You’ve got your career plan all mapped out, and have already taken steps toward it. For some reason, you can’t seem to reach your goals though. Why is that? You’ve completed your schooling, done the work, and gained experience, but for some reason, your plans are continually derailed.
It could be that you’re a victim of one or more of these five career-derailing habits. Each of these habits can affect both personal and work life in a drastic way, causing you to lose focus and even important opportunities. Not to mention, habits like drinking and smoking can cost you money, derailing financial plans, and even relationship goals in the process.
Let’s take a closer look at these career-killing habits.
Smoking is a habit you’ll be better off without in every aspect of your life. Not only does it slowly destroy your physical health, but it can affect hygiene, relationships, your financial status, and eventually, cost your life. It’s no exaggeration to say that smoking will kill you eventually, especially when about 800,000 people die every year in the US from smoking-related illnesses.
It’s clear that smoking is physically dangerous, but what may not be clear is how it’s affecting your career plans. Many workplaces are moving toward a smoke-free policy so as to prevent exposure to second-hand smoke and the potential liability that comes with it. Second-hand smoke can be dangerous in itself, causing cancer and disease after prolonged exposure. The bottom line? Your dream job may just be out of reach if you’re a smoker.
Not to mention, smokers cost businesses as much as $5,800 per year. This is on top of any salary, benefits, and PTO that you’d get from your position. That’s not exactly a good investment for the company. Plus, your healthcare costs will eventually be higher, given that you’re actively destroying your heart, lungs, and internal organs. It’s time to quit smoking for good.
Alcohol is one of the most dangerous and addictive substances out there, and yet, it’s readily available, socially acceptable, and cheap. Alcohol can easily destroy a life via addiction, drunk driving, or some other alcohol-related incident. About 14 million adults in the US are reported to regularly abuse alcohol.
Using alcohol could be holding you back from your career, from fulfilling relationships, and from being motivated to succeed. Alcohol is a depressant, and once you become addicted, you can’t function without it. Even if you’re not going into work intoxicated, your days become centered on when you can have your next drink, and that’s hardly conducive to a productive career.
Millions of people leave alcohol behind for good every year, and their families, friends, and careers are better for it. Even something as seemingly innocent as a few drinks per week can devolve into a nasty habit. Be careful!
3. Being Unreliable
Unreliability comes in many forms. You could be late all the time, fail to meet expectations, deadlines, or adhere to quality standards, or simply not show up on certain days. Unreliability is a negative habit, and one that can easily cost you your career. Put yourself in the position of management; would you hire someone with a record of unreliability?
Unreliable workers make for poor investments, costing time, money, and replacement costs. If you don’t show up, someone else has to cover. If you don’t meet expectations, someone else has to cover. The bottom line is that unreliability always means someone else has to pick up your slack or cover for you, and that’s entirely unfair to your colleagues and the company itself. Why should anyone hire someone for a job they continuously fail to perform?
4. Being Dishonest
The old saying, “honesty is the best policy” is truer than ever. In a world where lives are fabricated online to look better, being genuine is something of a precious rarity and one that future employers will appreciate. Being dishonest in your personal and work life can only lead to mistrust from the people you care about and leave you feeling very alone.
Employers don’t want dishonest workers. After all, if something happens and you lie about it, you could end up costing more money or labor to handle the problem. Or, you could jeopardize someone else’s position, safety, or personal reputation.
Be honest in what you do. Be honest at work, at home, out in public. Make honesty a part of your life and your personality.
5. Unwillingness To Change
Change is often a frightening occurrence. We cross the threshold from the known to the unknown, walking blindly down an unfamiliar path, sometimes with no guidance, support, or direction. Change can be complex, difficult, and beautiful simultaneously. The one thing that will always hold you back in life and your career is an unwillingness to change.
You must be willing to embrace change, because the only constant is change. Nothing is infinite. Change brings about the good and the bad, but refusing to change the worst parts of yourself can only result in stagnancy. There’s always a better way to do things. There’s always something to improve on. You just have to accept it.