4 Ways You're Holding Yourself Back


Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for Management pros

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Are you holding yourself back at work? You may not realize that these professional obstacles are in your way and could be harming your career.

Article 2 Minutes
4 Ways You're Holding Yourself Back

It's easy to get stuck in the daily rut of work, continuing to do what you do every day and hoping for the best. Although you may be aware of the strong contribution you're making to the company, you may actually be holding yourself back professionally by taking this approach.

These are just some of the most common ways employees can be restricting themselves at work without even realizing it:

You don't have a clear direction

If you don't have a clear idea of where you want your career to go in the future, how can you expect anyone else to? Although it can be difficult to plan out exactly what you want to achieve professionally over the next five years, it can be a good idea to at least give yourself a vague direction.

Do you want to be in the same role? Do you want to gain a certain qualification? Do you want to increase your salary? These are just basic ways that you can move up or stay stagnant in your career. Over time, you can work to make these more specific and identify ways to make them a reality.

You don't communicate

The next step, once you've got a clear idea of what you want to achieve, is to make sure you are talking to the right people about it. You should have regular development or progression meetings with your manager. These are perfect opportunities to discuss where you see yourself heading in the next few months and years.

If you don't have these meetings, reach out to your boss and talk to them about scheduling one in. Work can be busy for everyone and unfortunately employee progression is often one of the first things to get left behind.

You don't put yourself out there

Most people that get promoted or put forward for the most valuable projects are the ones that actively put themselves forward. This means taking part in brainstorms and other initiatives to drive innovation in the company, as well as actively working to try to achieve company goals.

Doing this ensures that the people with the power to make decisions at your organization are aware of you and what you can contribute to the business.

You don't create opportunities

To make the most of your career, you need to do more than just wait for opportunities to demonstrate your skills. Take control into your own hands and find ways to create these situations.

Identify your strongest skills and try to imagine situations where you can excel in front of the right people. For example, if you're a creative person, you'll want to attend and actively contribute during brainstorm sessions. To make the most of this opportunity - or any other - preparing and do your research beforehand.

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