We’ve all seen people who are doing a great job of making sure that their career is headed nowhere. In the spirit of helpfulness, I thought I’d gather some of the most powerful ideas together.
Want to lose your job and torpedo your career? Here’s some of the best ways to do it:
- Create headaches for your boss. This is obviously #1 on the list, because your boss has the greatest control over your future in the company. But I’m shocked by how many people who don’t realize that your boss needs you to DO work, not CREATE work. If you’re creating more problems than you’re solving, you’ve taken the first great step out the door.
- Annoy your co-workers. Part of your boss’s job is to resolve conflict and sustain a productive team. The more interpersonal problems you create, or participate in, the more work your boss has to do. Your teammates will help build the perception that you’re just a trouble-causer.
- Do substandard work. If others have to rework what you’ve done, you haven’t really solved problems. If you’re creating work, then you should be paying those around you. Your manager will eventually do the math.
- Drive customers away. The money from customers is the fuel that runs your company. Without that fuel, your employer won’t be able to afford you. And – bonus! – they won’t be able to hire a replacement for you either. So you’ve managed to eliminate two jobs with just this simple formula.
- Hide your mistakes. When you make a mistake, the real problem is created when you try to cover it up. That demonstrates to everyone that you’re non-trustable, which they’ll assume applies to EVERY situations. If they can’t trust you to admit weakness, then it makes sense that you can’t even be trusted to do your job.
- Don’t worry about why you’re employed. Everyone has a job for a larger business reason, which may not exactly be obvious. Sure, your job might be to handle customers’ problems on the phone. But if you don’t understand that the larger picture is to hit the right balance between retaining happy customers at a reasonable cost to the company, you’ll probably make plenty of mistakes for your boss to recover from.
- Suck up energy. You know those people who just drain every ounce of motivation out of you whenever you talk to them? Maybe it’s because they whine on and on about issues they’re not trying to fix, or they have a perspective that makes you conclude life isn’t worth living. Well, if you practice at this, you’ll be able to quickly destroy not only your own productivity, but everyone else’s too. That incessant downbeat attitude will infect the whole team.
- Be unpredictable. When people don’t know if you’ll do your work or not, or if you’ll snap their head off when they approach you, you’ll be able to keep them on the edge. They’ll spend a lot of energy either avoiding you or trying to control the damage. A little unpredictability, though, makes life interesting – isn’t it great to get a nice card in the mail? So you’ll have to ramp up the level to DISTURBING unpredictability. Go for it! Chew out the next person you talk to, for no reason at all!
- Focus on yourself. The company exists, of course, to give you a job. So dismiss all those annoying requests from boss and co-workers, especially those that might make your life a little more complicated. Certainly don’t spend any time helping others to do better work.
- Just do your assignments. This is the hardest one to think about, because we all tend to think that our job is to do what we’re told. That’s true, in a way, but it’s also true that others are out there contributing their creativity and energy to delivering more. When it comes time to make the tough choices and let people go, managers will look for those who deliver the least value – even if you’re doing your assignments.
After writing all this, I realize that I’ve just asked you to do a lot of work. In fact, if you want to lose your job, there’s a much easier way. Just leave. That way you can quickly move into finding a new job, and then figuring out how quickly you can lose THAT one.
For the rest of us, those who might actually like to KEEP a job, perhaps it would be better to look at reversing these behaviors.
by Carl Dierschow