Barriers to Success on the Job

Employees are often so focused on how to advance within their organization that they fail to realize they are doing things daily that undermine their chances of success.  Honestly consider which of these things may be getting in the way of your success and implement a plan to eliminate them from your routine.

Tardiness is Noticed – You should always strive to be timely whether it is for a face-to-face meeting or a conference call.  For meetings outside the office, always allow time for traffic and parking.  Plan to arrive ten minutes early.  Don’t build a reputation for always being the last to arrive for meetings or the last to join a conference call.  People do notice tardiness particularly when it becomes a trend.  Get control of your time and ensure that you arrive on time and also well-prepared.

Meeting Preparation Matters – Prior to the meeting do your homework.  Research the people you will be meeting with and their company for external meetings.  For internal meetings, review your notes from the last meeting.  If you were assigned any to-do’s at the last meeting, come prepared with updates on your progress.  Meetings are more productive when people come prepared.

Email Etiquette – You are often judged by your email behavior.  Do you respond in a timely manner?  Do you reply all inappropriately?  Do you abuse the cc feature?  Do you send emails with spelling and grammatical errors?  Do you forget to include the attachment?  Your email communications reflect your personal brand and communication style.  Review your emails carefully before you hit send.

Manage Expectations – How you manage and meet expectations builds or destroys your professional reputation.  Once people realize that you overpromise and underdeliver, they no longer send opportunities your way.  Be realistic in what you commit to and ensure that you meet or beat deadlines with quality work.  Build a reputation as someone who gets things done and does them well.

Be In the Moment – People notice if you are daydreaming or doodling during a meeting.  Pay attention to the conversation and take appropriate notes.  Do not respond to emails or play on your phone when you are supposed to be engaged in a meeting.  Show other participants respect by staying engaged in the conversation.

Repeated Errors – We are all human – we make mistakes.  Managers expect that you will learn from your mistakes.  Managers are frustrated when an employee continues to make the same mistake.  This implies lack of attention to detail, lack of interest and certainly lack of effort.  Take notes to ensure that you don’t repeat a mistake.

Sometimes, how you do your job is as important as what you do.  Be sure you are putting your best foot forward to advance in your job.  Eliminate bad habits to increase your likelihood of success.


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