Five Things That Will Ruin Your Career

Let’s face it: our young professional social and professional circles are small. Reputations are fragile and lapses in judgment (no matter how uncharacteristic) can have detrimental consequences that may hinder your career. Here are a few…

Backstabbing and Dishonesty
At the core of business relationships (well, any relationship, really) is trust. Once you are seen as a liar or dishonest, you can bet it will kill your career. If you are dishonest in your social circle, even if it means you’re known for telling white lies and embellishing stories, your peers may have automatically assigned a red flag over your head when it comes to business. 

Nothing will ruin your reputation and spread faster through young professional gossip channels than going behind a coworker’s back and acting in a way that betrays him or her. Some of this behaviour may be less overt than others, like sharing secrets or speaking negatively about in public to friends or peers. Others can include straight out throwing coworkers “under the bus” when it comes to taking the blame for workplace mistakes and shortcomings.

Repeat Mistakes
Mistakes happen to the best of us. The problem is making the same mistake over and over with an apparent inability to adjust behaviour to ensure it won’t happen again. Superiors will quickly lose patience if they are wasting precious hours their day either correcting your mistakes or re-teaching you how to do your job properly. Enter a ripple effect: repeat mistakes result in the dismissal from your current job and the three months your spent there don’t look too impressive to potential employers, making finding a job in your field of choice that much more difficult. 

As an entrepreneur, making repeat mistakes when it comes to business means you’ll quickly become stuck in a perpetual cycle because you don’t have the aid of that supervisor or co-worker over your shoulder. If you find yourself making the same mistakes that are doing nothing to further your business, consult the aid of a mentor or business advisor and re-evaluate your business model to assess the root cause of repeat mistakes. 

Wasting Company Resources
Whether in a small start-up or multi-million dollar company, money is everything. If you are seen as hindering the company’s profit-making potential, you are going to be met with more than mere frustration by business partners and bosses alike. Times are tough in our still sensitive economy – resources are still scarce and must not be wasted. This can include everything from being careless with budgets and expense accounts to wasting inventory and supplies. It may involve offering generous discounts to friends and family or not sourcing suppliers for the best possible price.

Getting Too Comfortable
Successful people never stop learning. Especially with those young professionals met with quick success, the reality is that it can come crashing down quicker than it was built. We all know the stories of those overly-confident YPs who blow their money away and are broke a year later. The mentality that you don’t have to learn anymore is a recipe to either become stagnant in your career or embark on a downward path when it comes to your success.  Great business people like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates never stop learning and regard it as a consistent trait. You should, too. 

Partying Too Hard
Many social YPs live their lives according to a “work hard, play hard” mentality. But some take partying to the extreme. If you are routinely coming in to the office hazy from the night before, you are no doubt hindering your productivity. Even if you are one of the few YPs who can party five nights and still magically exceed expectations and achieve results, if you are seen as a “party person” among peers and potential clients and co-workers, the reputation could be extremely detrimental to future career prospects who may view you as irresponsible and a risk.

So, how do take the opposite approach and ensure a future rich with prosperity and success?  Find out if you are going places here.