5 Things a Business Professional Should NEVER Do

As a business professional, your reputation can make or break you.  For this reason, you want to avoid making the common mistakes we’ve listed below—they’ll not only make you look bad, but they could also cost you that next promotion:

  • Becoming Overly Emotional.  At work, you always want to keep it professional.  While there is a place for passionate disagreement, you don’t want to become overly emotional by shouting, bursting into tears, etc.  Instead, remain cool-headed and excuse yourself if you need to take a moment to regain your composure.

  • Failing to Meet Your Obligations.  If you say you’re going to do something, then do it. Don’t force coworkers to chase you down to get work that you promised you’d deliver a week ago.  Meet your obligations in a professional way—nobody enjoys working with a slacker, and eventually, your superiors will get wind of your lackadaisical approach.

  • Blaming Others for Your Mistakes.  Have you ever spent time with someone who pointed fingers in every direction without ever owning up to his own culpability?  Don’t be that person—if you make a mistake, acknowledge it, and explain how you will avoid a reoccurrence in the future.

  • Assuming.  Ask questions when you’re given a new assignment.  Don’t just assume that you have a good understanding of what your boss is looking for.  When we make assumptions, we often have to revise our work, something no one enjoys doing.

  • Bullying Others.  There is no place for bullying at the office.  If you yell at your colleagues, slam doors, or treat others poorly, you’re hurting your career prospects. Instead, engage in stress-reduction techniques: take a 5-minute walk around your office, count to 30, or head to the gym on your lunch hour.  Not only will these techniques better your health, but they’ll also improve your professional reputation.    

Thought For The Day

“The fascination of any search after truth lies not in the attainment… but in the pursuit…”
Florence Bascom



Is Your Motivation Waning?

As John F. Kennedy once put it, “Things do not happen.  They are made to happen.”[1]  But what if your own desire to make them happen has faded?  What if you’re struggling to get motivated?  Below we offer up suggestions to help you recover your motivation so that you can achieve your goals.  Read on:

  • Think Positively.  It’s amazing what a change in mindset can do for your motivation.  Let’s say, for example, that you have a goal of renovating your home and when you think about it, you feel overwhelmed.  “There’s so much to do,” “It’s going to take forever,” “It’s going to cost a ton of money.”  By thinking these thoughts over and over again, you find it hard to feel motivated enough to even get started.  However, what if instead, you said to yourself, “I can just start with one room,” “I can repaint it in just one day,” “I don’t have to tackle the entire house at once.”  As you can see, by merely changing how you view a task, you can increase your motivation on the subject.

  • Reward Yourself.  Researchers have discovered that 75% of the reason people do things is because of the anticipated reward.[2]  So, rather than focusing on something onerous that you might have to do—return to school, for instance—keep the reward (more money as you embark on a new career) in the forefront of your mind.  For goals that take a long time to achieve, consider rewarding yourself as you meet milestones that bring you closer to your objective.

  • Choose Your Associations Carefully.  According to Carlin Flora, author of Friendfluence, “Research shows over time, you develop the eating habits, health habits and even career aspirations of those around you.  If you’re in a group of people who have really high goals for themselves you’ll take on that same sense of seriousness.”[3]  If motivation is an issue for you, consider joining professional groups, health organizations, etc. where you can interact with other people who have similar ambitions.



How to Accelerate your Climb up the Corporate Ladder

Want to transcend the corporate ladder faster than your peers?  There are ways to make your contributions stand out so you earn that next promotion.  Below we offer up ways to accelerate your corporate climb:

  • Dress the Part.  The best advice we’ve heard on professional attire is to dress the way the people do who are one rung above you on the corporate ladder.  Pay close attention to their professional dress and make sure that your own clothing choices are fairly similar.

  • Enhance your Skills.  Does the job you seek require specialized knowledge that you lack?  Take proactive steps to acquire the education or training that you need for the position you want.

  • Network.  Rather than putting all of your eggs into one basket and only focusing on ascending at your current place of employment, continue to grow your network.  Sometimes the advanced opportunity you seek is best found elsewhere.

  • Track your Successes.  Remember to be your own biggest cheerleader.  By that we mean that it’s your responsibility to keep track of the significant contributions that you’ve made at the office.  Document them on a regular basis so when it comes time for a raise or promotion, you’re prepared to sell yourself.

  • Work Well with Others.  Companies are looking for team players.  The ability to get along well with your peers and inspire others is a definite career booster.  Don’t burn any bridges and strive to work well with your coworkers and superiors.

  • Think Outside the Box.  Consider your job description to be a guideline.  However, if there are innovative ways that you can help the company by going beyond your job description, then do so.  This is one way to make your efforts stand out.

  • Hold Yourself Accountable.  Rather than point your finger at peers when things go wrong, own up to your mistakes.  People respect those who take responsibility for their actions, acknowledge their errors, and learn from them.

Thought For The Day

“Smile well and often, it makes people wonder what you have been up to.”
Satchel Paige