Top 8 Things That Hold You Back at Work


Having a successful career is a goal that's been imprinted in our minds ever since we were young. School, post-grad programs, professional development courses--everything leads up to building a rewarding career, a professional image, and a successful lifestyle. Since catapulting your career can benefit your life as a whole, it's no surprise that people try their best when they've achieved a position that they enjoy. However, sometimes, there are factors both in and out of our control that can adversely affect our work.

Here are 8 things that can hold you back at work:

1. Over-sized Egos Having an ego can boost your confidence. However, there's a very fine line between confidence and arrogance. An over-sized ego can project a negative attitude. There's nothing professional about a snob that refuses to do certain projects that are "beneath" her. That level of unwillingness hurts you professionally because it shows that you're not a team-player.

2. Relationships Relationships are tricky to navigate at the office. Whether they're romantic or purely platonic, relationships of any kind can impact your performance at work. Nobody wants to be seen as a suck-up to their peers, but impressions are easily misconstrued when close bonds begin to form.

3. Lack of Professional Advancement You could land a dream job and excel with your skillet, but what happens after a year or two? If you're already in a senior executive position, then it's that much harder to get promoted if the next promotion is director or CEO. More often than not, those positions are already filled, which leaves you with little room to grow professional. This is a pivotal point in your career that can bring a sense of accomplishment but also bring a sense of urgency to find a new organization for professional advancement.

4. Lack of Professional Image Your image is about more than just what you wear. It's also about how you present yourself, your attitude, and more importantly your work ethics. Learn to stay optimistic--even during hard times. Always present the best version of yourself. People will only take you as seriously as they perceive you. If they have negative perceptions of you, then you can bet that this will adversely affect your work performance.

5. Lack of Networking In networking, there's a saying: it's not about what you know, but who you know. This much is true. You could be the best at what you do and naturally assume that your superiors will notice this when promotions come along. However, your superiors could be more familiar with someone else--another colleague, a friend, or a relative--that is equally (or unfortunately less than) qualified for the same role, and this relationship could outweigh your professional qualification. Networking is absolutely critical to establishing professional connections.

6. Poor Leadership Being a leader is a privilege, and a leadership role holds a lot of power and responsibility. Unfortunately, some people are equipped for leadership roles, and others suffer as a consequence. Having a poor leader can directly or indirectly hold you back from career possibilities. A great leader should inspire you to do better--not hold you back from achieving your full potential.

7. Long Commutes Commuting is a normal part in today's working world, but long commutes can be exhausting. You're only human after all. How many hours in a car, bus, or train can you endure before the daily commute becomes unbearable? If your commute is one-hour each way, then you're already spending 10 hours each week just commuting to work. That's longer than your average workday at the office! It's exhausting. This exhaustion can take a toll on your mental and physical health, and it'll affect the quality of your work in the long run.

8. Constant Comparisons Someone will always be better prepared, smarter, and look more professional than you. At least, that's how you'll perceive it. By constantly comparing yourself to others, you'll only undermine your own potential and set yourself up for disappointment and failure. Instead, take pride in yourself, and stop constantly comparing yourself to others.

No matter who you are, there will always be certain factors or obstacles that will hold you back in your career. Learn when to recognize these obstacles, and find ways to eliminate them before they hinder your career.

How do you overcome obstacles in your career? Share with us!