Groups of people that have similar results often have similar habits. Thin people have similar habits. Overweight people have similar habits. Productive people have several habits in common. Likewise, there are success enhancers for careers, and there are often commonalities among people who feel stalled. These are seven habits you’ll need to break if you want to get unstuck.
- Failing to learn. We fail to become more valuable to our organizations if we fail to learn and develop. People with growing careers are always learning new things. In fact, learning how to learn is one of the top skillsets for professional growth and career acceleration.
- Giving in to distractions. We have more distractions than ever before. There will always be the temptation to say “yes” to something that doesn’t advance your career path. Know what pushes you forward and what just gets in the way. That committee might seem prestigious, that special project alluring, but if it doesn’t advance your career, it might just be noise.
- A lack of emphasis on action. Planning has its place. Learning more about a topic or developing a new skillset can be necessary. Eventually, though, things have to get done if career progress is going to happen. Done is better than perfect.
- Failing to prioritize what matters most. If your career feels stalled, engage your boss/manager to help you prioritize what is most important for you right now. Working really hard at the wrong thing is career sabotage.
- Majoring in minor things. You’re probably quite busy, and even look busy to others. But, being busy and being productive and effective aren’t the same thing. Avoid any activities that don’t provide significant results for the amount of time and energy (and absence from your family) required.
- Giving up. Most career progress looks more like a spider web or a rock climbing expedition than a ladder. And, you simply can’t be successful if you give up too soon. This is not only about what you do, how well you do it, how fast you do it, or how much time you spend doing it. It’s also about perseverance and resiliency-both are critical factors to long-term career success.
- Worrying. It’s fine to have concern and then address those concerns. However, worrying is an unproductive habit. It wastes time and makes you less effective. Tell the negative committee that meets in your head to take a vacation.
Eliminate the habits that are causing you to stall, and you’ll be in the best position to propel your career forward.