10 character flaws that will kill your career
Over at Time.com, Jon Acuff, the author of the book Do Over, has created a list of four character flaws that can kill your career.
His four are: narcissism, dishonesty, pessimism and apathy. As I was reading it, I thought of a few more that are equally as bad if not worse. Then I made my own list, featuring those four and my additions.
Here you go: the 10 character flaws that can kill your career.
Narcissism: When it comes to career, you get ahead by helping organizations get ahead and organizations are comprised of people. Ergo, you have to work with others in mind to get ahead, and that means not just thinking of yourself. Narcissists, classified as people who extremely selfish, self absorbed, and self centered, aren’t good team players, by nature.
Dishonesty: Acuff classes everything from lying to cover mistakes, to gossiping, to overpromising and underdelivering as dishonesty. All of these behaviours will be detrimental to your success in the long run. Honesty is one of the foundations of good relationships and good relationships are imperative to your success. (But don’t use honestly as an excuse for a lack of tact. You’re smart enough to know the difference, right?)
Pessimism: If you only see the negative side, you’re not going to be any fun to be around and if you constantly predict a negative outcome, there is a good chance you will steer yourself in that direction. Yes, sometimes things go wrong even when you don’t expect it, but it’s probably just more enjoyable to see the positive when possible.
Apathy: If you don’t care, it shows in everything you do. Acuff says, “It’s the surly service on the phone call, the lazy attention to details and the general ‘whatever’ that floods a coworker’s every action.” Even if you hate your job, or you think it’s beneath you, the easiest way to move beyond it is to give it your best.
Envy (I’m not sure if this can be classed as a character trait but you get the idea): Aspiring to achieve the same level of success as someone else can be good. But when you spend your time begrudging others what they have, you waste a lot of energy and basically turn your soul into a dark pit of blackness. You get bitter and angry and resentful, and that starts to eat away at your relationships and self-confidence until nobody wants to be anywhere near you. And that’s bad for your career. (This is a dramatization. No souls were turned into dark pits in the making of this paragraph.)
Insecurity: Insecurity grows out of all sorts of places and manifests itself as envy, pessimism, and a host of other things. But you really need to nip that thing in the bud before it gets you. Go to therapy. Do what you have to do. Confidence is key to success.
Arrogance: People think you’re full of yourself but we know the truth don’t we? Arrogance is just a mask for insecurity. You poor lamb. Regardless, the results are the same. Arrogance manifests itself as rudeness and an inability to listen, and we all should know that diplomacy and listening are cornerstones of success. Learn to behave graciously or you’ll only be hurting yourself.
Combativeness: Stop picking fights all the time. Your need to be right will cripple you. Pick your battles wisely and fight them graciously, calmly, fairly, and diplomatically.
Oversensitivity: Never take anything personally. Whatever it is, it’s not about you. Whether your work is being criticized or you didn’t get the job, remember that you’re only the protagonist in your own story. Everyone else has a different focus. It’s not about you.
Inflexibility: The workplace and the career landscape are ever changing. It’s those who get stuck in their ways that get left behind. Embrace new ideas and technologies and stay on top of and adapt to trends or you will become obsolete to your employer and eventually to all employers.