5 Reasons People Don’t Succeed at Work

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There are many ways you can succeed at work — from working hard, to taking risks, to expanding your skills. Most people have a strong goal to succeed at their job and to move up into better positions as they work longer. However, sometimes there are personal behaviors or actions that actually hold you back at work. You may knowingly not be doing your best, or you might simply have gotten into a pattern of laziness or mediocrity.

Either way, failing to do your best or consistently displaying certain behaviors can stop you from succeeding at work. This can lead to being fired or simply being passed over when promotions become available. Regardless of whether you are intentionally just slipping by, it’s always in your best interest to try to succeed at work. Here are five reasons you won’t succeed at work that you can make sure to avoid.

1. You’re too lazy

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Laziness at work is a common phenomenon. It’s easy to get bored and fail to do your best. This is especially true if you feel like no one cares how well you do or if you won’t be held accountable if your work isn’t that great. However, in most cases, your boss and possibly your co-workers do notice when you don’t come through, even if they don’t say something about it immediately. You also might have gotten into a pattern of complacency, particularly if you already think your work is better than your co-workers’. However, part of succeeding at work is learning new things and always improving yourself.

Another sign of laziness is failing to show up at meetings on time, coming to work or meetings unprepared, or regularly showing up late for work or leaving early. According to Careerealism, you can avoid laziness at work by avoiding distractions, taking initiative, taking on difficult tasks, and making realistic expectations for what you can complete each day.

2. You procrastinate


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A recent Salary.com survey found that 89% of survey respondents admitted wasting time at work every day. If you regularly procrastinate, you risk having the work you produce be rushed and inadequate. Everyone procrastinates sometimes, but try to avoid logging on to social networks, chatting aimlessly with co-workers, and making repeated trips to the restroom or to use the phone as much as possible. You also should try not to wait till the last minute for important projects. Even if you have weeks to complete a project, you should take it on as soon as you have the time. If you give yourself more time to complete it, you likely will do a more thorough job.

3. You fail to get along with others

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If you hate your boss or your co-workers, chances are it is affecting your work and your work atmosphere. Being frustrated or deeply bothered by another employee can easily affect the quality of your work because your emotions and frustrations can stop you from putting your best work forward. In addition, if you can’t get along with your co-workers, you will never succeed at your job long-term. Bosses want to have employees who make an effort to at least be civil and get along with their co-workers. This is a vital ability because you almost always will have to work with your co-workers on projects, and you will need to interact with them on a daily basis.

According to Monster, you can try being honest with the co-worker or co-workers who are bothering you, focus on the person’s good qualities, and if you must, report any behavior that is worth reporting.

4. You’re not positive

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A negative attitude affects your own work production and ability, and it affects those around you. Negativity in the workplace (whether you are gossiping, complaining, or just having a bad attitude) will definitely hinder your chances for success. Negativity affects the general feeling of a workplace as well; one person with a bad attitude can bring many other people down, and too many negative workers will make a workplace toxic. In addition to affecting others, negativity will also stop you from succeeding yourself. If you are never happy about your job, you will fail to reap any positive benefits besides a paycheck. You may also become overly paranoid because you think everyone is out to get you. Lastly, having a negative attitude might stop you from taking a risk like applying for a job that you would really enjoy, or learning new skills that would help you with your career.

5. It’s out of your hands

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While often your failure to succeed at work is your own fault, sometimes there are other reasons you won’t succeed. Sometimes a job is just a job, and it won’t turn into a career. This may be because you are failing in some way, but it can also be outside of your control. If the company you work for is too small, you may have a hard time moving forward or succeeding in turning your job into a career. If you are satisfied simply having a job, then that might not matter, but if you have long-term goals, you might want more for yourself. It’s also possible that you won’t succeed at your job because the company you work for is in financial trouble, in which case, there isn’t much you can do.

For the most part, you are responsible for your own success at work. Sometimes, outside forces will stop you from succeeding, but in general, it’s important to take time once in a while to evaluate your own contributions, and to make sure that you are not hindering your own success.

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