10 mistakes you're making at work (and how to fix them)

Workplace mistakes you should avoid making and how to fix them

You’ve worked hard and are perfectly positioned to climb the corporate ladder – but nothing seems to be happening. Worse yet, your job hasn’t just stalled – it’s flat lining, and you don’t know why. Could you be quietly sabotaging your own career? 

Avoid these mistakes in the office:

Not switching off your phone 

Unless you’re on deadline, or expecting a life-changing call, consistently checking – or answering – your phone during a meeting is the height of rudeness and bosses HATE it.

Not taking charge of your own career

Don’t expect your manager to plan your job progression for you. You need to know what your goals are, what you need to do to get there and how long it’s going to take.

Not keeping a record of your victories 

Most bosses only care about their bottom line – not your personal job progression. So create a file and document every one of your wins. You’ll need it when it comes to asking for a raise or updating your resume.

Not looking after your own health

Taking regular breaks away from your desk to exercise, or have a cup of tea, will actually energise and reinvigorate you – making you more productive.

Not making yourself indispensable

What are you doing to get yourself noticed? Every office is full of eyes and ears, so if you think no one is watching your performance – you’re dreaming. Ask yourself this: if you were to leave suddenly, would your office be severely inconvenienced?  If the answer is no, you’re making yourself redundant.

Not being likeable

While it’s true work is not a popularity contest, neither should it be a war zone. You should be able to interact pleasantly with those around you – contributing to a calm and harmonious workplace. Also remember to smile. It will make you, and everyone around you, feel better.

Not keeping up-to-date on industry developments

Spend half an hour each day reading up on what’s going on in your industry so you can best position yourself to capitalise on the changes.

Forgetting your target audience 

We all know the old adage “the customer always comes first”, but how much of your day do you actually spend thinking about what your target audience actually needs and wants?

Not planning ahead 

Are your skills transferable? Could you find another job within three months if your company suddenly went bust or you were made redundant? Update your skills regularly to ensure you can weather any transition.

Taking credit for someone else’s work 

Nothing shows more disrespect than taking someone else’s idea and calling it your own. Eventually you will get caught out, and then nothing you’ve achieved will be seen as your own.

Keep your career reputation in tact with these tips:

  • Switch off your phone in meetings
  • Record your victories
  • Get yourself noticed
  • Update your skills regularly
  • Never take credit for someone else’s work


CPA Career Mentor


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