If you're just starting a job search or a new job, it's important to keep some perspective. Don't let yourself fall into bad habits. For example, don't wait too long after leaving the service to start your job search. And once you get a job, don't expect a promotion right away. These behaviors can stop your career in its tracks. Here are seven career killers you should avoid (according to Kiplinger.com):
- Procrastinating. Many of us are guilty of procrastinating in one way or another and that behavior must stop. Don't put off your job search for another month or year - start now. And this can be applied when you get a job. Don't wait until the last minute to start or finish projects. If you throw the finished product together, it will show.
- Having a sense of entitlement. Most Generation X-ers were raised on instant gratification, reports Kiplinger. When it comes to careers, no matter how hard we work, we cannot get five years of experience in one year. Employees starting off in an entry-level position should expect to pay some dues before you get a promotion.
- Settling into your job description. You may have your set responsibilities, but you should always be on the lookout for opportunities to shine. Going above and beyond your entry-level tasks can demonstrate your untapped talents and show your boss you're not afraid to take initiative.
- Avoid office politics. When it comes to playing office politics there is naughty and nice. Naturally, you shouldn't engage in backstabbing and gossiping. But, there are times when avoiding office politics is impossible. Like it or not, every workplace has an intricate system of power, and you can and should work it ethically to your advantage.
- Not being a team player. Getting stuck with this label is one of the fastest ways to kill your career. However, entry-level employees might face a delicate balance. You still need to demonstrate your skills and abilities without appearing like a self-serving braggart.
- Not dressing the part. How you present yourself can play a crucial role in the progress of your career. You want to look polished and in control, not sloppy and indifferent. Keep your hair and nails trimmed and your clothes pressed.
- Failing to network. You've heard that networking can be a good tool to help find a job, but maintaining your contacts after you're hired is critical to the continuing success of your career. If you keep in touch with your contacts, you will stay on top of the latest issues in your field. What's more, that contact might help you land your next job.