I came across a great article on Yahoo Finance called Seven Career Killers. I highly recommend it. #2, 3, and 4 are especially good points.

Many MBAs from top name schools experience #2, a sense of entitlement. Just because you have experience and have a good MBA doesn’t mean you have a right to be arrogant about not doing certain tasks. Many times the entitlement attitude kills opportunities. I know I have steered away from putting MBAs on my teams that have “attitude issues” even when they are super smart. Their sense of entitlement unfortunately makes them high maintenance team members and would require a lot of management time. That’s not what a manager need on their team.

I love the story in the article for #3, settling into your job description. I have come across quite a few people who constantly complain about their job and the fact it doesn’t give them enough learning opportunities. When I say “why don’t you do something about that?” Typically I hear “I am waiting for my boss to let me.” When digging deeper, I usually find out that they have not put in much effort in proposing new responsibilities to their bosses. Many don’t realize that expanding their job description starts with their own initiative. The boss usually has no incentive to change your job description unless you build a compelling case for it. Just like job search where you need to build a case for why you would be good for a job, you can do the same when you are already in a job that you don’t quite like.

#4 Avoiding office politics is a classic one. The bottom line is office politics in unavoidable and those who try to avoid it will only end up doing themselves a disservice.

Email me with questions. Good luck out there.

– Lei

One Thought on “Seven Career Killers

  1. Anonymous on May 21, 2009 at 10:46 pm said:

    Regarding Number 2: Agreed. This, unfortunately, is also prevalent among undergrads who come from schools with top and no names. This sense of entitlement, however, is also what makes us stronger and more aggressive competitors in the marketplace as long as you also have the can-do attitude. You often hear people who want to be associated with sexy strategy work or big name think tanks, but when the contract is signed and the research is funded who is doing the analysis and where is the do tank?

    Regarding Number 3: I think most people settle into their job descriptions and it’s okay because subconsciously they have no desire to go beyond that; otherwise, I think motivation and ambition would compel them to do something. On the other hand, I recently came across a book called “Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling” or something like that. The author argues that most Asians limit themselves from career advancement as a result of their upbringing. Essentially, they impose career-limiting mindset and moves on themselves. At any rate, I think different strokes are for different folks.

    Regarding Number 4: Completely agree. It’s key to know which pyramid you belong to and who you have to impress.

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