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8 Best Ways to Kill Your Career August 22, 2008

Posted by dapinoyemployee in Da Pinoy Employee.
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Sometimes, the worst enemy you could have is yourself.  There are times when we ourselves are to blame with the things that go wrong with our careers.  If you’re planning any time soon to self-destruct or wish to make sure your co-workers don’t forget you or just want to get fired, here are the best, tried-and-tested ways to sabotage your career:

You get caught, you get dismissed.  Worse, word can get around the industry you’re working in and your next boss might find out about your sticky fingers.  Your co-employees can also get wind of your sneaky activities and make tsismis.  The label ‘magnanakaw’ will get stuck on your forehead like decals and it can take years and plenty of hard, honest work to repair the damage that’s already been done.

Play solo.
Not sharing isn’t always a good thing.  Employers like to see team players, people who can function well with a group.  Isolating yourself from others will make you look mayabang, unreachable and just downright uncooperative. 

Offices have politics so you need to go with the flow in order to survive.  If you don’t, you can get ostracized or made fun of.  You might also not get the support you’ll need for certain projects and assignments.

Such is the case of Billy, a newbie from a tech company who moved to manufacturing.  His old job was the type that required him to wear ties and stiff-collared shirts to work.  His old company also encouraged people to communicate in English, so naturally, Billy spoke the language well, which he did so frequently.  In other words, Billy had the semblance of a yuppie.

Problem was, the people in his new company weren’t comfortable with Billy’s manner of dressing and the fact that he spoke English with very little accent.  This new company had employees that liked to say, ‘Sino po sila?’ when asking to verify their client’s identification over the phone and then end each phone conversation with a sing-song, ‘Salamat po…’ 

For Billy, it seemed as if his new co-employees were answering the phone like they were at home.  It wasn’t how he viewed professionalism should be and he wasn’t shy about telling people about it.  It wasn’t long before he alienated everybody else.

Billy ended up being avoided, which gave him a lot of trouble especially when he was assigned to work on a company-wide project.  In the end, he had to make rather big adjustments just to gain the support he needed to do his job.

Be indiscreet.
Gossiping is normal for people, especially in the workplace.  However, don’t make it your trademark.  If someone tells you a secret, for example, don’t tell anyone else.  That is, unless it happens to be about a bomb he’s planted in the boss’ chair. 

Sure, share secrets and tidbits but only with your most trusted confidantes.  With everyone else, keep a tight lip.  Listen in if you must but don’t add to the damage. 

Go into hysterics.
Work can be tough.  And then some.  There will be days when you can hardly breathe, enjoy your lunch, even look up from your desk.  These are the days when your nerves are easily frayed and even a truly funny joke will fail to amuse you. 

When this happens, don’t burst into angry hysterics, start yelling, banging your drawers, beating your desk or throwing things around.  It will feel good while you’re doing it but trust me, it’s going to be very, very embarrassing when it’s over.  It can also make you look very unprofessional and unstable.  Worse, you could earn a nickname you won’t like.

Be envious of others and try to make their lives more difficult.
Yes, we’ve all felt this at one time or another and we all know it’s very unpleasant.  This happens when a co-worker gets the promotion we want or believed we deserved, it’s when a new hire receives a higher salary than we do (and we’ve been working in that company for years!), it’s when the receptionist we’re not particularly fond of receives an expensive bouquet of roses from an admirer. 

Envy is a home-grown monster – your own, but a monster nonetheless.  Don’t let it possess you.  It shows a lack of character and a weak will.  Focus on improving yourself on your job so you, too, can get rewarded for it.

Be lazy.
Being lazy is the ultimate sin for an employee.  After all, your boss didn’t hire you to just sit around and warm your chair.  Want to sabotage your career and ruin your chances?  Don’t do your job.  Avoid volunteering for a project and pass the responsibility to someone else.  Be unproductive and then wait around till your boss kicks you out of the office.

Be greedy and proud.
Remember the old adage: Pride cometh before the fall.  If you’re performing well, good for you.  You probably have a reason to pat yourself in the back.  However, don’t brag about it too much.  If you’re a giant, it will show.  No need to beat your chest and yell at the top of your lungs.

Also, if you shared a successful project with others, don’t hog the honor.  Share it as well.  Always give credit to whom it is due.

Focus on the wrong thing.
When a co-worker succeeds, it’s sometimes easy to feel bad about yourself.  However, if it eats you up and it’s the only thing that occupies your mind, it can backfire.  Unless you use other people’s accomplishments as inspiration to improve your job and your career prospects, you could dig yourself a hole without knowing it.



1. Randy Nichols - August 22, 2008

I finally decided to write a comment on your blog. I just wanted to say good job. I really enjoy reading your posts.

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