The behaviours that are limiting your chances of getting ahead

There’s always that person at work who is difficult to deal with and limiting their own chances of future success through unfortunate behaviours. Worse, they’re oblivious to the fact that people don’t like them and wouldn’t be heartbroken if they were fired.

You know that person, right? Or… it’s you?

Oh no! Don’t let it be you.

Here are eight career-limiting behaviours that prevent you from getting ahead.

Complaining. The complainer is always talking about how it’s too hot, too cold, or too loud. They gripe about their workload, their coworkers, and their boss. Complaining creates a negative atmosphere and makes you unpleasant to be around, and unpleasant people are less likely to get ahead. Look, I get it. I love to complain. But other people are annoyed by it. The complainer needs to put on a sweater and a smile and get things done.

Only doing the bare minimum, if that. Last into work in the morning and first out at the end of the day, that’s this guy. Sure, they do their job, maybe…but that’s all they do. Successful people always take on extra responsibility, find new ways to add value and go the extra mile. That’s what makes them stand out. Also, going the extra mile is actually more satisfying than you might imagine. If you’re only doing the minimum, try looking for ways to do more and better. You might like it.

Hogging credit. I have worked with credit hogs in the past, and it drove me nuts. You can’t do anything about it since once someone claims credit for your work, there’s no way to put the record straight without looking petty and childish. But if you are the credit hog, I guarantee you that people are inwardly seething and will find a way to get back at you. And eventually, the boss will probably figure it out.

Being needy. The needy one is always bothering others with questions to which they could just Google the answers, or they’re asking people to do little things for them that they don’t know how to do, but could easily learn. Successful people are self-starters who demonstrate autonomy. People have their own work to do. Don’t make them do yours too.

Ingratitude. Gratitude is of great importance in the professional world, and a lack of it doesn’t go unnoticed. Successful people are liberal and generous with “thank yous” and don’t take anyone’s help or generosity, even in the smallest amounts, for granted. A “thank you” goes a lot further, and is much more appreciated, than you expect.

Picking too many battles. We’re not always going to see eye to eye with our bosses or coworkers but the Battle Picker fights about everything. And nobody wants that person on their team. Before we argue, we need to ask ourselves what will truly be lost if we let it go. In many cases, the answer will be “probably nothing.” Fight only for the big things. Trust me. Don’t fight me on this one. I WILL WIN.

Not listening. You know what co-worker who never seems to hear a word you say? Listening is one of the top skills of successful people. Also, this doesn’t mean nodding and making listening faces while you’re really waiting for your turn to talk or thinking about lunch, it means actually tuning into what others are saying, and taking something away from that.

Being oblivious/lacking in self-awareness. If you display these negative behaviours and are blissfully unaware of it, you’re the person this article is about. But guess what! You probably do at least a few these things from time to time, because we all do to some degree. So, we can all improve matters by being more self-aware, listening more, saying thank you, picking our battles, working harder, and being more generous, stoic, and autonomous – just to be on the safe side.

Displaying these behaviours doesn’t mean the person is bad, mean, or lazy (necessarily). It often means, again, that they’re insecure, nervous, or simply unaware of how they are affecting others or themselves.

We can all do and be a little better and try a little harder. It pays off in the end.

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