1. Preferring to work alone
Being able to work independently is a good thing, because it shows that you have initiative and require little supervision or guidance. But when you ask to be left out of team projects or insist on working on a task without any help, it can look bad, because it shows that you’re not interested in sharing ideas and being a team player. So, while there’s nothing wrong with flying solo in certain situations, you should also look for ways to collaborate and connect with others where you can.
2. Not knowing when to say no
Agreeing to take on additional projects may look great on your resume (and earn you extra points with the boss), but if you don’t set boundaries, you risk burning out and even resenting your job. So remember that you don’t have to say yes all the time. Saying no to something when you know it’s going to take a lot out of you is not only empowering, it’s also a smart strategy that will help you get ahead.
3. Wasting time on “energy vampires”
You’d probably get more done if you didn’t waste time on energy-sapping tasks, like checking your inbox every 20 minutes or chatting to that colleague who never seems to have anything to do. You may not be able to avoid the odd distraction, but if you find yourself constantly focusing on everything other than the task at hand, it’s time to get disciplined. This may mean creating a strict schedule for yourself and sticking to it, asking your colleagues to leave you alone between certain times, and checking your email less frequently.
4. Having a negative attitude
If you love what you do, it shows in the way you approach your work. But if your attitude is always negative, then it’s hard to move up the ranks. This is because when it comes to promoting their staff, bosses always select the ones who enjoy what they do, who are open to learning from their mistakes (instead of bitching about them), and who inspire others with their energy, enthusiasm and passion for the job. Translation: Even if being at work feels like a drag at times, it’s important to stay upbeat and positive.
5. Always doing things the same way
Doing things the same way over and over again may get the job done, but after a certain point, it’s easy to fall into a rut. Is it time to try something different? Changing the way you approach tasks and finding new solutions to problems may actually boost your productivity, improve your creativity and help you feel more confident about your abilities.
6. Not being able to let go of your mistakes
Making mistakes is how we learn. But if you don’t know how to manage or rebound from your work boo-boos, you may find yourself stuck in a cycle of self-doubt. This may undermine your motivation and limit your effectiveness at work. The next time you mess up the first thing you should do is forgive yourself. Then, look at where you went wrong, acknowledge what could have been done differently, and ask yourself what lesson you can take away from the experience. Now let it go, move on, and quit beating yourself up over it!