Take these steps to avoid career suicide

How do you commit career suicide? Sometimes it’s a one-of-a-kind event, but most likely it’s a series of smaller incidents that are cumulative over time. What are the signs? Take notice when:

» You’re not on the list for key meetings that involve your function or should have your input

» Managers don’t engage you or don’t look you in the eye when talking to you

» There’s a lack of interest in your ideas or you’re not called upon to give them

» Your performance is lackluster, falls short of goal or you’re not chosen for team projects

This list may not be complete or fatal, but the trend is troubling. You need to reverse the trend. Here are the major attitude or performance causes of career suicide:

» Doom and gloom: Balance the negatives with the positives when reporting on an issue. Decision makers are looking for alternative solutions. Complainers usually are to be avoided. If you aren’t the solution, you may be the problem.

» Fighting change: Managers are paid to eliminate impediments that are in the way of achieving goals. If you’re seen as fighting changes that management wants implemented, your days are numbered. If you’re not on board, you’re not part of the team.

» Overconfident braggart: Few people get meaningful results without the help of others supporting their effort. An individual with a magnified self-worth is usually trying to cover up their inadequacies or showing-up others. It’s not a trait in an effective manager.

» Promises not delivered: It’s better to slightly under-promise and then over-deliver. Surprises to the upside are better received than to the downside. If you become someone that management can’t depend upon, why should they trust you in the future?

» Myopic: Losing sight of the goal by focusing on an unimportant detail let’s everyone down. Ask yourself, “Is this contributing to the end objective or does this only show me in a good light at the expense of the total?” Shortsighted actions lead in the wrong direction.

» Underhanded actions: Those who are devious or show favoritism are found out quickly and are usually shunned. Relationships are based on respect and trust. An underhanded action is always short term and never realizes long-lasting results.

» Undermining others: Careers are advanced in two ways: Those pulling you up the ladder of success and those below pushing you up the ladder. You should support and help others, work as a unit and give appropriate credit when due.

» Lack of teamwork: Anyone who is difficult to work with is an impediment that can end in their being let go. If an individual is disruptive, belittles others or causes personnel problems, they usually end up gone.

Sometimes it’s hard to show energy, enthusiastic support and engaging interaction, but these are the signs of a highly productive person. If these descriptions aren’t you, ask yourself why and what you need to do about it. Your technical skills are secondary to a smooth working group.

Kaufmann is president of My Greener Future. For a free review of your resume, send it to wkaufmann44@gmail.com

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