11 Reasons For Career Failure
Many of us think regularly about what the formula for career success is. We spend a lot of time thinking about what we should be doing to get that success. In the process of doing so, we sometimes forget about the things we’ve gotten into the habit of doing that can actually lead to career failure. Career failure can be anything from missing an important deadline to getting fired. As such failures can happen to anyone who’s not vigilant enough in their career, it may be a useful exercise to regularly assess our beliefs and behaviours by referring to this checklist of top reasons for career failure and making sure none of them apply to us.
1. Believing that your learning ends when your full-time education does. For years, it has been stated by personal development, management and career experts that learning is a continuous process and yet the evidence shows that for many of us, this is not so, even in work. Of course, depending on our job, we gain more experience every day, every week and every month that passes. It’s also true that when we change our role, our curiosity around our new job lasts no longer then about 6 weeks. After this, we’re seduced into mistakenly believing that the way things are, are the way they will ever be.
2. Failure to take on board new things. We’re talking here about new ideas, new concepts, new skills, things that challenge status quo and so on. If we don’t have the mindset to embrace what is new, we are in for a rough and ultimately unfulfilling ride in our careers.
Laziness is one of those things we can recognize in other people, even if we can’t see it in ourselves. A good way to describe it is ill discipline. People suffering from ill discipline are those who are not thinking things through, not preparing themselves and generally just believing they can wing it. This leads to irresponsible, undisciplined behavior such as staying out too late, drinking too much, not sleeping enough, not taking pride in our appearance and being late when we could have avoided it. Doing such things leads to us letting people down. All of these behaviours show a laziness that we notice in others but have to understand that we ourselves are also sometimes guilty of.
4. Not having your radar on.
It’s so easy to be a victim. Sometimes people do become genuine victims and there is absolutely no way you can condemn those people when they are victims of harassment, bullying and so on. We’re not talking about those situations; we’re talking about a lack of curiosity or interest that means at some point you become a victim of an organizational change that actually you could have seen coming, if only you had had your radar on.
5. Lousy relationship with the boss.
Our boss is so important to our career because they are the person in our life at this moment that has the biggest influence on our daily work. It’s a constant surprise how many people end up thinking to bad mouth the boss and to not have a genuine and good relationship with her. If there is one thing you can do to easily avoid career failure, it’s to build a relationship with your boss and set yourself on a better footing with him. From the moment you deice to do that, the decision will pay you back positively.
6. Not recognizing that your job is just a step.
During your career, you will have many jobs. You may not have as many employers as jobs but you are still going to have many jobs. The job that you are in now is a step to the next one. If you believe that the one you are in is where you are staying, possibly forever, then you need to think again. You’d be hard pushed to find a job that has not changed fundamentally in the last 5 or 10 years anywhere in economy. The likelihood is that the rate of change around jobs is going to be at least maintained if not increased.
7. Believing your current employer is forever.
There are many organizations that 20 or 30 years ago were huge, immeasurable, strong, robust and sustaining. Today they no longer exist, or they’ve been broken up. Similarly, some of the world’s largest and most dominant companies today didn’t even exist until a couple of decades ago. Such is the rate of change in the economy. Go also into the public sector and see the speed of increase in spending on health services and spending and investment in defence, for example. Local authorities are increasingly outsourcing. There is change everywhere and you cannot believe that your current employer will even still be here in a few years’ time, let along employing you.
8. Not investing in yourself.
A key reason for career failure is people finding themselves in a situation where they don’t know where to turn. It’s possible that the skills and knowledge they possess have actually become less relevant. They haven’t moved with the times. They haven’t had that curiosity; they haven’t understood that things have changed around them, whether it be process, market or technology. They’ve done nothing to increase their awareness, knowledge and skill in a space that they’ve been working in for years. When they try and move from their current space, they find that this lack of self-investment impacts upon them hugely.
9. Having no network.
“I don’t need a network if I don’t need to move” is a common mindset. Although not usually explicitly, many people do have that mindset until the day when they realize they need help and they don’t know where to go. Networking is still important even if you’re not currently looking for work. The earlier we can learn why it is important and what you can do to nurture your network, the better.
10. No social media presence.
We are in the early years of a massive revolution in terms of how we communicate with one another. This is the case not just across our local communities but around the world. Social media is becoming more sophisticated and more prevalent and it’s becoming more useful for us to maintain an online presence, especially as we’re now enjoying longer careers than ever before. You have to get with it and understand what the social media are and how they can be useful to you.
11. “Someone else will take care of me”.
This dependency is worrying. We’ve all been brought up to believe that our ambitions will be catered to by whoever our employer is. We expect them to give us a job, a promotion and anything else we can think of. If we continue to believe that, then we’re heading for career failure big time. Organizations cannot control the sustaining of their markets in increasingly competitive business environments. They therefore cannot sustain with any surety your career or your job.
By Position Ignition (www.positionignition.com) and the Career Ignition Club (www.careerignitionclub.com), the UK’s leading career change and career development company and platform. Also the author of 125 LinkedIn Job Search Tips (http://www.positionignition.com/100-linkedin-job-search-tips). Follow @PosIgnition for more help with your career challenges.