Moves That Can Short-Circuit Your Career

When Shelly moved here from out of state, a friend saw her resume and got her an interview for a sales position. Shelly possessed a high degree of confidence and talked herself up in her interview, convincing her new boss that she was the greatest saleswoman ever! She promised great results, and her boss believed her…at first.

But after receiving her training, Shelly’s sales efforts did not take off. Month after month unfolded without Shelly’s low sales even covering her salary. Every time she and her boss met to discuss what could be done, Shelly always had an excuse for why things weren’t going well at the moment–an excuse that never involved her own actions. She even repeatedly mentioned that she’d be better off being promoted to management! Her boss began to wish he’d never hired Shelly and actually gave her a less responsible position in an effort to relieve her stress. Imagine his relief when she announced she was leaving to make a career change!

Have you ever over-promised to your boss and then been unable to deliver? It’s a sure way to kill your career, says Alan Cutter, CEO of AC Lion. “You think you are doing yourself (and others) a favor by talking yourself up, but if you can’t walk the walk, you will surely end up disappointing coworkers and clients. Do not make any promises you can not keep. Manage your time effectively and turn in your projects on or ahead of time. If you feel overwhelmed or know that you may not be able to complete something on schedule, speak up and delegate tasks to others if possible. Keep communication open and ensure everyone is on the same page.”

Cutter also addresses the issue of making excuses for your poor performance, as Shelly did. His solution? No one likes a victim or a martyr, so take responsibility for your actions. Be a problem-solver, not just a problem-identifier.

Another career-killer, points out Jack Welch, is being resistant to change. Failing to embrace change “can mean the difference between an upward ride and a downward spiral at work.” (See his concise list of 10 career-killers here.)

Your career is one of the few things you carry with you throughout your lifetime. It’s worth protecting! To read the rest of Cutter’s article on moves to short-circuit your career, click here. You may catch yourself before you make a mistake you’ll regret.

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