10 Bad Habits You Don't Know Are Hurting Your Career

Most of us are guilty of bad habits. Whether we have too much of a sweet tooth, leave our socks on the floor, or chronically misplace the car keys, most of our bad habits are fairly harmless. That said, there are some habits that can land us in the serious trouble.

There are some habits you have that are jeopardizing your career. Here’s the kicker: you probably don’t realize you’re doing it.

If you want to find success in the workplace and achieve your professional goals, it’s time to kick these bad habits.


10 Bad Habits That are Keeping You from Career Success

1) Your social media addiction.

If you’re the type of person who can’t go an hour without checking their Twitter feed, you might be hurting your career. While you might think that a few minutes spent scrolling through Facebook a few times during the workday doesn’t hurt anything, you’d be mistaken—it’s time lost and it pulls you out of the mindset that you need to be in to get the job done.

2) Bad email etiquette.

It’s 2018. By now, we should all have this email thing down to a fine art. Bad email etiquette doesn’t fly, and it involves a great many faux pas that can cost you. Whether you fail to check your inbox regularly and thus miss out on urgent dates and information or you come across as too cold, too casual, or too long-winded, it’s valuable that you learn how to write a great email and that you make checking your emails a regular part of your routine.

3) Self-flagellation.

Do you beat yourself up when you make a mistake? Some of us have the tendency to be too hard on ourselves when we have missteps in our careers, and while there is a healthy level of disappointment that comes with these moments, there is an unhealthy level that can seriously drag you down. There is no need to punish yourself and damage your future potential with thoughts of worthlessness and negativity. Take your experience, learn from it, and move forward.

4) Isolating yourself.

We’re not all social butterflies. But in the working world, being a team player is critical to your success. Becoming too self-sufficient and too autonomous can be detrimental to your success. While being independent can be great for some tasks, being able to collaborate, help others, and share in success is ultimately more beneficial. You want to have colleagues that will support and stand by you, not to be known as a mysterious lone wolf.

5) Neglecting your manners.

It’s time to remember what your mother taught you. Something that hurts many, many people in their careers isn’t bad manners, isn’t simply a lack of manners. It’s neglecting to say thank you to people in and outside of the office. Not holding doors open, not offering to help. It’s not introducing yourself to new employees and strangers. It's forgetting to say "excuse me." It’s not saying please.

These things are all important! We can’t neglect manners if we hope to make good impressions in the long term. They may seem like small, insignificant gestures, but they do have an impact that adds up.

6) Poor planning.

How organized are you? When you leave at the end of the day, do you know what you’ll be doing tomorrow? Can you find everything that you need quickly and efficiently? How well can you navigate your desk, filing, or cloud storage? These are all important for your efficiency, which impacts your performance.

7) You’re the know-it-all.

Having experience is great. Being that guy who’s been with the company for fifteen years is a wonderful accomplishment. What isn’t so great is being the guy who steamrolls over everyone else because he thinks he knows everything because he’s been around the longest. Don’t let your experience or your successes be an excuse to make your voice the only one that matters.

If you have the tendency to try to be to one who’s always right, learn to back off and let other voices be heard. Being the know-it-all might seem impressive, but it doesn’t win over any of your coworkers.

8) Chronic negativity.

If there’s one career-killer among any of these habits, it’s negativity. Whether you’re being negative about an idea, a situation, a person or client, it doesn’t matter—negativity, complaining, and gossip makes the people around you miserable. You will drag others down. They will not want to be around you. Unfortunately, most negative people don’t realize they’re being negative. It’s a tough habit to quit!  But trust me, being negative doesn't just hurt you, it hurts the people around you, too.

9) You’re unreliable.

Unreliability is another career-killer. Whether it’s chronic lateness, an inability to deliver on schedule or do as you promise, it will absolutely kill your career if you’re unreliable. If you want to succeed in your career, let your word mean something. You’ll be amazed at how much it means to be reliable. It shows respect for what you do and for the people you work with, and that will take you all the way to the top.

10) You’re unadaptable and unchanging.

Some of us struggle with change. If you are in the habit of staying the same and resisting the new, however, it might hurt your career. Whether it’s a new boss, new employees, or new systems, an inability to adapt might show your boss, your manager, or your industry that you just can’t keep up...and you might get left in the dust.

Bad habits can be hard to ditch. Your best first step is recognizing the patterns of behavior that may be hurting your career. From there, you can take actions to reverse the damage and turn your bad habits into good practices that will take your career to the next level.