If you’ve been fired, warned or just looked over for promotion, you already know your manager has a few misgivings about you.

But if you feel you’re just not getting ahead, maybe you’re contributing something to that as well?

Research shows that 97% of employees say they have a career limiting habit that holds back their potential at work.

Even worse, bosses report that only 10-20% of their employees make any lasting change to these habits!

Here are 5 Top Tips to overcome the career blockers.


Unreliability is identified as the No.1 career blocking habit and it’s no surprise.

After all, if the people you work for (and with) can’t depend on you, what purpose do you serve?

Truth be told, unreliable people are actually dangerous to the entire team.

If you want any level of career success, people have to trust you. They have to know that you will meet your commitments. If you want to be seen as a credible and valued member of the team, you must first be reliable.

Be true to your word

Never, never make a promise you don’t intend to keep. There is no quicker way to lose trust.

Under promise, over deliver

Don’t just tell people what they want to hear. Instead of making promises that aren’t realistic, help yourself and make your commitments attainable. Set the bar at a reasonable level. And then jump right over it!

Confront mistakes

We all make promises that we intend to keep and then later realise we can’t. Although we want to do our very best, everyone falls short at times. These are just the facts of life. It’s how you deal with them that matters most. Be upfront and address problems right away.

2.Resistance to change

Change is a combination of chaos and opportunity. Those who are resistant are only looking at one side of the equation. They’re forgetting about the opportunity and focusing only on the chaos.

We all know that change is the only constant in life and nowhere is that more true than in the workplace. Technology alone forces us to be adaptable and learn new things on nearly a daily basis. The business world is always evolving – mergers, acquisitions, restructuring and so forth.

Change is unavoidable, so successful professionals have to be willing to embrace change, even when the outcome is still unknown.

Recognise when you are resisting

Remember that change = chaos + opportunity. It’s a two part equation. What potential exists within that change? Shine a spotlight there.

Make it less dramatic

An overnight, sudden change is much harder to handle than a gradual shift. When you see change on the horizon, be proactive. Do what you can to ease the transition, minimise the chaos and enhance the opportunity.

Release emotional attachments

Let go of all the feelings you have associated with the old ways of doing things. Comfort can be more emotional than rational. Remember that you are endlessly adaptable and that growth almost always comes with discomfort. Learn to simply go with the flow and see where the wave takes you.


There are so many people out there who just don’t understand “respect”!

This bold statement may shock you. Most of us were raised to be respectful. Our parents made a big deal out of it and now, as adults, we recognise the important role it plays in our relationships and in our careers. But sadly not everyone is lucky enough to have the same upbringing.

Here are four principles to live by when it comes to respect. You can learn these rules in both your personal and your professional life- everyone with whom you interact will be glad you did.

The golden rule

Treat others as you want to be treated.

It’s a small world

No matter who you   are, where you live or what you do for a living, the bubble in which you exist in a much, much smaller than you think. Because of this, you should always treat everyone – clients, staff, colleagues, as if they will one day be your boss – because they very well could be!

Hidden value

Look for the good in everyone. You may not see it immediately, but it’s there. Believe that everyone provides some kind of value, even if it’s not abundantly clear on the surface. Trust that the person standing in front of you has redeeming qualities that, if you knew more about them, would inspire and fascinate you. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt.

Everyone is special

Recognise that everyone comes from a different place and they all bring vast amounts of knowledge and experience with them. Some people are fortunate enough to be well educated, other are not. Some people were born into money, others worked hard to get it and yet others will work just as hard and never see a penny for their efforts. The world is not fair. Luck and good fortunate are not equally distributed.

But everyone has something special. Everyone knows something you don’t. Everyone is capable of doing and being someone completely different from you. And that is a worthwhile thing to respect.

4.Short-term focus

In today’s busy workplace, it can be very easy to get sucked into the short-term, day-to-day stuff   – your annoying commute, your growing to-do list, your impending deadlines etc.

These things sap at your mental energy from morning to night. But you simply can’t get so wrapped up in the ‘here and now’ that you forget to lift your head and look out at the horizon once in a while.

When you are busy looking down, that’s when things are missed.

Why long-term focus matters

Long-term focus goes hand-in-hand with a ‘big picture’ perspective. These skills allow you to understand the bigger game. Without them, you’ve got tunnel vision.

By looking up and out, your perspective shifts.

You become more aware of the bigger needs of the organisation now and in the future.

You more clearly understand your role in its success. Perhaps this was how the Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras was thinking, following his resignation this week as he calls for snap elections.

Even more importantly, you’re able to be more proactive – to actively manage what’s coming at you, rather than simply reacting in the moment to what’s right in front of you. This is the one key skill that separates average employees from outstanding ones.

Know your industry

Almost every industry has a magazine, association or website where up-to-date information can be found regarding trends. Sign up or join straight away. Get to know how your industry has grown in the past and where experts are predicting it will go in the future. What challenges are they?  How will these things potentially impact you and your company? Stay informed.

Know your company

The same thing goes for your company. Read the company reports and newsletters. Talk to executives when you have the opportunity. Find out what challenges and opportunities are coming your way. The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be.

Know yourself

Of course, you don’t want to neglect yourself in all of this. Long-term focus applies to your career goals as well. Where do you want to be in five years? What about ten years? How can your work today support these goals? What opportunities or challenges may come up along the way? How can you get the most out of your current experience? How can you play to your strengths?

What’s next?

Always ask yourself that question. How does the task you’re working on today change or evolve in the future? How does it impact the next phase of the project? What can be done today to make tomorrow better, more efficient, more profitable, and more successful? Look several steps ahead from where you are.


There are two sides to the coin. Selfishness can be both annoying and even dangerous in the workplace. It can also, at times, be a necessary evil.

The good, the bad, and the ugly

A selfish person tends to put his own needs before the needs of others. As a professional, this doesn’t exactly make you the best team player. A strong team is made up of people who are willing to sacrifice their own glory for the sake of the group.

But there is a time and place for selfishness – you have to look out for yourself in this world. You deserve success. Your needs are just as important as the needs of others. You have to be willing to fight for them; no one else will.

Finding the balance

It’s a delicate balance. Selfishness, in the career-blocking sense, means that you’re so consumed in your own world that you’re unable to understand or work effectively, within a bigger system.

But don’t confuse this for self-respect.

It’s NOT selfish to know what you want from your career and to go after it. It’s not selfish to be loyal to your own needs.  Listen to your inner voice and do what’s right for you, even when others are pushing you in the opposite direction.

Don’t give up on your own dreams simply because someone else got there first. Don’t be content with a supporting role if you’re dying to be the star. You can fight for the success you deserve and want while still being a team-member.

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