Five Things That Will Damage Or Destroy Your Career

Talking badly about a former employer. This should be a no-brainer, but it’s surprising how many people vent about former (or current) bosses on social media today. You never want to burn a bridge, especially with a former employer that will be giving you a reference when you apply for a new job. Always leave on good terms, act professionally and keep your opinions to yourself. I know it’s difficult, but avoid sharing them on the Internet. Instead, talk with a trusted friend or family member to ease your frustration. You never know who will end up seeing what you wrote online and how it could affect your career in the future.

Not maintaining your personal brand. Your personal brand is one of the most important pieces of your career toolkit to manage. One of the first things most recruiters or hiring managers will do before asking you for an interview is look up your name on a search engine. Do you know what pops up first? Have you proactively created an impressive, professional online presence that reflects your experience? Does your LinkedIn profile match your resume that you submitted? It’s important to search yourself often and try to manage the results so the most positive ones show up first.

Appearing too casual in your workplace. If you plan on moving up the corporate ladder sometime in your career, the kiss of death to doing so is appearing too casual in your appearance. Unfortunately, no one will think of you as “executive material” or “management material” if you’re dressing like you’re still in college. Appearance is an important part of your professional persona. Make an effort to dress one step up from your current job and you’ll be surprised at the influence it has in the workplace.

Frequently missing deadlines. In most careers, deadlines are very important to the task at hand. If you often miss deadlines or avoid communicating with your boss about needing more time, you’ll be deemed as unreliable and, possibly, unable to do your job efficiently. Too often, companies are forced to downsize due to slashed budgets and the first employees to go are those not performing up to par.

Not asking questions or clarifying when you don’t know how to do something. As an employee, you are expected to know how to do most of the aspects of your job (especially if you’ve worked in the field before). But every company has slightly different policies and technology that you’ll have to learn while working there. It’s okay to ask questions about things you’re unsure about – just make sure you aren’t wasting your boss’s time. Don’t resort to hiding mistakes or you’ll lose credibility with your boss.