3 Career Mistakes That Could Be Holding You Back

Has your career been going great but it suddenly stalled and you can’t seem to figure out why your search for answers has left you empty-handed? You could be the one sabotaging your career without even knowing it. Here are a few of the career mistakes that could be holding you back.

1. Looking sloppy

rumpled shirt not good for career

Sloppy man | iStock

Even if you’ve been at your job for a while, don’t get too comfortable. You should continue to dress to impress throughout your career. Some of the top office fashion don’ts are coming to work with wrinkled clothes and wearing athletic footwear with your suits. Always dress for the position you want. So if you’re hoping for a promotion or to make a good impression as a new employee, pay close attention to the choices you make when it’s time to get dressed for work.

Career strategist Penelope Trunk says dressing well should be top of mind at all times, especially since employees are judged by the way they look. “Dress like you care. Building a strong brand for yourself is the only way to create a stable career in today’s workplace. You’ll change jobs often, and what influences your ability to get new jobs most is the image you convey. People judge that before they judge one word that comes out of your mouth,” said Trunk.

2. Not speaking well

Man with bull horn

Man yelling | iStock

You could be the smartest person in the room, but if that doesn’t translate well when you speak, you’ve got a big problem. Whether your issue is getting nervous during public speaking or using slang or inappropriate terms during conversations, you’ll need to quickly address the problem so you can improve your chances of moving forward in your career. “In business, it is essentially important for you to be able to get your point across. It is likely that all of us will one day have to speak in public. Whether we are giving a formal presentation to an audience, or simply asking our boss for a promotion, speaking skills are essential to getting ahead in a professional setting,” said sales training and success coach Brian Tracy.

3. Having a horrible work ethic

Lazy man stretching at desk

Lazy man | iStock

Are you always late to work? Do you disregard company policies and brush off the importance of being a team player? If you don’t take your job seriously, you won’t have one for long. You can’t expect to rise up the ranks if you can’t get the little things right. A poor work ethic could make or break your career. “The lack of a personal values statement can contribute to poor work ethics. In a society that now frowns on judging behavior, the ‘wink and nod’ belief takes over. What this belief suggests is: ‘Sure I believe in honesty — unless I get caught,’” said business coach Leanne Hoagland-Smith.

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