You’re restless, anxious and ready for a change. I get it. Career growth is one of the key factors to job satisfaction, and without it work can feel underwhelming and frustrating.
But regardless if you want to secure a promotion, gain leadership opportunities in your current role, or land a new job, you need more than just a good track record and the right skill set.
I’ve learned, having coached dozens of over-achievers, that even with the best intentions, the most impressive resume, and a second to none work ethic, if you don’t have the right habits, you’ll always sabotage your efforts.
If you frequently find yourself saying one of these sentences you’re probably doing more harm to your career growth than you think.
“I have to think about it.”
Overthinking leads to paralysis. For instance, endlessly debating if you should quit your job stops you from going all in, you can’t give 100% at work because you don’t know if you want to stay, and you can’t give 100% to your job search because you don’t know if you want to quit.
Before you know it, after a long session of overanalyzing all you want to do is nap and forget you even thought about it. This is a recipe for disaster when it comes to making smart choices in your career. Of course, you should give things thought and avoid making irrational and impulsive decisions you may regret later. But, there’s a difference between seriously needing to weigh your options and using, “I have to think about,” as an excuse to buy time and avoid a decision.
Every opportunity has an expiration date and if you spend too much time being indecisive or too scared to give a definite answer, or even too scared to ask for what you want, you’ll miss out on moments that can positively impact your career.
“I don’t want to sound arrogant.”
If you worry about sounding obnoxious, rarely take credit for your work, and constantly say things like, “I don’t like bragging about myself,” you may be guilty of being too modest. While those sentences may make you feel like a humble team player, your unwillingness to speak up about how valuable you are as a person signals to other people that you lack value and confidence. When you give yourself permission to downplay your success, you give others permission to overlook you.
No matter how hard you work, how helpful you are, how ambitious you feel, how qualified you may be, if you fail to clearly articulate your value to others it will hinder your opportunities for growth and leadership. Your fear of talking about yourself can hold you back from promotions, raises, and job offers. It’s time you ditched the “I don’t want to sound arrogant” speech and learned how to gracefully and confidently advocate for yourself.
“I’ll do it later.”
On the surface, procrastination is laziness. But, on a deeper level, procrastination is the product of fear and uncertainty. Have you ever had a moment when you stumbled upon your dream job, got excited and instead of applying immediately decided to do it later? Or, have you ever been given a complex project you’ve never done before, and some way, show how, it just kept ending up on the bottom of your to-do list?
Procrastination is birthed when you don’t want to do something because you’re scared of the outcome, or when you don’t want to start something because you don’t know all the steps to complete it. To break this “I’ll do it later” mentality, when you feel the words about to roll out your mouth, get clear on whether fear or uncertainty is holding you back from moving forward. Then, address those issues directly, either by tackling your fear or getting additional direction, so you can finally take action.
Let’s be honest, career growth plays a major role in how happy and successful we feel. But to attain the career growth you’re seeking, you must first address the overlooked ways you may be holding yourself back from making the progress you desire in your career.
Adunola Adeshola coaches high-achievers on how to take their careers to the next level and secure the positions they’ve been chasing. Grab her free guide.
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