Unlearn these things to get ahead at work

Here are some common things that you may need to ‘unlearn’ to succeed in your career

Throughout life, we will develop habits and learn things that might not always be applicable in every situation in which we find ourselves. This is particularly true when it comes to your working life, as what may have worked well for you at school or in your day-to-day life may actually be holding you back in the workplace.

Believing that thoroughness is always better

You may feel as though being thorough and covering every detail is exactly what your boss is looking for; however, in truth, most business leaders just want to know the outcome of something and not every little detail that has led to this. You are going to do better if you can focus on the key facts, saving all those background details for a time when they are required – particularly when you are sending an email. It can be difficult to break this habit but if you understand that your boss trusts you to provide him or her with the most important details, you will be able to hone in on exactly what details they require.

Thinking that guessing is better than not saying anything

If you are asked a question by your boss or colleague that puts you on the spot, you may feel as though you should guess the answer to give them a response. This is fine if you are honest that you are just guessing at the answer; however, if you hide this fact, you could be providing a potentially disastrous solution to a problem. If you don’t know something, it is much better to be honest from the offset and say you will look into it, find an answer and come back to them.

Assuming that being impartial is more credible

Some people believe that you come across as being more credible when you remain on the fence in certain situations; however, every boss knows that people will be biased towards certain things. In some circumstances it is better to be honest and transparent than hiding your true feelings. Providing your boss will full disclosure will help them to get to the bottom of situations quickly.

Believing that not getting on with your colleagues is normal

It is only natural that you might not like every single colleague you work with; however, part of your job is to be polite and courteous to everyone on a daily basis. This does not mean that you have to be best friends with everyone that you work with, but it does require you not to take a personal dislike or take something out on your colleagues.

Thinking that showing your disappointment when you are criticised is acceptable

Another thing you will have to do in your role is take criticism on the chin. You are sometimes going to receive feedback on your work that is not positive and it is important that you take this on board and don’t get defensive when things are pointed out. Negative comments are hard to take but learning from these will put you in good stead for that promotion you have been seeking.

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The British Institute of Recruiters is the Professional Body operating The Recruitment Certification Scheme

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