thinking there’s nothing else you need to learn about your chosen industry or position. Others in your company are learning new skills and innovative new approaches to old problems, while your ego is keeping you from growing.

Your ego might very well be what’s holding you back from accomplishing your career goals. CLICK TO TWEET

Your ego might also be making you a less-than-attractive person to have on a team. No one wants to work with a know-it-all, and therefore you might be missing out on opportunities that organically arise from networking and team-based work.

It’s time to toss your ego in the dustbin and become a better team player. Really listen and communicate with your coworkers, share what you know, and don’t be afraid to ask for guidance. By deflating your ego, you might just be inflating your career prospects.

2. Clean Up Your Social Media

In today’s digital age, your personal brand is more important than ever. Yet social media channels provide us with untold opportunities to hurt our professional image with the things we choose to post. If you haven’t been paying much attention to what you put out in the digital ether on social media, now is the time to start.

Tis the season to clean up your online image and rebrand yourself as a professional superstar. If you have social media posts with inappropriate language or images, it’s time to scrub them clean. Online services like Persona can help you out with your scrubbing efforts, isolating inappropriate posts to remove and flagging you when you’re tagged in anything not exactly employer-friendly. Social media is a great platform in which to network and communicate with the movers and shakers in your industry, but first, you need to ensure your social presence will impress.

 

3. Dust Off Those Skills

With technology changing things every day, the skills you had yesterday might not be the same skills you’ll need to thrive tomorrow. This is why continuing professional development is so important in all fields and across all industries. It’s time to dust off your professional skills and give them a polish if you want to progress in your career.

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Spend some time researching the trends in your industry and then take out your crystal ball. What does the future of your industry look like? What skills do you envision being essential in this new environment? Look at job descriptions for the positions you’d eventually like to hold and jot down the skills needed you don’t currently possess.

Once you know in what direction you need to develop, it’s time to find educational opportunities in order to grow your skill set. Many employers will pay for professional development, but if they don’t there are plenty of valuable online alternatives where you can gain the skills you need. These new skills you acquire will pay off by making you infinitely more employable and more valuable.

4. Stop Being So Disorganised

Could your messy desk be messing up your career? According to a survey by CareerBuilder, nearly two in five employers said a messy desk negatively impacted their perception of an employee — and a further 27 percent of employers felt messy desks equated to a disorganised worker. While you can’t always judge a book by its cover, a messy desk certainly doesn’t give your boss or coworkers much reason to assume you’re an organisational all-star.

Devote the next slow day to cleaning up your workspace and making it sparkle. Just like the spring cleaning you do at home, be brutally honest with yourself about whether you really need to keep everything on your desk or whether some of your clutter might belong in the garbage. The CareerBuilder survey actually discovered 33 percent of workers are office hoarders — you must break free from the hoarding cycle before it becomes a bad habit.

5. Scrub Away Complacency

It’s easy to get complacent in your career, but you should never stop striving for something better. The most important thing to scrub away during your career spring cleaning is your own sense of complacency. This doesn’t mean you should start looking at job boards and dreaming of greener pastures. Shaking off complacency could be as simple as asking to tackle a project which will challenge you and keep you on your toes.

The most important thing to scrub away during your career spring cleaning is your own sense of complacency. CLICK TO TWEET

Maybe you could ask to shadow another department to see how work is done elsewhere in your company and expand your skill sets. Or you could ask to be put on another team, so you can grow your professional circle and impress a new set of coworkers. Whatever you chose to do, it’s important for you to motivate yourself to keep moving forward and never stay stuck in one place for too long. 

It’s time to clean up your act at work if you want to progress towards your goals. After you finish spring cleaning around your house, it’s time to throw away your worst professional habits in order to advance in your career.

Adapted from an article by Ilya Pozin

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Accelerate your career growth

Everyone wants a promotion, but many people go about it all wrong. From higher pay, more responsibility, to the feeling of accomplishment, it’s no wonder why so many people compete to be promoted. It doesn’t matter if you’ve just started your job or if you’re a long-term veteran, there are a few things everyone can do to help increase their chances of landing a promotion.

  • Dress for the job you want, not the job you have
    A common mistake is ignoring your clothing. While your current wardrobe may suit your current position, stepping it up a notch can tell your boss that you are ready for the next level. Just remember to always keep your wardrobe industry appropriate. 
  • Be positive at work
    Do you mutter under your breath when a problem comes up, frequently rolling your eyes, or complain to co-workers daily? If you’ve answered yes to any of these, then you need to work on being a more positive person. Take a day to tally how many negative and positive remarks you make. Positive people are more enjoyable to be around, come across as more professional, and are more likely to be promoted.
  • Don’t forget the small things
    A large number of people let the small things slide at work: taking an extra-long lunch, showing up a few minutes late, and spending too much time on personal items. While your boss may not mind enough to say something about these activities, you can be sure that it will be noticed. They are small gestures like punctuality and professionalism really do go a long way.
  • Talk to your boss
    If you heard that a promotion is opening up, sit down and have a candid (and professional) discussion with your boss. Let him/her know that you have your eye on the opening and you’re looking for advice. Your boss may have some tips to help you increase your chances, some insight about the opening, or knowledge of company policies about internal promotions.

It’s important to remember that you can’t control everything associated with a promotion. Sometimes, even with hard work, you just won’t get the job. It’s important to not complain publicly or engage in other unprofessional activities. Rather, assess your future at the company. It may turn out that your best chance of getting a promotion is to change employers.

Courtesy of Careers24