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Don’t let 5 mistakes derail your career

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in Career Management,Centerpiece,Workplace Communication

businessman holding mistakes paperEveryone makes mistakes, but some can be more catastrophic than others and have lasting implications for your career, Alison Green writes.

Here are five of the most common.

1.  Misunderstanding your boss’s priorities. It doesn’t matter how great you are at everything else if you’re missing the mark on what your boss truly wants and needs from you. Make sure you’re communicating and you are clear about how you’re being evaluated.

2.  Letting failure get you down. Over the course of your career, you’ll probably take on many new challenges—the key words being “new” and “challenges.” Some things will be difficult and will take time and practice to master. Get used to that idea.

3.  Reacting badly to negative feedback. No one loves hearing their work isn’t up to par, but if you become angry or defensive you’ll send a message to your boss, clients and co-workers that you are unprofessional. Constructive criticism makes you better. Embrace it.

4.  Shunning relationships with co-workers. Even if you’re able to do all your work solo, it’s still a good idea to be at least passing friends with other people in your office. If you inquire about their kids from time to time or ask how their weekend was, you’ll seem much friendlier than if you remain cold and distant —no matter how great your work is. You’re also more likely to get help when you need it.

5.  Being rude. No matter how much of a rock star you were on that last project, if you left a host of upset co-workers, vendors or clients in your wake to get it done, that’s terrible. Amazing work never excuses bad behavior, so check the ego and be nice.

— Adapted from “5 Mistakes Smart People Make at Work,” Alison Green, US News & World Report’s “On Careers” blog.

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