“Don’t be a drain,” our People and Culture manager said during a meeting a few weeks ago.
The advice, to be clear, was a little bit stolen from Oprah Winfrey, but I think we can all admit that every good idea is a little bit stolen from Oprah Winfrey.
“You have a choice,” she explained.
“You can be a drain, a person who is excessively negative and defeatist, sucking energy from everyone around them. Or, you can be a radiator. Radiators exude warmth, honesty, positivity and enthusiasm, and generally make life better for those around them.”
Being a ‘drain’, constantly seeing the glass half empty, and coming to your manager with complaints and problems, rather than viable solutions, is one of the biggest career mistakes you can make, she said.
With that in mind, we spoke to a number of professional women to determine the worst things you can do for your career, so we know exactly what to avoid in 2018.
1. Owning up to your mistakes.
“If you own your mistakes people will trust you more,” CEO and Co-Founder of Ellevest, Sallie Krawcheck says.
“Any time you waste blaming other people, or even blaming yourself,” she adds, “is time not spent pivoting to solve the problem.”
SELL: We discuss ‘Imposter syndrome’ and how to deal with it on Mamamia Out Loud. Post continues below.
Mistakes are inevitable, and getting really good at dealing with them is the mark of a proactive leader. Although shirking responsibility, or trying to bury the problem out of view, might feel like the easiest option, in the long term, it won’t serve you well.
2. Do not burn your bridges.
This sentiment has been expressed by a number of professional women, one being Mamamia’s Evening Editor, Marta Jary.
“A girl who was my intern, 10 years later was my editor. Be nice to everyone,” she advises.
Often, ambitious employees can get very good at ‘managing up’ – ensuring that their manager and boss think they’re incredibly competent. But it would seem it’s just as important to ‘manage down’.
Treat the intern with as much respect as the department head, both because it’s the right thing to do, and because they could end up being your boss one day.