After the recession wiped out middle management, thousands – if not millions – of Baby Boomers lost their jobs. This period in human history also just happens to align with a time in which millions of Millennials were maturing in age and entering the workforce post-graduation.
After the recession gutted millions of mid-level management jobs, Baby Boomers were forced to snag whatever jobs were remaining. This destroyed job prospects for Millennials.
The problem we must now contend with is how do we protect ourselves from becoming a victim to this massacre again?
Provided below are the eight most overlooked threats to a successful career. While these tactics won’t guarantee that you’re spared the rod, they will give you a fighting chance.
1. Befriending your co-workers
Your co-workers are not your friends. I REPEAT… Your co-workers are not your friends. Why don’t people understand this? Your co-workers are your competitors, and as such if presented with an opportunity they may turn their back on you and steal your job the first chance they get. This is especially true the higher you climb the corporate ladder.
2. Trusting your boss
Don’t believe a word your boss says, even if he or she says the sky is blue and the Earth is round. A manager serves one purpose and one purpose only. It is to ensure that staff are managing their time and workload efficiently and effectively. It is important to understand this so that you don’t make the mistake of confiding in your boss about how you feel about your job, your marital issues, how your kids are doing in school, and so on, because they don’t care. In fact, depending on what you say, they may use it against you to find a reason to fire you.
3. Putting in too many hours
Don’t burn the candle at both ends. You won’t receive any additional compensation and it’s more likely than not that you won’t receive a promotion either. Promotions are granted to those who advance the company’s objectives, not those who come in early and leave late. In fact, if you’re getting just as much work done as your co-workers but it’s taking you longer because you’re working more hours, you can appear weak, slow and inadequate. That’s a recipe for a pink slip.
4. Letting others take credit for your work
Don’t let other people take credit for your hard work. This includes your co-workers and your boss. This doesn’t mean you have to flail your hands in the air and physically put your name on a project. However, you need to ensure you professionally express your role in everything you do. This could be as simple as making an effort to point out who did what in each component of a project. This not only casts a positive light on you but your co-workers and your boss as well. This will earn you a “gold star” for team work and highlight your participation.
5. Staying at your job too long
Unless there’s verifiable evidence that there’s room for growth within your current company, you should never stay at a job for more than five years. The reason for this is simple. Jobs train you to be a better employee for them, not for others. So over time you get accustomed to how they do things which may not be congruent with how other businesses within your industry do things. If you stay at a job too long you risk missing out on a well-rounded career experience. You will also miss out on new skills that could be evolving in other parts of your industry. The one exception to this rule is if you’re working for the top business within your field.
6. Following the rules
Success more often than not comes to those who stray outside the lines. In your career, you must be willing to break the rules when you’re confident that it will pay off for you, your team and your superiors. This is especially true when you have more experience in a particular field than your colleagues or managers. The reward for breaking the rules and pulling off a big win will guarantee that people take notice, and when people take notice they hand out promotions.
7. Remaining nameless and faceless
You will never thrive in a job if you’re unknown. Make an effort to get to know as many people as possible. This helps provide familiarity and can make the difference between you getting the axe or the next guy/gal during a massive company-wide layoff. If you’ve gotten in good with enough people, you just may be spared the rod.
8. Letting your skills slump
Last but not least, never let your skills slump. This is arguably the biggest threat to a successful career, and one that largely defined the Baby Boomers. Thirty years ago, there were many people who thought the personal computer was a fad. Boy were they wrong. They ignored the PC at their peril, and til this day these people are paying the price, as many of them are deficient in basic computing skills. Don’t ever let your skills slump. You must stay far ahead of the curve and constantly be on the lookout for what’s next.
About the author
Michael Price is the author of What Next? The Millennial’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the Real World, endorsed by Barbara Corcoran of ABC’s Shark Tank. He is also the founder of Conquer Career Course, where he teaches students how to increase their salary, build a career with longevity and become unemployment-proof. View the trailer below:
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.
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