You’ll Regret These Career Moves


Perfection isn’t the goal at work. In fact, it’s impossible over the course of a career. But certain decisions you make on the job can have lasting effects – and not the ones you want. To avoid looking back with regret about your choices in the office, steer clear of these six career missteps:

1. Burning bridges.

When something goes seriously wrong at work with colleagues, your boss or a project, it can be tempting to cut and run. Leaving may be the answer depending on the circumstances, but avoid doing so in a way that negatively affects the future relationship with your current employer.

Carolyn Betts, founder and CEO of Betts Recruiting, notes that this mistake is particularly common when employees are just starting out. That’s because newbies are more likely to underestimate the long-term impact certain actions will have on their business relationships and career.

“Burning bridges is the No. 1 way to damage your career – worse than not performing at your job,” she says. “If you quit in a distasteful way, leave people high and dry or steal clients and head to a competitor, you will spoil your professional references.” Betts adds that employers often assume the references you supply will be biased, and so they routinely check “back channel” sources.

A prospective employer can discover your last burned bridge and decide not to offer you an interview. A burned bridge from your past employment can also cost you a job offer at the end of a lengthy interview process when the hiring manager contacts sources.

2. Not recognizing when your boss is pulling you down.

A supportive boss who pushes your talents forward to give you visibility with other key decision makers can make your career. But a boss who doesn’t have your best interests in mind can easily break it.

Author, coach, and small business expert Lisa Baker-King believes it’s important for both junior and senior employees alike to learn how to recognize the warning signs of bosses who are pulling them down. There could be trouble if you fail to notice that your boss engages in conversations with the people around you but always ignores you, doesn’t select you for special projects and avoids eye contact with you during team meetings. “Bottom line: Your boss will not give you the time of day if he or she is pulling you down, because you are not seen as worth their time or energy,” she says.

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Source: U.S. News & World Report | Robin Madell

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