Everyone wants to move forward in their career, and some people don’t realize that they are making critical mistakes and sabotaging their own progress. Understanding these potential slip-ups can help you to avoid them, so that you can stay on the fast-track path to career success. Here are a few things to avoid:

  • Micromanaging is Required on Every Project
    Your boss won’t likely promote you if they feel like you have to be micromanaged every step of the way. It is important to make sure that you are doing things right, but at the same time you need to make forward progress on your own without having someone look over your shoulder all day. Take initiative with your projects and don’t be afraid to ask questions as they arise, but don’t crutch on other people to tell you how to handle every detail of the project.
  • Your Ego is More Important Than the Team
    If you are always stepping on other people’s toes because you want to do it your way, then you could be sabotaging career opportunities. No one likes to feel like they are being pushed around, especially when it comes to things that impact their performance at work. Don’t let your ego get in the way of developing stronger work relationships and building an effective team.
  • Being a Complainer
    No one wants to spend a lot of time around a complainer, and if you are always complaining then it is likely that you are hurting your ability to get a promotion or work on new projects. Occasionally, complaints can be beneficial if they offer solutions and improvements to the company. But, make sure that you aren’t the person in the office that is always bringing up the problems and whining about your issues. When you complain, you sap the morale of the whole team which can cause undue stress for everyone involved.
  • Bad Communication With Employees and Customers
    Communication is key to maintaining good relationships, and the quality of your communication will get you noticed. If your communication is non-existent or confusing, then it can have a negative impact on the impression that other people have of you. On the other hand, clear and positive communication can show that you are confident, comfortable, and a good team player.
  • You Are the “Brownnoser” in the Office
    Trying to impress people too much with flattery often has a negative impact, and your efforts will likely backfire on you. If someone offers too many compliments or they are too clingy to gain the approval of the boss, then it will likely come across as disingenuous. It is ok to offer a genuine compliment every now and then, but you need to avoid crossing the line and becoming a brownnoser.


By staying away from these critical mistakes in your career, you can avoid the self-sabotaging habits that often prevent people from getting a promotion or pay increase that they desire. Be aware of your habits and actions throughout the day, and make sure that you are avoiding self-sabotage in your career.

Written: February 2015