Career Ending Mistakes

CNBC’s Executive Career Blog recently shared the following entry.  To read the original post:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/43340406

Top 10 Career-Ending Mistakes and How to Fix Them

CNBC.com
| 09 Jun 2011 | 12:15 PM ET

by Suzanne Bates, an executive coach and author of best-selling business books, “Speak Like A CEO,” “Motivate Like A CEO,” and coming this fall, “Discover Your CEO Brand”

The latest unemployment numbers are in, and the news is not good. Roughly 9% of Americans who want to go to work can’t find an employer. Companies may be firing fewer people, but hiring remains anemic, growth seems to be flagging, and let’s face it: there’s no clear light at the end of the tunnel.

That said, there’s no shortage of people waiting to take your job, so developing and maintaining a good relationship with your boss is more important than ever.

It can determine your future as an employee.

We all make mistakes with the boss, and some missteps can leave a pretty healthy scar.

There’s only one thing to do when you put your foot in your mouth, mess up, fail to communicate, or send a message you never intended: apologize and learn.

Having had a few of my own foot-in-mouth moments, I share with you the top ten faux pas that can derail you with your CEO or boss.

#10: Send your boss more than one email in a row (especially about a low priority issue). It makes the boss wonder if you know how to prioritize.

#9: Show up to a 20 minute meeting with a 20 minute presentation. You will get through 2 minutes of it before you are interrupted anyway. People like to have a dialogue, not be talked at (your brilliance will not be obvious.)

#8: Keeping your boss waiting. Do I need to say it? Early is on time, on time is late, and late is career suicide.

#7: Fail to ascertain what “as soon as possible” means to your boss. In my experience, it rarely means “when you get around to it.”

#6: Walk in for a one-on-one update meeting with your boss without a written agenda. You will inevitably go into detail about the wrong things. A written agenda is best, and best shared. It shows you’re organized and respect other people’s time.

#5: Be less than lightning fast on the hand-off when your boss lobs it over to you. You’re expected to communicate with others and get back without being prompted.

#4: Having nothing to say in one-on-one situations with your boss. Learn the art of small talk and be prepared with some news about how much you’re enjoying a project, or what progress you’re making on an important issue. Don’t miss these opportunities to connect and impress.

#3: Long, wandering communications of any kind. Years ago, a CEO told me if it’s more than one page, he sends it back to the employee without reading it. If you must send a longer document, provide a one page executive summary, and make it good.

#2: Wasting time up front in a business meeting on small talk. Most CEOs and leaders prefer their small talk AFTER business is done. There are exceptions, but 95% want to exchange very brief pleasantries before getting down to business. If it goes well, you’ll have time and permission to shoot the breeze.

#1: Failure to communicate well and show respect to direct reports, your own team, or God-forbid, customers, prospects, shareholders, directors and stakeholders. These will be duly noted. Be consistent. Treat them the same way. Get back to everyone promptly, show respect, be clear, concise and thoughtful in your communications.

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About Kevin Monahan

I have 10+ years experience in coaching clients in their career management and career change efforts. Personal career consulting services combined with employer outreach to help find opportunities for both constituents.
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