25 Simple Ways to Save Yourself from Messing Up Your Career


  1. Don’t make promises you cannot keep.

  2. You may be eager to make an impression. But making promises that you cannot keep is not the way to go! Let your actions speak and not your words.

  3. Don’t bruise the bosses’ ego.

  4. It doesn’t matter how cool or friendly your boss is. He is still you boss. So be careful of what you say, especially when in the company of other people.

  5. Don’t make it personal.

  6. Sometimes it may seem like your boss may be picking on you. More than likely, he is just stressed out and some of the frustration came out on you. Taking it personally will only hurt you and destroy your peace of mind.

  7. Don’t worry about what other say/think.

  8. You can’t always please everyone. No matter how well you do things there will always be someone who is unhappy with what you do. If you are constantly worried about what other will say/think about you, you will never get anywhere in your career.

  9. Stop fussing over inconsequential things.

  10. Sometimes things get too hectic. There are too many things to do and too little time to do them in. Learn to classify what is important and what can be ignored, and stop worrying about things that do not matter.

  11. Don’t participate in office politics.

  12. Every office has some form of politics going on. Try and stay away from it. If you have to participate in office politics, at least make sure you cannot be scape-goated

  13. Don’t be humble. Don’t boast.

  14. When you have achieved a goal make sure your superiors know about your contribution to the project. Find a tactful way of doing this. Nobody likes a person that boasts too much.

  15. Shit happens. Don’t wait until it hits the fan before taking action.

  16. If you are an average adult, you are likely to spend 40 to 50 years of your life in the workplace. If nothing else, then due to sheer probability you will see a couple of blowups. Make sure you respond in a timely fashion.

  17. Stop blaming others for things that don’t work out.

  18. And when stuff turns sour don’t try to find someone to fix the blame on. A person who tries to fix the blame on others will definitely make a lot of enemies. And it’s a small world out there and things are bad enough without making too many enemies.

  19. Don't take your frustration out on your subordinates.

  20. If you are a person in authority, then it is easy to take out your frustration on your subordinates. Don’t do it. An unhappy team is an unproductive team, and ultimately it reflects on your leadership.

  21. Stop keeping score.

  22. Workplaces can get quite competitive. It is fine to have a healthy dose of competition to spur you along. But don’t make it all about keeping the score. Your little ego trips won’t get you anywhere when it comes to your career.

  23. Don’t open your mouth unless you can back up your claims.

  24. Nobody likes a person that disrupts order. So if you have a bone to pick, make sure you can substantiate your claims and have corroborating allies.

  25. Don’t be a complainer.

  26. Not all work places are created equal. Some are a lot worse than others. You may have insufferable colleagues or bad working conditions. The only thing that can make it worse is griping about it. Don’t be the chronic complainer that everyone loves to hate.

  27. Don’t give in to insecurities.

  28. All of us have our little insecurities. At a work place there is likely that some people are smarter than others, which could easily bring out some of the hidden insecurities. Acknowledge it, but instead of giving in to it, find a way to deal with it.

  29. Don’t get emotional.

  30. Emotional people make everyone around them nervous. Besides, nobody wants to promote an “unstable” person. So keep your emotions to yourself.

  31. Don’t look for instant gratification.

  32. If you have been in the work force for long enough you probably know that there is no such a thing as instant gratification. Don’t take short cuts to satisfy a whim.

  33. Don’t pay too much attention to what you hear on the grapevine.

  34. There will always be rumors. For instance, stories about job cuts are a way of life in the IT industry. Don’t pay too much attention to such rumors. It will only disturb your peace of mind.

  35. Don’t ever get too complacent or comfortable.

  36. Then again, don’t ever get complacent or too comfortable in your job. If the job cuts do happen and you are a casualty, it helps to stay at the cutting edge of technology.

  37. Don’t let your job define you.

  38. Change is the way of life in today’s fast moving world. You need to be able to move along with changing winds. Don’t let your job define who you are.

  39. Don’t burn bridges.

  40. If you do change your job, remember not to burn your bridges. A good network of contacts in influential positions will certainly come in handy some day or the other.

  41. Don’t foul mouth the company you work for.

  42. Be it while you are working for a company, or at an interview looking for a new job, don’t ever foul mouth your company. I never reflects well on a person who bites the hand that feeds him.

  43. Watch out for the kind of impression you make.

  44. Your clothes, your body language, your speaking style – they all are part of your personality. Make sure your outward appearance and behavior is not sending the wrong signals and making a wrong impression.

  45. Leave your political and religious inclinations at home.

  46. Workplaces these days are very diverse. Not only do you have people from different backgrounds, you have people from different countries and different cultures. So to be on the safer side, leaver your political and religious inclinations at home.

  47. Don’t take what is rightfully not yours.

  48. That goes as much for credit for a job well done, as for office supplies! Don’t be cheap and try to grab what is not yours.

  49. Finally, don’t be a perfectionist.

  50. Yes, it is good to get things done, and get things done well. But if you are a perfectionist, you could get too bogged down on details and never get things done in time. In addition, if you let your perfectionism get out of control and start nit-picking on other people’s work, you will surely find a way to be surrounded by people who detest you. And that my friend, is not good for your career.



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6 Comments:

Buğra Gökalp Okçu said...

Thanks for these great tips.

canadiense said...

1 - Keeping Promises: I'm cool with.
2 - Bruising Boss' Ego: Nope. If your boss is an absolute dweeb, let people know - preferably HIS boss know. Oh, and if you're talking to yourself while NOT in the company of other people, you may want to re-check your prescription dosage.
3 - Making it Personal: Yeah, sort of. But most of the time if he's picking on you it's for good reason - he doesn't like you.
4 - Worry About Others: Worry a little. Some people don't hold back and tell you that you look like an idiot in that multicoloured shirt you wore today. Other people just diss everyone.
5 - Fussing: Family, Life & Adventure matter - work really doesn't matter unless you just HAVE to have that 60" plasma. BTW - you didn't INVENT the plasma just because you bought one, keep that in mind.
6 - Office Politics: Okay, I gotta disagree here. Office politics are the BEST thing about being in an office! Who wants to work where nobody's got any secrets? Where you can't talk about how you say so-and-so with so-and-so? Office politics rock.
7 - Humble/Boast: Absolutely.
8 - shit happening: Absolutely again.
9 - Blaming: Ahh ... I believe blaming things on an innocuous 3rd party is perfectly reasonable.
10 - Frustrations on subordinates: Yes and no. Let them know you're frustrated about something, but don't flip out on them for your own issues.
11 - Keeping Score: Crap. This is 2007 not 1957. Ego trips are what send you to the top if you really and truly want to get to the top. People don't notice intelligent hard-workers.
12 - Back up Claims: Sure.
13 - Complainer: Entirely depends on how you're employed. If you're a contact worker, don't complain. If you're a unionized full-time worker, put in a new grievance every day.
14 - Insecurities: I don't know what you're trying to say here.
15 - Emotional: "Laugh and the world laugh's with you, cry and you cry alone". Happy emotions are good.
16 - Instant Gratification: You mean looking to solve a problem quickly isn't good? Uh, no - it is good.
17 - Rumors: Rumors are the best! They're like office politics! Get to know all the rumors and you're who everyone goes to for the latest. It's not all about making the company richer, it's sometimes about drama.
18 - Too Complacent: Agreed.
19 - Job Defining You: That's a tough one if you spend 60+ hours a week in the office. Who else are you?
20 - Burn Bridges: Who the hell ever uses their actual boss when giving a reference for your next job? Sure, if you're best of friends that's fine, but most of the time you probably want to get your buddy at that place you worked to be your "boss" as a reference. Duh.
21 - Foul Mouth Company: Yes, I agree.
22 - Impressions: Be who you are. Don't worry about what people think of your 'impressions'. If they don't like your persona they'll fire you. Don't conform. Rage against the machines.
23 - Political/Religious Views - That pretty much eliminates 80% of conversation, more like 95% if you cut out the office politics and the gossip! Religious views leave at home ... Political views are fine.
24 - Don't Take: Absolutely agreed.
25 - Perfectionist: Nope. Be as much a perfectionist as possible, especially in the technology business. Hazing over the details is what separates a $12/hr construction worker with a $100/hr carpenter.

My opinions, of course. :)

Anonymous said...

26. Don't hire candiense

Blake said...

Don't even interview canadiense.

Anonymous said...

@anonymous and blake

heh. Leaders lead. Being a brown-nosing, conforming tool is NOT leading.

Imbeciles.

ispf said...

Canadiense: Wow, that's some feedback ! Thanks!

I can see your point on some of the things and I do find it hard not to break all the rules myself... but on some (eg. office politics and rumors), boy, I just can't agree with you! We just have to agree to disagree. To each his own!