Wednesday, May 11, 2016

List: Ten things you should stop to be more successful.

The other day I was having a heart to heart with my amazing manager.  I expressed how I'm content but bored with my position and I'm ready to move on up.  See what I did there?  I expressed interest to grow while opening the door for expert direction.  He was super helpful in laying out a plan for my future career in this company.  He signed me up to take a test for a special certification and arranged a business trip to corporate.

After developing a plan of action, he started talking about the things people shouldn't do.  This was an interesting view of things.  I never thought about our actions that prohibit success.  People spend too much time planning what they need to do, and not planning what they need to stop!

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Ten bad habits to break to gain success.

1.  Stop believing that you're irreplaceable.
No one is irreplaceable.  There is always a person ready and willing to fill your shoes.  Many times, there are even people willing to fill your shoes for a significantly lower salary.  The thought that you're job is secure because you think you're good at it, doesn't mean squat.  In fact, it probably leaves you with an entitled air about you that rubs people the wrong way.

2.  Stop thinking that anyone owes you anything.
Some people feel they're simply owed a promotion while successful people earn a promotion.  Length of time in a position does not mean that a company owes you anything.  Growth is reserved for those who apply for higher level positions and allow supervisors to mentor them so that they are molded into a qualified candidate.

Idea:  If you're looking to grow, then play the part.  Invest in a padfolio like this one.  It will keep you organized and looking professional.  In addition, save it to write down growth opportunities.  Keep it reserved for your career growth and watch it act as motivation.

3.  Stop doing the bare minimum.
While it's inadvisable to take on too much, successful people will always try to learn the step.  For example, you may have been tasked to take a project from steps 1 through 3.  Next is to learn step 4, just be smart enough not to own it unless it falls within your realm of responsibilities.

4.  Stop waiting for opportunities to fall in your lap.
The thought and desire to move up is not going to get you anywhere.  Express interest and take the actionable steps required to achieve it.  I'm always bewildered by those waiting for a promotion, yet they never even apply for the job.  Seriously.  This happens, like a lot.

5.  Stop being involved in workplace drama.
Stop the gossiping, sharing too much personal information, and bullying your coworkers.  Management will overlook your hard work if you're nothing but drama and trouble.

6.  Stop avoiding opportunities for education.
Don't avoid that webinar, sleep during that conference, or delete that e-mail regarding extra training.  "Learning as much as possible on our company's dime makes you an investment."  This is a direct quote from my current manager and it couldn't be more true.

Idea:  Invest in your career with The 100 Day Journal (click here for more information).  This journal provides the steps and motivation you need to complete that goal.  Start small and then re-use for the next goal.  For example, my husband used this to get all his certifications for the job he wanted.  He's now starting over and using it to get that job.  It's a great tool for such a low price.

7.  Stop milking unnecessary overtime.
Your direct report knows what overtime hours you actually need.  Only use what's necessary.
At the end of the day, all costs need to be accounted for and your specific OT shouldn't be a topic for conversation.  To be clear, I'm not discouraging overtime.  I'm only discouraging exaggerated overtime to beef up your check.

8.  Stop being overly helpful.
Stop making those spreadsheets for the computer illiterate coworker.  Stop cleaning the kitchen after your sloppy peers.  Stop volunteering to do tasks that really belong to someone else.  If you have the time to do things that aren't part of your role, use it to invest in your success instead of investing that extra time to someone else's success.

Idea:  Whenever I inherit a new employee, I make sure they have a written list of all their roles and responsibilities.  Keep your own and make sure it's updated often.  When you get tasked with something in a gray area, reference your list.

9.  Stop shying away from corporate visitors.
Stop hiding in your cubicle when upper management visits.  Make sure they know you're name and see your face.  At the end of the day, being appropriately sociable with people of power will do nothing but help you achieve success.

10.  Stop being a dumpster for unwanted tasks.
Don't allow yourself to become a dumping ground for brainless tasks.  Only take on valuable ones.  For example, let John Smith make his own folders because you're way too busy learning how to reconcile a new account.

How did you find success?


  1. All good ones indeed. But with the last it can be hard to say no if a manager tells you to do their folders. Then you risk getting the bad rep haha and yeah, screw the stupid workplace drama. Oh, and no matter what, most days work is gonna be boring. People need to know that, just saying lol

  2. I hate visits from bigwigs. I've known some that never talk to anyone below management.

  3. number one is what my editor and publisher sadly thinks too :( While I think number 2 about them :) Rightfully so!

  4. When I got promoted at my store, my boss pulled me aside. He said, "Rachel, we never would have asked if you're up for the promotion if we didn't have faith in you, but I want to give you some advice too. The reason we let the last manager go is because she felt threatened by every other employee and eventually started sabotaging them. If you're doing the best job you can, you don't have a reason to feel threatened to begin with. Other people will have skills you don't. That's okay. Learn from each other and let them shine too. It's a team effort, but you're the leader."


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