Editor’s Note: This blog by John Boitnott was recently posted on the Business Insider web site and was referenced on numerous sites include ITBestofBreed.com where we found it. We are sharing with this with our Midsize Enterprise Summit audience to help you improve your career prospects. You can find the original article here Business Insider blog on negative behaviors holding you back
Everyone wants to move up the career ladder, taking on larger roles, getting more advanced titles, and definitely making that larger paycheck.
However, your attitude might be the very reason that's not happening. While you may think you are working hard and doing what is expected, you may not realize that you are exhibiting behaviors that are serving as barriers to your advancement.
I've seen these five negative behaviors firsthand and know that they definitely impact decisions on when to advance people within organizations:
You might think entitlement isn't that big a deal. It's just a person being a bit too confident in what they deserve for the effort they've put in, right? However, it's actually one of the worst possible qualities you can exhibit.
Research shows entitlement is linked with "negative workplace behaviors." An entitled attitude is a huge reason why so many employees and entrepreneurs struggle to advance in their careers. No one owes you anything, especially an employer. If anything, an employee owes it to their employer to deliver talent, skills, and knowledge to achieve the organization's objectives.
After all, they hired you and were willing to take a chance by investing in what you have to offer. As most managers and executives will tell you, if you expect people to advance you or to do things for you at work, that negative behavior will get you nowhere fast. Instead, if you are grateful for and gracious about what you have, you will most likely be rewarded for your positive attitude.
2. A 'can't do' attitude
There are the "can do" people and then there are the "can't do" people. If you can't seem to ever do what is asked of you, then there is very little reason why an employer would want to advance you.
If you always have a reason why you can't take on extra work, help out on a project, or meet that deadline, then you may not be showing others you have the capability to grow and develop as an employee or team member.
As many experts have said, you are limiting yourself and others when you exhibit such behavior. Rather than refusing to ever take on extra work, see where you can show some initiative and do a little extra so your employer sees your drive.
Talking about others and spreading rumors about them only serves to divide and create conflict in an office.
Although many people see it as harmless, most company founders and team leaders will tell you that gossip does major damage to creativity and collaboration within an organization.
Go out of your way to praise others on your team and let them know they are appreciated. If you must talk about others, share good news about how they helped meet a deadline or offered a great idea that will enrich the company.
4. Having no drive
Nothing is worse to me than someone who is lazy and just doesn't have the internal drive mechanism to go the distance when a project calls for it.
I don't think everyone should work long hours all the time, but it is frustrating to see someone who always does the bare minimum. I've spoken with many entrepreneurs who say they prefer to hire and promote people who aren't working obsessively, but who still put in extra work from time to time on a consistent basis.
Find a way to stoke that fire in you to work just a bit harder if you want to advance in your career. Research shows that if the job doesn't make you happy, you're going to be less productive. Also, if it doesn't ignite passion or desire to work harder, then maybe it's not for you and you should consider another industry.
5. Playing the blame game
When and if something goes wrong, step up and take responsibility. If you shirk accountability, your boss will not want to promote you to a position that requires more of it.
If you blame others, it makes you look like you're "playing the victim" and don't have the courage to take the blame yourself when you've done something wrong. Take the responsibility if you've made a mistake. It's admirable and shows leadership potential.
The good thing about every one of these negative behaviors is that they can be turned into positive ones that can propel your career forward. You have the power to adjust your actions and find the positive attitude that brings professional and personal success.
John Boitnott is a journalist and digital consultant who has worked at TV, newspapers, radio, and internet companies in the U.S. for 20 years. He's an advisor at StartupGrind and has written for NBC, Fast Company, Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur, USAToday, and VentureBeat, among others.