There are many ways that we can derail our careers. Keeping our focus and doing the simple things right helps to keep us in line with the goals and values of our company. However, we often lose sight of this with our day-to-day routine.

Avoid these 5 common career-killing mistakes and keep yourself moving up the organizational ladder.

  1. Failing to have a plan – Having a roadmap to your own success is a vital step in your career. Not only will it serve as a reminder to keep you on task by eliminating distractions with your work but it will breed happiness in your personal life as well. However, this is often the most overlooked part of one’s career. Make sure that you don’t allow yourself to get wrapped up with the daily tasks and the 100’s of emails you “have.” Remember to sit down and evaluate the bigger picture. Set reasonable and measurable short-term goals to keep you motivated and moving in a positive direction.
  1. Staying Current – As cliché as it may be, the one thing that you can always count on is that there will always be change. No matter what your role is or what your skill set may be, it is imperative that you surround yourself within a learning culture. Challenge yourself to work within a company that demands that you continue to sharpen your own skills. If a company fails to see the importance in your continued growth or education, it is highly likely that there is limited opportunity to move up the ladder. Failure to stay current will ultimately make you expendable within your organization and will make you less desirable as an applicant while transitioning.
  1. Failing to Network – One of the common mistakes we see is that new hires tend to stop networking once they have landed. Instead, this is where it needs to ramp up. Remember, it might look different than networking during a job search but it’s important to network all the time. There are so many new contacts to explore and utilize to make your transition as smooth as possible. Learn as much as you can from as many people within the organization and leverage this to grow your personal network. You may be surprised how much you will lean on these contacts in the future. Staying in touch with past colleagues also helps to keep you front-of-mind should a new opportunity present itself.
  1. #fourdrinks – It can take weeks, months, even years to establish your self worth and reputation within an organization. It takes a few seconds to tear all of that away by consuming too much alcohol at a work event. When the time comes where you are choosing between that fourth drink and turning in, do yourself and your career a favor and call it a night. The brilliant idea you feel compelled to share with your boss can wait until tomorrow. Just remember to write it down.
  1. Socially Speaking – Most professionals will check out your social media profile. Before meetings, before hiring…this is the first stop. Negative posts or tweets reflect poorly on your character and may provide insight to your employer or potential employer that you are not a great fit for the organization. Keep your Facebook profile family friendly, your tweets engaging and humorous, and your LinkedIn profile professionally relevant to your field.

Clark Jenkins is Vice President for ICC, an OI Global Partner, and is passionate about creating brand awareness and building lasting relationships within the Cincinnati business community. To connect with Clark follow him on Twitter at @clarkajenkins, or on LinkedIn, click here.

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