I was talking with a former employee the other day. We laid him off during the recession a few years ago. It was a frank conversation, and it was good that he understood that back then he made it easy for us when we had to make a choice of whom to let go. What many people don't realize is that some of their actions (or lack thereof) are damaging their careers and hurting their chances of advancement or of keeping their job. There are three detrimental habits that will keep you from success in your profession.
1. Not learning
The most successful people in any company are the ones who are constantly learning and taking on more responsibility. If you come to work and do exactly what is expected of you without seeking out new information or challenges, you're probably hurting yourself more than you think. So what can you do about it? Ask questions. Take on tasks that you don't usually do. Help out your superiors and take some of the work off of their plates. The more you do and the more you learn, the better your chances for a promotion, raise, or other advancement.
2. Wasting time
Many people spend a good chunk of their workday trying to appear busy, instead of actually being busy. If you are constantly involved in your work, your workday will speed by and you'll accomplish a lot more. Learning how to best manage your time can help you to learn and grow, making you more and more valuable to the company. So how do you manage your time better? Make a to-do list. Plan out your day so that you know what needs to be done and when it needs to be done. Most importantly, keep yourself accountable.
3. Poor attitude
One of the most harmful habits that people suffer from is a poor attitude. If you go to work every day and focus on all of the negative things, it's hard to be productive and contribute to the success of the company. Chances are your poor attitude is affecting others around you as well, furthering the negative side effects. To reverse your attitude, focus on the good things that you do throughout the day. If you feel like you do a lot of work with nothing to show, start putting together an "anti to-do list," showing all of the things that you've accomplished through the day.
These three habits often accompany each other and can really make the difference between you being seen as a good employee and being first in line for unemployment. Ensuring that you're constantly learning, maximizing time, and approaching everything with a great attitude can do wonders for your success and advancement throughout your career.