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08/06/2013

5 Things That Could Hurt Your Career- But You Didn’t Know.

Some of the ways you could damage your career are obvious - poor work performance, shouting at your boss and stealing from the company are all pretty well-known career-harmers. But there are less obvious things you might be doing that can also damage your career without you realizing it, and they're worth paying attention to.
Here are five ways you might harm your work progression that might not be so obvious.

1. Staying at one job for too long. You might think that loyalty to an employer would be valued, and it is, but there's also a point where staying too long at one company can raise questions for future prospective employers about how you'll adapt to new environments.
(You can combat this, however, by demonstrating adaptability: Showing a progression in responsibilities and job titles, and finding other ways to show that you're flexible, open to change and don't have an insular viewpoint.)

2. Being too good at something you don't like. In general, the better you are at something, the more
you'll be asked to do it. This means that you should focus on becoming best at the things you do like to do, so that you're sought after for those instead.

3. Not speaking up when you disagree with the boss. Sure, some managers just want to be surrounded with yes-men, but working for a manager like this isn't a good way to build your career. You want to work for good managers, and good managers want to work with straight-shooters who they can count on for the truth. This means giving your candid opinion when it matters.

4. Not going to workplace social events. Not everyone loves office social gatherings, and that's fine - but the higher up the professional ladder you go, the more you'll be expected to at least make an appearance at some. It might be unfair or unreasonable, and it's still up to you whether you go or not, but beware that never showing up might come with a price tag.

5. Recommending someone for a job as a favor to them. When you provide a positive reference for someone, you're putting your own reputation on the line to vouch for them. You're saying, "I consider this person's work excellent." If the person's work isn't actually excellent, it will reflect badly on you and your judgment - and can really harm your own reputation. After all, if Jane's work is awful and you said it was great, what does that mean for your own work and quality standards?
If you want to help someone out but can't honestly recommend his or her work, help in other ways: Send job leads, give feedback on his or her résumé and point him or her to helpful resources. But don't sacrifice your own reputation by giving a reference you can't stand behind.

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