Are you destroying your career?

Published: Feb 4, 2024
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The rise of social media, the glorification of busyness, and the undervaluation of work-life balance have all contributed to a complex professional environment.

In this short article, I will dive into seven controversial habits that could hold you back from reaching your full potential.

I will offer practical advice based on my experience navigating these challenges for a more fulfilling and successful career.

The Social Media Mirage

Personal branding has become a buzzword in today's interconnected world, synonymous with career advancement. Social media platforms like LinkedIn have become arenas for showcasing achievements and networking.

However, an over-reliance on curating a perfect online image can lead to a dangerous oversight: neglecting tangible skills and real-world accomplishments.

While a vibrant online presence can open doors, the substance behind the style—your abilities and achievements—genuinely matter.

Real-world networking and delivering measurable results will build a more sustainable career than any online persona can.

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The Myth of Busyness

There's a prevailing notion that being perpetually busy is a hallmark of success. This badge of honour, worn by many, often signifies the opposite: a lack of priority management and a direct path to burnout.

The truth is that productivity is about more than how many tasks you can juggle; it is about how effectively you can achieve your goals.

Embracing efficiency over busyness, setting clear priorities, and allowing yourself downtime can enhance your performance and job satisfaction.

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The Work-Life Imbalance

The modern workplace often glorifies workaholism, subtly encouraging professionals to prioritise their jobs above all else. This skewed balance is unsustainable and can lead to significant health issues, strained relationships, and, ultimately, a decline in work performance.

Achieving success is not only about fulfilling professional commitments but also about taking care of oneself.

A balanced approach prioritising personal well-being alongside professional responsibilities is the key to unlocking success. Remember, a well-rounded life enhances your capacity to excel in your career.

The Challenge of Change

In today's world, change is the only constant, and the lightning-fast pace of technological progress propels it. Staying competitive and relevant requires staying up-to-date in our rapidly changing world.

Sticking exclusively to tried and true methods without adapting to new trends can quickly leave you behind.

Embracing change, learning new skills, and staying abreast of industry developments are crucial for staying relevant and competitive. Stepping out of your comfort zone might be daunting, but it's essential for growth.

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The Misstep of Opportunistic Networking

Networking is undeniably a powerful tool for career growth. However, reaching out to your network only when needed can be perceived as insincere. Building genuine, mutually beneficial relationships is the foundation of effective networking. This means engaging with your contacts regularly, offering help, and sharing insights, not just asking for favours.

Authentic connections are more likely to support your career over the long term. For example, I've recently interacted with some individuals who initially seemed accommodating. Their LinkedIn profile may have portrayed a particular persona in a different light than their actual abilities, potentially in an effort to impress a specific audience.

Therefore, I am more observant of people's actions and underlying intentions and whether their values align with mine and our company's.

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The Underestimation of Soft Skills

Focusing solely on honing technical skills is easy in a world increasingly dominated by technology. However, soft skills like communication, empathy, and teamwork are just as critical, if not more so.

These skills enable you to collaborate effectively, navigate workplace dynamics, and confidently lead. Investing in your soft skills can distinguish you in a competitive job market and propel your career forward.

The Silence that Stifles

Voicing your ideas, advocating for yourself, and asking for what you deserve is essential for career advancement. Many professionals fall into the trap of remaining silent out of humility or fear of overstepping. Finding a balance between assertiveness and professionalism is key. Sharing your accomplishments and aspirations can lead to new opportunities and pave the way for success.

Addressing these seven habits requires introspection, courage, and a willingness to change. By recognising and actively working to improve these areas, you can navigate the modern career landscape more effectively, leading to a more rewarding and successful career path.

Remember, the goal is to succeed in your career and be sustainable and fulfilled long term.

Sara Tavasolian
VP of Product