Six Signs of Career Derailment

12 Jul

ByBarbara Reinhold,
Monster Contributing Writer

Getting bumped off the
track on your way to the top is every high achiever’s
recurring nightmare. How can you be sure it doesn’t
happen to you? Research by Michael Lombardo,
principal of Lominger Limited, uncovered six
indicators of career derailment. If any of them
describe you, you’ll know what areas you need to
work on:

1. Disagreements with Higher Management

Obviously, this is a no-no, even if your point of view
is correct. Those who would rather be right than
promoted almost always get their wish.

2. Problems with Team Building

You need to be good at spotting talent. Building
diversity, developing talent and helping your people
work together effectively are also core capabilities
that you can’t do without for very long.

3. Problems Developing Working Relationships

If people don’t want to be around you, your career is
in trouble. Bullying, isolation and being out of the
loop in various ways all torpedo corporate careers.

4. Lack of Follow-Through

When you consistently forget to follow up on
promises and don’t attend to important details,
people notice and question the wisdom of handing
you anything else to forget.

5. Problems Moving from a Technical to a Strategic

Here’s where engineers and other highly technical
people can stumble and find themselves unable to
go beyond what they know in order to formulate
more complex strategies. If you’re on your way up
the ladder from a highly technical role to a more
managerial one, be sure to ask your boss for some
feedback as to whether your strategic skills need

6. Assuming Something Other Than Your Own Hard
Work Will Take You Where You Want to Go

Being overly dependent on apowerful boss or some
other advocate, or even on your natural talent,
sometimes causes high-potential people to get a
little lazy. “I know I’ll make VP this spring, because
all the important people are on my side,” arising
young star once said. Wrong — he was passed on
the inside lane by somebody who had just made a
great presentation to the senior VP. The only person
who can get you noticed and promoted is you.

Anything on that list sound familiar? If not, take a
second look or consult a friend. Psychologists tell
us that self-evaluation is a terrible indicator of
performance. Tobe on the safe side, ask somebody
who knows you well (and will tell you the truth) to
have a look at the list and give you some objective

When it comes to keeping your career on track, what
you don’t know about yourself could definitely hurt


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