We spend so much of our lives building toward a career. In our younger years, we’re peppered with the “What do you want to be when you grow up?” question. By high school we’re concerned with attending colleges and universities that excel in our expected majors. When we finally have that coveted degree in hand, we march through the applicant ranks hoping to land our dream job in our dream industry.

It’s all supposed to operate smoothly and for millions of newly minted paycheck earners, it does. But somewhere along the line, cracks in the foundation start to appear. Maybe your job isn’t as inspirational and exciting as you’d hoped? Maybe you don’t earn as much money as you thought you would? Or maybe the problem is you.

You hit the books, studied hard, landed the right internships, and aced your interviews. You thought you did everything right. But did you ever spend any time learning how to be a good employee/teammate/partner/collaborator? What about how to operate on deadline or multi-task or handle your emotions in the workplace? And we can’t forget about the ability to solve problems and embrace new solutions and systems.

These are some of the traits and skills you need to keep your job once you’ve landed it, but too often, these human capabilities aren’t nurtured, much less mentioned, while you’re growing up and preparing for your career. But LinkedIn Influencer Jack Welch, Executive Chairman of the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University (and former GE guru), is here to help with his article, “10 Behaviors That Could Kill Your Career.”

Welch advises to be prepared for bumps in your career trajectory, but instead of playing the blame game and attacking your company/boss/position as the problem, focus on yourself. If you exhibit any of these suspect behaviors, then perhaps you’re the cause of your own downfall or stalemate.

Here’s Welch’s list:

  • Misfiring on performance or values — overcommitting and under-delivering.
  • Resisting change — failing to embrace new ideas.
  • Being a Problem Identifier versus a Problem Solver.
  • Winning over your boss but not your business peer group.
  • Worrying about your next career move instead of focusing on the present.
  • Running for office – it’s totally transparent to everyone but you!
  • Exhibiting a humorless, rigid attitude or being to self-important.
  • Lacking the courage and conviction to push back on the system.
  • Forgetting to develop your own succession plan for when you get promoted.
  • Being complacent — you’ve stopped growing.

Now, let’s say you’re still totally in the dark about your own issues (seriously?). In that case, we direct you to Brian de Haaff, a software company builder, fellow Northwestern University graduate, and currently, founder and CEO of Aha!, a product roadmap software. He’s authored a LinkedIn Influencer post that is getting a lot of traction, apparently because plenty of people are worried about what their boss thinks of them.

If she’s ignoring you, you’re about to be fired. 

At least, that’s de Haaff’s take in “The One Sign Your Boss Wants You Gone.” This wildly popular piece is a companion to his earlier wildly popular article, “The One Sign Your Boss Loves You.” De Haaff plainly states that the fact that exists in every workplace – everyone is different and therefore, your relationships with people, from co-workers to bosses, will be different. Some will be awesome, others not so much. But as long as your boss is still talking or barking at you, then at least she cares.

But if you start getting the cold shoulder, you might as well pack up your cubicle. “Being ignored is worse than being ridiculed. At least when you are ridiculed, you are acknowledged,” writes de Haaff.

There is, however, a difference between a spiteful boss and one with whom you clash. A hateful boss will steal credit for your work whereas a boss you don’t get along with will avoid you. Stealing your successes is just plain mean. You won’t get ahead there. Neither scenario is ideal but at least with the latter there is potential to mend your relationship. Keep in mind that you might have to do some serious self-reflection, too, so turn back to Welch’s advice.

One of the most important things to remember when we write about workplace issues on ActiveCare is that your work personality will follow you throughout your career. Even though you might have a shiny, important title at a big name company on your resume, word will get around about how you treat people. You are your brand. Your brand is you. Even a clean background check can’t fix a jerk.

Share This