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My employer is just greedy…

My boss is just a (fill in the blank)…

They just got the promotion because they always schmooze with leadership…

Have you made similar statements when you experienced career disappointments? If you keep getting passed over, maybe these things are true, but there’s also another possibility.

You could be sabotaging your own success. It’s tough to look in the mirror and ask if you’re the issue, but isn’t it worth it if making changes would mean a better position, more money and increased career satisfaction?

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.” Raise your net worth (and maybe get more Benjamins) when you eliminate these bad work habits that could be keeping you stuck.

Scrolling Social Media When You Should Be Working

Employers everywhere are distressed over how much time staff members are spending checking Facebook, updating their Snapchat, streaming TikTok videos, and engaging in other social media activities that have nothing to do with work.

There’s nothing wrong with checking your feeds on break, but if you feel a constant pull at your attention, you’re not fully focused on the job your employer is paying you to do. And if you frequently grab your phone or click an open tab to see what’s happening, someone has probably already noticed your off task behavior.

Social media can become addictive. People who are hooked spend time and energy they would otherwise have expended doing their job on online interactions. Work-family balance declines, and they could eventually experience burnout.

If this is you, you probably already know it. The good news is, you can start setting boundaries for yourself and stay off social media when you’re at work, exchanging a bad habit for greater focus and productivity.


You know it’s bad for your health, but did you know smoking can also be bad for your career? At Brelsford Personnel, we’re fortunate to have the opportunity to work with some of the best employers in our area. We post some great opportunities. And a significant percentage of the time, clients request we list “no smoking” in the job description.

Often employers are concerned smoking affects productivity. If a staff member needs frequent breaks to step outside, that time adds up. Organizations that provide health insurance as a benefit also know smokers are at higher risk for chronic conditions, and treatment drives up costs.  If you smoke, you might be disqualifying yourself from a better position.

Always Showing Up Late

Are you regularly the last employee to pull into the parking lot? Do you habitually slip in after the meeting has already started? If people are always waiting on you to show up, or if you start work a little later than everyone else, it has a negative impact on your career.

Maybe you apologized and your boss or co-workers said it was okay, but if it happens often, it’s not really okay. They’re actually getting a little more irritated every time it happens, because their time is valuable too.

This is another potentially career-ending habit you can break. Start allowing yourself extra time. Set alarms and notifications that give you plenty of time to transition. Leave early and have an alternate route in case traffic backs up or the train comes through. If you end up arriving early, get started on your to-do list. You’ll accomplish more than ever and your commitment to change will make a big impression.

Talking More Than You Listen

Communication skills are vital in the workplace, and it can’t happen if all parties aren’t also willing to listen. Ask yourself if any of these statements describe you.

  • Everyone you know describes you as “a talker.”
  • You’re constantly complaining.
  • When someone else speaks, you reply with a story or comparison from your own life, making it all about you.
  • You frequently interrupt.
  • You’ve lost count of the times you’ve been embarrassed over something that popped out of your mouth.
  • You regularly notice people start to get blank looks when you go on and on, or they make excuses to leave when they see you coming.
  • Meetings often run over – because you were talking.

This is another bad habit that can hold you back, so if you’re guilty of the above, it’s time for a change. We wrote an article on active listening that can help you get started.

Staying at a Job You Hate

Maybe what’s holding you back is the fact your current role is no longer a good fit. We work with job candidates to help them find area employers that can help them toward long-term career goals. Click here to see our current job openings.