Career killers to avoid, by Robin Ryan
executives sure have strong opinions on how people sabotage their own
careers. I conducted a national survey of CEOs and top executives' career
paths and hiring decisions. From the results, I identified traits, ideals
and characteristics that successful leaders seek in developing their
Here's a brief summary of the more notable mistakes top executives
Lack of results.
Leading the list, and cited by every single executive in the survey, was the
fact that not producing measurable results on the job is the sure-fire way
of ending your career rise.
Not working at a job you're passionate about.
"People float through life as if it were boring, drudgery or a nuisance
often complaining, yet never determining what would fulfill them," noted a
nonprofit director. Several CEOs commented that you'll never be happy if you
aren't excited, interested, and enjoying what you do. The true key to
success is discovering your inner passion and then finding a way to work in
Not having big enough goals.
"A key career stopper is setting your goals too low or not being willing to
put in the time it takes to reach goals," noted CEO Randy Sheparo.
"Believing I could never do that.' or, They'll never give me a raise.'
means it probably won't happen." Don't pay any attention to those
well-meaning naysayers who warn you that you can't do it. Assume anything is
possible, and then do it. Take risks, try new things, initiate and learn and
grow from your mistakes. "Act and you shall achieve," notes a healthcare
CEO. "Then, reevaluate and draw up even loftier goals that's how you'll do
more than you ever thought possible."
Thinking that money is everything.
A great salary doesn't equate to happiness. The CEO of a prominent service
company says, "A reality I've observed for most people executive or staff
is that they realize money means very little if you are truly unhappy."
Job satisfaction is the number one reason people elect to find a new job.
Having a bad attitude.
"It kills even the most talented," said one top executive, who has observed
many talented people rise and fall. The CEOs surveyed noted that "Nothing
moves you ahead faster than the enthusiasm of a great can-do attitude."
Gossiping and playing office politics.
"I hate it when someone sabotages a superior to get ahead that approach
never works for long and really ends careers more than it makes them," one
CEO said. "Gossiping is an immediate termination in my company," wrote
another CEO, who's headed several large corporations. So many top executives
noted that these two activities will undermine, cripple and even destroy
your career. Another executive wisely noted, "When you get enmeshed in
gossiping or office politics, you forget about the goals, mission and
getting the job done. It'll lead to a lack of outcomes a career killer