Have you been overlooked for a promotion despite the fact that you feel you deserve it? Do you often wonder what upper-management has that you don’t? Are you constantly trying to get ahead in your career but find yourself stuck in the same place? If you answered yes to any of these questions, chances are you are looking in all the wrong places for answers. Often times, the reason people are passed up for a promotion has little to do with ‘hard work’. There are less obvious pitfalls that may be holding you back at work and hindering your success. The list below provides three common mistakes employees make that affects their success and chance for advancement.
1. Office Politics.
When you engage in office gossip, whether inside or outside the office, you characterize yourself as a gossip, and it will affect your success. A good management joke may make you laugh but it will also keep you chained to your cubicle. You are never an innocent bystander when it comes to office politics because management is always watching. When you affiliate with those who gossip, joke or constantly complain about the company, you become known for those affiliations. It is the age-old, ‘guilty by association’. It may seem rude to avoid the gossip, especially if you are friends with your co-workers, but if you truly hope to advance in your career it is something you must learn to do. You do not have to attack the jokester or become a tattle-tale, but it is best to remove yourself from the clique if you want to be taken seriously.
2. Lack of Networking.
Any successful person will tell you, the key to getting ahead in your career is networking. Career advancement is more who you know than what you know. You should be spending at least 60% of your energy networking. Look for opportunities to network outside of the office, get to know people’s names, and introduce yourself. People who get promotions are the one that everyone knows. Having connections in the industry will be your most powerful tool.
3. Your Online Personality.
It is no secret, employers today will check your social media profiles – frequently. You may think that your profile is private but remember; friends-of-friends talk and share. What you post online is never private. We have all seen the headlines telling of employee’s who have been fired for inappropriate conduct online; often outside of work hours. Even an innocent tweet may be scrutinized by your bosses. Remember, once you post it, deleting it does not always make it go away. There are countless stories of employees posting items by mistake and instantly removing them, but many times it is too late. You may have only posted something for a second, but there is a chance that others have seen the post, taken a screen shot and saved it.
If you are trying to move up in your company, you may want to revamp your online personality. Be careful what you post, never complain about your job on social media, and carefully consider any jokes you share to ensure they are not offensive. When it comes to Facebook, you may want to manage what others can post to you as well. Unfortunately, you will be judged by the things your friends are sharing with you or the images/posts they are tagging you in. Having a professional online profile is an important part of career success, especially in today’s technology-driven world.