"A place to trade ideas on a number of different topics!"

Avoiding career disaster might be harder than you realize

It’s hard to avoid mistakes that could potentially turn your career into a disaster, and it might just be harder to avoid these pitfalls than you realize. There are plenty of obvious ways to ruin a promising career path, such as sexual harassment, fighting with others, and showing up to work intoxicated. Those are extremes. The truth is people get fired from their positions for much less. Once you get fired, your resume will have a gaping hole in it. You may have to start over at the beginning when that happens. While this is unfortunate, it happens all the time and it’s one of the primary reasons people seek out different career paths, trying to reinvent themselves in the process. Being mindful of many common pitfalls will help in avoiding career disaster.

Sleeping on the Job

Sleeping at work is one of the easiest and most popular ways to get fired. Heck, you can just be drowsy too often and raise red flags with some bosses. People sometimes feel entitled to sleep at work because they work during the weekend. Some sleep because they work at home late in the evenings. Sleeping at work is so popular that one can now purchase a necktie that inflates to become a pillow. Your supervisors might not care how much extracurricular effort you put into your work. They often don’t care if you’re on break when you take a nap. A person sleeping on the job sets a bad example in the workplace, and will most likely get fired. Instead of burning the midnight oil doing work, getting more sleep is actually the best way to go about avoiding career disaster.

Stealing Insignificant Items

People who steal small things from the workplace generally believe that no one will ever notice. This is usually the mindset of someone who pays no attention to the costs of keeping an office running. Office supervisors know exactly what is around the office, because they most likely picked out those things and paid for them with company money. In other words, when someone steals a mini stapler, the boss realizes when it’s gone. You’ll never be secure in your position when you steal from work. Avoiding career disaster means suppressing the urge to constantly take things home.

Using Your Computer Unwisely

Work can be pretty boring, even when you’re happy with your position. There is a constant temptation to use the office computer for entertainment and non-work related purposes. I have seen everything from office workers playing solitaire on their computers to executives looking at cute kitten pictures all day at work. It happens all the time and you can be assured others are aware of it. The problem with this is that there are often multiple people monitoring your internet and computer use. At the bare minimum, the IT personnel and office supervisor will check up on all computer and internet habits. Some people consider using their cell phone instead, and they believe that doing so helps them in avoiding career disaster. Getting caught too often playing around with your cell phone can make you look lazy and unfocused.

 photo IMG_0921_zps76bb6043.jpg

Foul and Unintelligent Language

If you don’t have anything intelligent to say, then keep quiet. That is some excellent advice. An awful lot of people talk too much, or don’t think before speaking. Yes, there are plenty of obscene words that will eventually get you canned, but your language in general can also identify you as a moron. Saying such colorful phrases as, “Aww, this sucks, man,” can lead to getting canned eventually. Your boss probably didn’t want to hire an immature high school kid, so don’t ever identify yourself as one. Anyone who wants to be successful at avoiding career disaster should always think carefully before speaking.

Office Reputation

Chances are if you do any of the above things at work, then you may not be trying to impress your superiors. Showing up late too often, leaving early, or taking too many sick days are great ways to gain a reputation as a slacker. It’s important to be kind and helpful to others in the workplace, too. These little things add up quickly, and once your reputation is tarnished it can be very difficult to recover from it. Jobs are getting harder to acquire every day, and many qualified individuals out there are working jobs that they are overqualified for. It’s easy for an employer to find someone else who will appreciate the opportunity to work, and hence work very hard. Avoiding career disaster is easier when an employee has a good office reputation.

 photo photo_32728_20140712_zps00796c48.jpg

Situations Outside of Your Control

The information above details many common mistakes that employees make, but sometimes the situation is out of your hands. Avoiding career disaster might not just be harder than you realize, because keeping your job when the company is floundering can be next to impossible. There are some signs to look for when layoffs are on the horizon. A layoff isn’t a death sentence, but it doesn’t exactly look good on your resume, either.

Pay attention to the work load at your job. If it decreases, that can be a bad sign. Having too many employees is a waste of money. Also, take notice if your boss starts to worry about the costs of insignificant items like pens, paper, staples, etc. The status of the sales department should be a dead giveaway for avoiding career disaster, because that is where the money flows from. Major changes in the sales department can indicate financial problems that lead to layoffs.

Sometimes, good employees end up getting laid off or fired. For people that just don’t mesh well with the team, avoiding career disaster is hard. Pay close attention to how you are treated at work. Your performance reviews are one sign. Small year-end bonuses are another. Pay attention to how supervisors treat you and your suggestions. If they don’t ask your opinion at meetings, that can be a bad sign. If your suggestions are ignored or dismissed, that could be another bad sign. Don’t get too paranoid about any of these things individually, though. Paranoia can set in when a person is constantly mindful of avoiding career disaster.

If you sense impending doom for any of the above reasons, keep your options open. Consider finding a new job. Start putting your resume out there again. Do it wisely though, and don’t let anyone at your workplace know that you are looking. Avoiding career disaster might be hard, and you have to do something when you realize your time is short. Just be mindful of your job situation. Be one step ahead of getting laid off or fired, because explaining holes in your job history can be awkward.

Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.