I had an interesting conversation with a c-worker that revolved around how another co-worker was hurting his career.Â The actions in particular had to do with his facebook page and his work performance.Â His work performance of late has been slipping while, evidently, his postings have been increasing – with comments about doing this and that and getting no sleep – so on.Â
That brought me to this article by Megan Malugani that I saw on Yahoo.Â There are probably more than 11 ways to hurt your career, but these 11 are a good start.Â Guess what number 4 is.Â Facebook, twitter, Myspace are all fun things – I suppose – but don’t put anything on there that you wouldn’t put on the company bulletin board.Â Because that’s exactly what you are doing.
Be wise or to paraphrase Will Rogers, “live life so that you will not be ashamed to sell your talking parrot to the town gossip.”
Amen to that.
1. Not Taking Your Education Seriously
If you party too much in college and end up with a run-of-the-mill 2.5 GPA, youâ€™ll be passed over for the best entry-level jobs, says New York City-based executive recruiter and coach Brian Drum of Drum Associates. Not finishing your masterâ€™s degree is another way to hurt your career development goals, adds Anne Angerman, a career coach with Denver-based Career Matters.
2. Not Having a Plan
In the current poor job market, you may have defaulted into a career you arenâ€™t crazy about. Thatâ€™s OK, as long as you develop career plans to get where you want to be. â€œThink of every job you take as a stepping-stone to your next job,â€ Drum advises.
Youâ€™ll lose professional credibility in a hurry if you lie, from exaggerating on your resume to getting caught fibbing on Facebook. â€œIf someone calls in sick to work and then that evening posts a photo on Facebook of their extra day vacationing in Cabo San Lucas, thatâ€™s a big problem,â€ says corporate etiquette specialist Diane Gottsman of the Protocol School of Texas in San Antonio.
4. Sullying Your Reputation on Facebook or Twitter
Social media can harm your reputation in other ways, too. Personal posts and tweets from work — when youâ€™re supposed to be doing your job — can tag you as a slacker. And the content of your posts or tweets can come back to haunt you as well — you never know who might stumble upon those bachelor-party photos. â€œYou need to assume that every boss and potential employer knows how to use Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, and post from the standpoint that everyone is watching even if in reality theyâ€™re not,â€ Gottsman says.
5. Not Respecting Professional Boundaries
Sharing TMI about your personal life with colleagues is unprofessional. â€œYour coworkers donâ€™t want to hear about your fights with your husband,â€ Angerman says. On the other hand, if youâ€™re ultraprivate and work with a chatty group, join the conversations occasionally so coworkers donâ€™t resent you.
6. Gossiping, Slandering, Excessively Criticizing
If you publicly bash fellow employees, the boss, the board of directors or even your competitors, youâ€™ll be perceived as negative at best and a troublemaker at worst. The ramifications can be broad and long term, Gottsman says. â€œIndustries are tight,â€ she says. â€œYou donâ€™t want to be the one who started that rumor about the head of your industry.â€ As far as bad-mouthing competitors — what if your company merges with a competitor, or you want to work for one someday?
7. Carrying on an Inappropriate Relationship with Your Boss
Never a good idea, but an especially bad one if your boss is married. â€œWhen you get involved in a drama or in something unethical that can be brought out in the open, youâ€™re asking for trouble,â€ Gottsman says.
8. Not Controlling Your Alcohol Intake or Libido
Getting drunk at the office party or on a business trip damages your credibility. Ditto a romantic, ahem, â€œindiscretionâ€ that your colleagues know about.
9. Job-Hopping Just for the Money
Job-hopping — in moderation — may not automatically disqualify you from a position. â€œBut it gets to the point — like if you have seven or eight jobs by the time youâ€™re 35 — that employers are not going to want to invest in you,â€ Drum says. Also, if you have leadership aspirations, keep in mind that the top dogs of many large corporations have been with those organizations for long periods, he says. Additionally, many companies have â€œlast in, first outâ€ layoff policies, which could leave you out of a job if you never stick around long enough to build tenure anywhere.
10. Losing Touch with References
Youâ€™ll kick yourself later if you leave a job without collecting personal contact information from colleagues who can serve as professional references for you in the future. â€œIf you were forced to leave a job and you canâ€™t ask your boss for a reference, hopefully youâ€™ve built up some rapport with a colleague and can ask them,â€ Angerman says.
11. Leaving a Job on Bad Terms
Donâ€™t become a lame duck when youâ€™ve got one foot out the door, Drum says. â€œThe employer only remembers about the last five minutes you were there,â€ he says. Give proper notice and donâ€™t leave a mess behind. And by all means, do not make a huge dramatic production of it when you quit, complete with cursing, slandering and throwing things, Gottsman advises. â€œItâ€™s very difficult to get another job when youâ€™ve left destruction in your wake,â€ she says.