Are you holding your career back?


Posted 24/09/2018 by Richard Samuels

It’s easy to blame management or competition when your career isn’t progressing the way you want it to. However, your traits, attitudes, and habits may be the main things that are derailing your career.

The days of lifetime service at one company with a carriage clock presentation at the end are long gone. Flexibility is key. You need to do what’s right for you and make sure you’re happy with where your employer wants to take you. Don’t get boxed in. If you can fulfil your ambitions with your current employer then by all means, stay right where you are.

But make sure you’re not holding your career back by falling into these traps.

Neglecting your CPD

Too often construction and engineering professionals believe that once their degree is completed and they have got on the career ladder then that’s the end of their learning and development days. It’s fair to say the first part of your mission is well and truly accomplished. Sit back and give yourself a pat on the back. But don’t take too long about it or you’ll be lagging behind your colleagues. The same is true for professionals with many years experience in the workplace. Continuing professional development is important because it ensures you continue to be competent in your profession. It is an ongoing process and continues throughout a professional’s career.

Not developing personal skills

The industry is evolving rapidly and being able to communicate your own personal situation has never been more important. One of the main obstacles to achieving your career goals is low self-confidence. People with low self-confidence often engage in subconscious behaviours that undermine their success. This makes them less likely to ask or get raises and promotions. To overcome low self-confidence and the fear of failure, try pushing yourself to take reasonable risks. Additionally, take additional responsibilities, make yourself more visible in the workplace and get involved in challenging assignments among others. Building and maintaining positive workplace relationships is an essential component of being successful in your career. Good relationships at work make you happier, more fulfilled, supported, connected and productive. Additionally, it helps you get buy-in and have colleagues working with your rather than against you.

If you’re unsociable, make a point to connect with a different work mate each week. You can also go out for coffee breaks or group lunches with your colleagues or catch up with them after a hectic day. Blowing your own horn is a good idea especially when you have completed a task worthy of praise and your boss doesn’t seem to notice. While it may seem awkward and unprofessional, it is an easy way to get recognized and get ahead in your career.

Not asking for feedback

Asking for and receiving honest feedback from your supervisor or manager can help you grow your career. Make it a habit to ask for feedback on important areas including your core competencies and performance on recent events or projects among other areas. You can also ask one or two honest colleagues to give you constructive criticism. If you want to grow in your career, you have to show your skills and competencies to the senior management.

Be sure to speak up when you have an idea or proposal. This will show your employer that you not only care about your job but the entire company. Additionally, ask questions if you don’t understand something or just want to learn more. Employers like employees who can get things done without having to wait on instructions from their supervisor. Supervisors also want to know that they don’t have to worry about delegating tasks when they are busy. Taking initiative involves staying organized, knowing the tasks you have for the day and getting them done on time. Being proactive and taking initiative will show your employer that you are a dependable employee.


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