Bury Those Spooky Career Monsters

Career Advice
Black Career Woman at Desk
Black Career Woman at Desk
minute read

Professional success doesn't just happen by accident. There's an intentional path toward future growth that you can follow. Commit yourself to pinpointing what's not working (those annoying career monsters), and choose to invest in habits, decisions, and actions that cause you to thrive.

It’s October, the fall season is upon us—and the spookiness of Halloween is just around the corner. Now, while the holiday itself is fun for many people and we don't mind a little candy corn on occasion, bringing the monster mentality to your workplace is definitely not the way to advance your career. Unfortunately, it's all too easy to fall into the traps of the villains of employment growth—but the good news is, you can stay aware of your opportunities to thrive and stop those job ogres from derailing your success.

This year, decide not to let these seven deadly tendencies drive your experience on the job. Here’s what not to be—and what to do instead to level up your career.

1. The Career Vampire: Being a Drain on Other People

Whether you think of the classic Dracula, the moody Edward, or the hip Lestat, the fact is that vampires are a lot cooler in novels and films than they are in the office. These creatures drain the life out of others to feed their needs, never really learning how to perform their role with excellence. Their inability to live without using others is a sure way to miss out on promotions. No one likes a Colin Robinson!

To excel in the workplace:

Look for ways to stand on your own two feet and give back to those around you. For example, offer to help an overwhelmed coworker complete a critical project on time. Be a source of positivity and encouragement to others when you can.

2. The Career Zombie: Not Being Proactive in Your Career

Shuffling off to work every day without any drive to make a difference can be tempting at times, but it's hard to make an impact and gain significant opportunities for career growth that way. Zombies can get stuck in a rut, not doing much beyond the obvious. While they may be searching for brains to feed their undead nature, you certainly don't have to live that way. You can step it up and be full of life on the job.

To excel in the workplace:

Instead of just getting into a rut, look for ways to keep learning and growing. Take some courses related to the role you'd like to move into. Consider how to achieve better success rates at the tasks that fall under your current position, and strive to beat your records. Remember, exceeding expectations sets you up to ask for a raise.

3. The Career Mummy: Not Speaking Up and Being Part of the Conversation

With their mouths wrapped in burial linens, it's not like mummies can say much. They lurk in the shadows as they hunt for victims, all the while not uttering a word. Imagine being that way in the world, without a chance to voice your thoughts. Career mummies don't take the opportunity to contribute during meetings. They don't get heard, so they don't get the chance to express ideas or needs that would make their work life more fulfilling.

To excel in the workplace:

Get more comfortable communicating your ideas and your requests. You have unique insights and experiences that give you something to contribute. Offer suggestions during those team brainstorming sessions. Check in with your manager regularly to see how you're doing and get their feedback. You can share ideas one-on-one just as effectively as in a public group setting, if that's more your style.

4. The Career Werewolf: Not Being Consistent

One moment, they're an average human going about their business. The next thing you know, they've turned into another creature entirely. The curse of the werewolf is just as problematic in the office as it is anywhere else. Failing to be consistent means you're promoting yourself as a coworker who can't be relied on when needed. And while everyone has an off-day once in a while, finding ways to be a consistent performer opens doors to career promotions, so it shouldn’t be downplayed.

To excel in the workplace:

Consistency starts with your mindset, so the first step is to decide that you'll be as reliable and productive as possible. Learn what it takes to get to that place, and then do it. Take quick, scheduled breaks so you can come back to tasks refreshed. Determine the key performance indicators you need to meet (and exceed). When you're successful, assess your accomplishments and see what techniques you can repeat.

5. The Career Frankenstein: Failing to Connect with Your Manager

As a creature literally given a place in this world by being brought to life by his scientist inventor, Frankenstein's whole life depends on what he's been made to do. Sadly, Frankenstein's creator isn't the most reliable person, and Frankenstein runs amok, not knowing how to interact with others. He ends up isolated. Likewise, you can find yourself feeling disconnected at work, which not only impedes your chances for growth but also is disheartening. Everyone deserves to enjoy their job more than that.

To excel in the workplace:

Every workplace has a unique culture, management included. If you feel like you're not meshing, take a step back and assess things objectively. Is the issue that your current role or employer is not the best fit for you? If so, then maybe it's time for a new job search. On the other hand, if you haven't connected with your manager lately,  this is a chance to do so and see if you can find a way to get on the same page so you can enjoy increased success in your role.

Summing It Up

Professional success doesn't just happen by accident. There's an intentional path toward future growth that you can follow. Commit yourself to pinpointing what's not working (those annoying career monsters), and choose to invest in habits, decisions, and actions that cause you to thrive.

And remember, we're here to help you achieve your desired career success. Check out our Talent Network to see open jobs today!