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Five Things People Do to Hurt Their Careers — And How to Stop Doing Them- Forbes

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Happiness within the modern workplace is
improving, sure. We talk less about
discrimination, and we’re getting closer to
equal pay regardless of gender. But that
doesn’t mean that workers are thriving
unhindered. The big difference is that these
days, the barrier to advancing is more likely
to be self-constructed. That’s right: Your own
worst workplace nemesis is you.
Maybe it’s a lack of confidence to demand the
salary you’re worth or the promotion you
deserve. Maybe you’re risk-averse, and
inclined to hand over the high profile (and
high visibility) assignments to someone else.
Maybe you don’t have a mentor. Maybe you
aren’t a mentor yourself.
But more than ever, each of us is a brand, in
competition with other brands, and in order
to succeed, it’s important to learn to stop
getting in your own way; to create your own
path. Here are the top worst mistakes modern
workers make, and ways to avoid falling prey
to the same traps yourself.

  1. Not Marketing Yourself
    Most people know that marketing is an essential part of moving up in the workplace, and yet they hold back. The reason: They
    don’t want to be seen as bragging about
    themselves. But there are plenty of ways to
    further your personal brand—and to get the
    recognition—without grandstanding. The first
    step is to be sure you can define and
    understand your brand: what you can offer,
    who needs to know about you and why. Be
    clear and direct about the benefits you offer.
    If you’re simply stating the facts—to the
    relevant people—it’ll be hard to take that as
    being needlessly self-promotional. It’s only
    when you talk about your achievements to
    someone for whom those achievements aren’t
    relevant that you can sound boastful.

    Another approach to indirect, non-braggy
    marketing is to work to be included on the big
    and difficult projects. Those are the jobs that
    bring visibility. At the very least, try to be on
    cross-functional teams and projects so that
    people outside your workplace inner circle get
    to see you in action. Or take on “extra credit”
    work like writing articles or finding speaking
    opportunities. Just be sure the extra work
    isn’t the kind where you’re in a room
    working on something that gets you zero
    exposure. Pick things where the extra work
    will be recognized.
    And lastly, but most critically, do a great job.
    There’s no better marketing tool than a good
    reputation. Take pride in your work by paying
    attention to every detail. Avoid careless moves
    like being late or missing deadlines. As
    Johnny Carson once said, “Talent alone won’t
    make you a success.”

  2. Having Sub-par Communication Skills
    One timeless and industry-neutral piece of
    advice I give to employees of all ages is to
    learn to be the best communicator you can
    be. I talk to a lot of people in senior positions,
    and everyone agrees that ill communication is
    the biggest problem among employees today,
    particularly among those just coming out of
    college. People simply aren’t prepared to
    create and convey a point of view. But sloppy
    communications hurt you. Clear
    communications, on the other hand, make you
    stand out.
    Technology is surely partly to blame. We
    email and we text, and we use shorthand
    that’s getting ever shorter, and as a result
    we’re losing our skills in clear, concise
    expression. One way to reverse this trend is
    to use every opportunity you have to speak in
    front of groups. Presentation skills are like
    muscles. They need to be stressed if they’re
    going to get stronger. And, like running or
    lifting weights, the more you do it, the easier
    it gets, the more you can take on, and the
    more accomplished you become.

Read complete Article HERE.

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