Abandon These 10 Bad Habits

In reading 50 Things You Need to Give Up Today, I found many of them can impact the health of your job search and career. I’ll highlight ten of them that I think are particularly important for you to abandon:

“Give up trying to be perfect.” We all know that nobody’s perfect, and yet we still try to attain it or try to put forth that illusion of perfection. All you end up doing in the process is wasting your time. You’d do better to channel your inner Stuart Smalley and say, “I’m good enough!” Because you are good enough (and whatever you’re working on is, too).

Apples and oranges“Give up comparing yourself to others.” The comparison game is one that comes up frequently when you are concerned about losing (a promotion, that big client you are trying to land, etc.) and you become anxious. When you operate from a place of fear, you are less effective at what you do. Part of this is because you are so worried about what someone else is doing that you are not paying proper attention to what you are doing. Forget about the other person and focus on yourself. Things will fall into place.

“Give up complaining.” I want to clarify what I define as “complaining:” complaining is when a person keeps rehashing something over and over without really trying to fix the problem, or if every perspective a person has tends toward the negative. It is not saying, “This really sucks!” when you first get laid off or experience something unpleasant. Expressing upset in the beginning is normal. You just don’t need to keep going on about it!

“Give up lying.” There was a tweet by Kforce that gave a good reminder to not lie on a résumé. With the various stories out there about folks who have lost their jobs as a result of this deception, it just doesn’t pay to do it.

“Give up trying to be everything to everyone.” It’s tempting to want to do this when you are in transition. Unfortunately, trying to contort yourself into something you’re not will end up leaving you unhappy in the long run. Instead, focus on what you do well and what you want, and knock it out of the park with that.

“Give up trying to do everything by yourself.” Working with others who may have a different take on a situation broadens the possibilities and lets others in to help. You don’t want people to look at you like this guy.

“Give up trying to live up to the expectations of others.” This is your career and your life. What you do professionally should not be dictated by others (well-meaning as they might be). You need to have a good sense of what resonates with you, and develop your plan for that career journey.

“Give up avoiding change.” You know the saying: “The one constant in life is change.” Since you know it’s going to happen, why not throw your arms open and welcome it in? Far better to meet it head-on than to make futile attempts at running away from it.

On Easy Street“Give up the ‘easy street’ mentality.” It rarely, if ever, happens that way. When you see someone who seems to suddenly burst onto the scene, there is the illusion that the person is an “overnight success.” What we don’t see is the back story — more often than not, there are years of hard work that have led up to making it big. Instead of wishing for success to happen, ask yourself, “Am I willing to do what it takes to reach my goals?”

“Give up trying to avoid risk.” Risk can be lumped in with change as a constant in life. It’s there if you go a different direction with life; it’s there if you decide to stay the course. The only thing you can ask of yourself is to make the best decision based on the information you have at hand. And then jump in.

Images courtesy of Anthony Easton and Christopher Harley

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