Life & Work Skills

7 Bad Habits That Are Holding You Back at Work

Source: Social Squares
Source: Social Squares

Do you want to take your career to the next level but are feeling a little stuck? These seven bad habits might be what are holding you back at work. No worries, though—it’s never too late to improve.


1. You’re Overworking & Not Taking Time off for Self-Care

What you do outside of the office is just as important as what you do in the office. In order to show up as your best and brightest self to work every day, self-care needs to be a top priority—and we’re talking quality self-care. Sitting on the couch scrolling through Instagram doesn’t count. Find a self-care routine that feels really good for you. You can start a morning meditation practice, exercise, go for nature walks, laugh, play, take bubble baths—do whatever you need to do to feel refueled when you show up at work every day. This alone will make a huge impact on your performance at work.


2. Your Job Just Isn’t the Right Fit

Of course, not every job you’ll have in your life is going to be one you love with all your heart. Especially when you’re climbing the corporate ladder or job searching in a pandemic, some jobs might simply be a way to pay the bills, and for a while, that’s OK.

But sometimes, a job can be soul-sucking because it just isn’t the right fit. Whether it’s because of the company environment or the work you’re doing, if you’re not happy, it can be hard to ever really feel accomplished at your job. If this is the case, starting a job search when you feel like you’re ready to move on might be your best bet. 


3. You’re Not Truly Believing in Yourself

It really sucks to admit this, but a lot of the time, the only thing holding us back from the career success we really desire is ourselves. You might doubt your abilities and not believe you can take your career to the next level. That’s where feeding your mind with powerful, uplifting content comes in. From my experience, once I fell into the rabbit hole of reading personal development books and listening to podcasts, my career completely transformed. I went from being an intern to a full-time freelance writer in a matter of months. The power of the mind is absolutely mind-blowing, so use it to your advantage.


4. You’re Not Asking for What You Want

In life and in the workplace, we tend to not ask for what we really want because we don’t want to come off as pushy or bossy or we’re afraid of what other people might think. This bad habit is absolutely holding us back from the success we truly desire. How are people supposed to know what we want if we don’t ask for it? You can’t wait for really awesome career opportunities to fall into your lap; you have to be proactive and voice what you want. If you know you deserve a raise, ask for it. If you want to be considered for the promotion, ask for it. If you have too much on your plate and need help, ask for it. You never know where one simple ask might lead you and your career.


Source: @kateogata


5. You’re Keeping Yourself Small

According to this Forbes article, men are confident enough to apply for a job even if they only meet 60% of the qualifications. Women, on the other hand, won’t apply for a job unless they feel they meet 100% of the qualifications. This statistic is wild and brings me to realize that we’re the ones underestimating ourselves by not going after for the jobs that we truly want because we feel unqualified. So the next time you see a job listing that you like, apply for it, and don’t worry about how much you fit the qualifications. At the end of the day, most qualifications are things that can be quickly learned, and what really counts is if you have the confidence to get the job done. If you have that, you’re golden.


6. You Complain Too Much

It’s almost impossible to always be satisfied with every single thing about your job. There’s bound to be things that bug you or that you simply don’t feel excited to do, but when you begin to vocalize your complaints, that’s when you start to hold yourself back from thriving at work. The employees that get promoted are the ones who are go-getters and are willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. Try to focus on finding a solution to the problem instead of pondering over it or complaining about it.


7. You’re Not Managing Your Time Wisely

There are so many little parts of a job that need to get done every day, and often times, they’re not your actual job. It could be things like responding to emails, sorting paperwork, organizing files, etc. And by the time you get back to your desk to actually get the important things done, you’re physically and mentally exhausted from the million other things you’ve already done that day. In order to really excel and shine at work, focus instead on getting the important things done first (ideally before lunch time) and leave the little things for later in the day.