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10 Things that can easily ruin your career

BOOKSNAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 10 – American author, political activist and lecturer Helen Keller once said, ‘I cannot do everything, but I can do something. I must not fail in something that I can do.’

True to Keller, there are things we can do for ourselves most times that can save us from failure, especially when it comes to career building.

We did some research and quoted credible sources on the 10 things that can easily ruin your career in a bid to help you steer clear of them:

1. Failure to adapt to company culture
“When in Rome, do as the Roman’s do” – there are no two ways about it. Refusing to do so will make you seem disapproving and judgmental. According to Business Insider, failing to adapt to the office culture is alienating to co-workers and makes it seem like you do not care about forming positive relationships in the office.
“Every company has their own culture and dynamics, and ignoring it could be career suicide. Failing to respect the values and reputation of the internal culture only means dissatisfaction and could lead to a lack of trust from other employees.”

2. Managing your social media accounts poorly
Embarrassing photos and reckless social media statuses can derail your career. According to Life Hacker, a website that focuses on uplifting people’s lives, unless you want a company to pass you up when choosing to hire or fire you for badmouthing the company you work for, you need to watch you do and say online.

“The obvious solution? Watch what you post. Do not friend co-workers or bosses. If you do, keep them in a separate group from your other friends so if you do have a moment of weakness and post something you will regret, they will not see it,” Life Hacker writes.

3. Dragging your personal life into your working life
We all have personal lives. Bad break-ups, a newborn and death are some of the things that can destabilise a career. Due to the magnitude to such issues, we often times drag these issues into our workplaces. On this account, Life Hacker says that mixing your personal life with your career will often times hurt your reputation.

It however recommends one to be prepared on such matters and go about them wisely. “When you know how you’ll handle personal issues should they arise, you will have a plan of action to help keep your professional reputation intact. Talk to your company to learn how they often handle difficult situations, learn from the mistakes of others, and figure out how to best help yourself in the event your personal life takes a turn for the worst.”

4. Over-promising but you under-deliver
Kenya’s challenging job market does make some job hunters lie about their abilities so as to get jobs. Sadly, most people under-deliver on the promises they make, which ultimately causes problems.

Business Insider puts it best; ‘All talk no work won’t help you get ahead. Make promises you can keep.”

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5. Focusing only on your career
The ingredients of having a career including taking some time off and focusing on other things such as family, friends and pursing non-work related interested.

Writer C.S. Lewis wrote; “the home is the ultimate career. All careers exist for one purpose, and that is to support the ultimate career.”

True to his words, you cannot have a conflicted home and expect to have a flourishing career. You need to work from the inside out.

6. Failure to control your alcohol intake
Alcohol and drugs have ruined the careers – and families – of thousands of people worldwide unapologetically. Think about people like Whitney Houston whose lives and careers ended because of drugs. The story is not unheard of.

Health Guidance Organization says that a company suffers as a whole when there is a drug and alcohol problem within, hence the need to take charge and total control on matters drugs and alcohol.

7. Lateness
Lateness and poor time management is one of the most common ways of sabotaging your career. Lateness, whether intentional or unintentional, communicates many things about your work ethic. According to The Financial Post, frequent tardiness paints you as disorganised, uncaring and irresponsible.

To tackle lateness, in the words of a colleague who reformed from the habit, write down 10 reasons that justify your lateness habit. Against the 10 reasons, write the 10 benefits of reporting to work on time if not earlier. This will help you put things into perspective.

8. You are not a team player
Are you a lone wolf by nature? Do you find it hard to be part of a team in the office? This could slowly but surely destroy your career. According to Forbes Magazine, not being a team player means that no one will be willing to help you if you find yourself in a problem.

“While independence is good in some situations, or when concentration is needed to get a project done, generally people who are team players experience more success at work, unlike those who are not.”

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9. Pursuing inappropriate relationships at the office
Some of you may throw stones at me, but this is true. Office relationships, if not carried on cautiously, can easily bring a career down to its knees no matter a person’s potential. Think about what is at stake before entering into an office relationship, think with the end in mind.

Career Cast however advises that if there is genuine interest and hope for something long term, the key to making such a relationship work is giving each other space while at work.

“Do not crowd each other or constantly check up on each other. If you were both independently successful before you began dating, there is no reason you cannot continue the same dynamic after getting together.”

10. Resisting Change
Change is inevitable in all facets of life, including at the workplace. Part of building a successful career means accepting change and adapting to it.
According to Fortune Magazine, the end goal of change at the workplace is worth despite the initial struggle that comes with it.

“Change is here to stay. We face it every day in the workplace. Whether it’s merging divisions, developing new products or exploring new initiatives, dealing with change is inevitable. Change in the workplace can lead to great opportunities,” the magazine says.

There you have it. Any other important tips you think we left out, tell us in the comments section.

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