The Best Way to Kill an Up and Coming Career

Perhaps you have set your performance goals for this year. You might be flying high—ready for the next opportunity with your company or the next great project that will get you noticed.You are confident and top of your game.

Beware!  In this following guest post, Deniz Sasal, a manager with PwC Consulting and founder of The Career Mastery, outlines what he has observed is the downfall of many. Read and become a resilient career master.

You know it and so does everyone else: you are the perfect candidate for that promotion. You have all the benefits you could want, including the six figure salary.

Every task you've been given, you have handled with ease.

You are your manager’s confidant. You are picked first for heading projects and your manager is always interested to know what your next brilliant idea is.

But then, suddenly this stops...

You aren't picked to lead the next “big project”. Your ideas are ignored.Now your manager tells you he would like things done a different way and not the way you suggest. You aren't learning anymore and you aren't being challenged in your role.

What has happened?

What I commonly see among my clients at PwC Consulting is that successful people develop an ego instead of a healthy self-confidence. This is a major weakness and definitely not a good place to be in your career.

If you think this is you, keep reading.

I have outlined how to know if you are in these dangerous waters and how to get out of them.

Let’s start with self-examination.

  1. Is everything a fight? You are assigned a project. Before this unexplained “shift, you would have suggested some ideas, gotten your manager’s buy-in, and apply those ideas. Instead, you are given projects that don't give the room for your ideas.

  2. Your colleagues aren't in the same boat. You sit down for lunch or go out for drinks after work and you can't wait to have a good old rant with your work friends about how your manager is impossible to please. But hang on; no one else feels the same way. You are the only one experiencing these problems.

  3. You are receiving no feedback - either negative or positive. Instead, your manager seems more interested in your coworkers.

Sound familiar?

Consider the possibility that your behavior and can-do-better-than-you attitude might have caused the decline.

You need to make a change. Fortunately, it’s not very difficult.

Here’s how you can start making a difference.

  1. Stop arguing for “my way or the highway”. Become an astute listener. Ask questions for clarification and carefully explore the potential results of their ideas. Complete the task the way they asked, following their directions, without pushing your own ideas – that much. For the next few weeks, only ask questions for clarity.

  2. Seek feedback; Show you want your job and seek the feedback from co-workers as well as your manager. Ask what you can do to make their work better and avoid the temptation to push back. This will show that you are listening to others as well as looking to improve yourself. This can help you gain valuable insight into what your manager looks for in their work.

Even when you know what you are doing, shoving it down everyone’s throat is not the way to go about it and will only cause others to be hostile towards you.

Not only will this make your work place unpleasant for you but it could also harm your job prospects and any potential promotions you could achieve. Instead, follow these simple suggestions; be more open to feedback, and take a step back to empathize with them. Let others shine, too.There’s nothing wrong with sharing the spotlight. In fact, step away from it and give it to others.

In short, become the person whom they would want to work with. You will see improvements quickly and create better connections with your team.

Deniz Sasal is a manager with PwC Consulting in their strategy consulting business unit. He is also the founder of The Career Mastery.


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