I often get questioned on how to become successful in your career and move up the ladder. It’s a loaded question as the answer depends on the individual and how driven they are.
 
As a manager, I do know there are some things that erode your ability to become successful. They can also slow you down. These little things creep into my mind when deciding who gets the higher raise and/or an opportunity. It’s sad to say but, often it’s those little things can be the one (or more) thing that can hold you back.
 
So, I have my top 12 things that can hinder your quest to become successful. I am going to break them up in a three-part series. Here are the first four.
 
1. What time you get to work

Being timely is one of the competencies that add to your professional status. Even though you start time is 8:00 am does not mean you walk in at 8:00 am. Your start time is when you are to begin your work day. This means, come in a 7:45 am, get settled, get coffee, turn on the computer, and begin at 8:00 am. Walking in a 8:00 am may appear to be on time. In actuality, you are late as now you won’t be “ready” to work until 8:15 am as you need to get settled, get coffee, and so on.

Think about it. How can I recommend you for an opportunity if you shave off productivity time by walking in at your start time?

2. What time you leave work 

If you are up out of your seat and hit the elevator at 4:30 pm on the dot, then we have a real problem. While I understand having obligations outside of work requiring you to leave timely. It’s unsettling to see an adult bolt like a kid running to the door once the school bell rings. It screams professional immaturity.

Think about it. Does running out the door add or detract from your professionalism? Part of success means putting in some extra time when needed.

3. What you say and how you say it

Ever heard of putting your foot in your mouth? Well, a time or two may be forgivable. But, all the time or often is not acceptable. I do respect a professional who has leadership courage to speak up and challenge the status quo. I do not respect an attitudinal or ill-informed response or comment. Go back to the basics. Think before you speak.

Think about it. Successful people communicate well. If you need help with your communication skills, join Toastmasters.

4. How and if you take part in meetings

If you are only the receiver of information with nothing to offer, you are immediately seen as the weak link. No one likes a weak link. Many organizations work in teams and/or collaborations. Your input is as valuable as anyone else. Do your homework and prepare for the meeting. Write down a few thoughts to share. Actively listen to what is being said and interject your thoughts.

Think about it. How can you be effective in any role if you don’t take part in meetings to share your thought? Your thought could be the very one to push the agenda ahead.

Think on these and begin to make adjustments to your professional brand in the workplace. Your boss is watching and taking mental note. Stay tuned for part 2 in this three-part series.