EIGHT TRAITS THAT MAY BE DAMAGING YOUR CAREER
External pressures, obstacles and difficulties aside, how many of us are responsible for unwittingly hampering our chances of career success through our own misplaced and misguided attitudes and behaviour? In this article, the career experts at the Middle
Making or breaking career depends on a employee's attitude and he or she should avoid eight things at any cost to notch up successes at work.
According to the Bayt.com ‘Absenteeism in the MENA Workplace' poll, July 2012, 58.2% of professionals in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region believe that employee absenteeism is ‘very harmful' to an organisation, with a decreased overall productivity as the most costly problem resulting from this phenomenon (according to 26.8%). Absenteeism, missing deadlines, failing to abide by agreed timelines, arriving to meetings late and generally disrespecting approved schedules is a surefire way to lose credibility and professional respect. With over 90% of MENA professionals claiming that their company keeps a close eye on employee absenteeism, try to value each and every minute at work.
2 FAILURE TO DELIVER ON PROMISES
A promise made should be a promise kept if your professional credibility is to remain intact. Avoid making promises you cannot deliver on. Unless you are known as someone who can be strictly depended on to follow through and deliver on-time you are likely to be passed over for promotions and key assignments. When you do need more time or resources for an assignment, communicate the requirement formally and professionally and manage the situation to show you are in control and will not be sacrificing on quality of delivery. According to the Bayt.com ‘Employee Engagement in the MENA' poll, April 2014, 7 in 10 of MENA professionals feel comfortable enough to voice their concerns and opinions to their manager; so should you.
3 POOR INTERPERSONAL SKILLS
All research indicates that emotional intelligence and people skills are essential ingredients for success in life and at work. Indeed, good communication skills, cooperativeness and flexibility have been repeatedly identified as the most sought-after skills by employers in Bayt.com Middle East Job Index surveys throughout the years. If you have a reputation as someone who is difficult to work or interact with, chances are people will start to avoid you and your success at mobilising people or resources to further your goals will be severely diminished.
4 POOR TEAM SKILLS
A good team player is able to work cohesively within a team framework and contribute, collaborate, communicate and challenge to meet specific goals within that framework. Inability to see beyond one's self, work well with everyone, find the good qualities of others in the team, communicate persuasively and effectively, listen actively and attentively, give and welcome input, offer encouragement and assistance where needed and show respect, patience and courtesy inevitably leads to marginalisation and failure to meet personal and professional goals.
5 LACK OF ETHICS OR PROFESSIONALISM
Conducting personal business on the job and any other activities that show flagrant disrespect for company time, resources and property are both unethical and unprofessional. Other unethical activities including chatting endlessly on the job, office gossip, wasting office supplies, back-biting the boss, spreading office secrets, routinely bringing personal matters to the workplace all fall under this category. In the MENA, 98% of professionals believe that it is important for their companies to have and promote ethics and integrity at the workplace (as per the Bayt.com ‘ Values, Ethics and Integrity in the MENA Workplace' poll, June 2014).
6 LACK OF INITIATIVE
Complacency is a surefire road to professional mediocrity. To succeed it is essential that you continue to show enthusiasm, stretch the limits, be proactive and test the boundaries in the interest of innovation. Take responsibility for your personal and professional growth and continue to build momentum in your training and profession development activities. If you choose to simply lie low and casually bide your time while others race ahead in their careers you will most probably be overlooked for promotions and plum assignments and your skills may well eventually become redundant. According to the Bayt.com ‘Hiring Practices in the MENA' poll, February 2012, hunger, drive and ambition have been identified as the most important things employers look for when making a hiring decision.
7 INABILITY TO HANDLE PRESSURE
Every job entails a certain amount of stress and pressure and failure to recognise and handle the strain may lead to a pronounced and sustained decline in performance. Learn to recognise stress and cope with it professionally and effectively. Take breaks and holidays when needed, learn to manage stress and cope with pressure so that it is not an ongoing problem for you. It may be that the pressures mounting on you are due to poor time management or delegation skills or weakness in a certain area in which case developing your skills in these areas is highly advisable.
You may well be in your comfort zone and doing very well there but if you don't challenge yourself in pursuit of further growth and development and continuously move forward and upward you may lose your equilibrium sooner than you expected. Have a vision in mind as pertains to your career and formulate a clear strategy and timeline for getting there which you can regularly benchmark and measure yourself against. Continuous learning, development and self-improvement is a necessity not a luxury for today's ambitious professional and it is imperative that you keep abreast of the latest trends, tools and technologies in your field and not risk losing ground to the star performers who take personal growth more seriously.