Common Habits That Ruin A Career


Dear CoachFaith, I work at an NGO with international funding, I have been with them for about 15 years now, in fact I have been with them since my NYSC days. I and two other colleagues are currently being considered for managerial appointment, with new posting to manage the proposed office in Liberia come 2017. We are currently being observed – like a probation. What is your advise for me at this period! How can I stand out! – Kemi, AbujaDear Kemi, Congrats on your shortlisting for the opportunity, you must have put some effort into your work in the years past. However, I have observed many people are quite motivated enough to succeed in their chosen careers but as they go up further in the ladder of success, some may begin to develop certain habits and behaviors that may end up hurting their career path over time. I will not only give you advised the will launch you to Liberia, there is always a place called greater that where I hope you attain soon. Here are some of those common pitfalls that that you should watch out for

Avoid Being Over Confidence

Over the course of a successful career, some people may begin to feel very proud of their accomplishments. It can slowly get into their minds enough to make them develop too much confidence of themselves. It can be enough to ruin some professional relationships that can put a career at risk. Learn to ask for help, render assistance and help for others as often as you can. Drill yourself into the fabrics of the organisation by asking and giving. While people might need some dose of self-confidence, too much of it can be poison as it can cause the ego to go beyond where it needs to be.

Develop Excellent Communication Skill

Successful career professionals usually relies on good communicating skills in order to climb the career ladder. It helps them be understood and for others to understand them. Good communicators know how to put ideas across and make people listen. If one does not develop this skill over time, it can eventually make one miss out on some opportunities for career advancement and possibly hurt one’s career. Learn to speak acceptably and in professional manner within the work space.

Always Look for Opportunities to Connect

It is often said that ‘your network is your net-worth’. Not having good network and organizational skills can hurt one’s career in many ways. First off, not having a good record of contacts over the years can mean quite a lot of missed opportunities. Learn to take advantage of your contacts for career advancement. 

Don’t be Short-Sighted

(a) A certain job may be deemed attractive if it provides many instant perks and benefits. Those that offer possibilities of greater earnings in the future may not have the same effect. Not being able to weigh the longer term benefits may cause people to mix up their priorities that end up hurting their career. (b) Also, run with the vision of your organisation (let your organisational commitment be known to all), (c) don’t let your drive for success overwhelm professional ethics. I have seen professional who cut corners to get results. Yes, they got the results at the time but it bites back!

Avoid Stalled Learning

Some people forget that learning is a lifelong process. Just because they have climb up their career ladder up to a certain level, some people become more complacent when it comes to learning new things. This sometimes leads to having skills and ideas that are no longer applicable in a rapidly changing world. Not being able to adapt by learning new skills or ideas can leave one out of those many career advancing opportunities that will lead to even further success. Update your skills and acquire transferable skills. There are valuable and cost friendly resources online at Edx and Coursera.


Finally Kemi, all of the above plus the good works you have put into your career in the years past will get you to the Zenith of your career soonest. I wish you best of luck at work and look forward to hearing from you soon.


To a greater You!


Photo: Richelle-Parham of Ebay – Photo credit: Blackenterprise

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