6 Career Killers to Avoid at All Costs

career killing
Don’t kill your career. | Thinkstock

Finding a good job that you like — and see yourself staying at for more than a year — is hard to come by. However, once you’ve secured the job, it’s important not to get too comfortable. If you’re not careful, you could sabotage your career with an employer. Here are six blunders that could cause your career to go up in flames.

1. Lying

Lying can kill your career at a company before it even starts. Resist the urge to lie on your résumé or during the interview. It may take some time, but eventually you will be caught. So don’t add degrees you didn’t earn or jobs that you never had. Know that your work history is included in your employment credit report, so information about past jobs can be easily researched. And once an employer discovers your dishonesty, you will be seen as someone who can’t be trusted. Just don’t do it.

2. Sleep deprivation

Tired businesswoman
You need sleep to perform well. | iStock.com/Poike

Working while chronically sleep deprived can cause you to make significant errors. And the stress of not getting enough sleep can make you irritable and just plain unpleasant to be around. Who wants to work with a cranky person who constantly makes mistakes? Get some sleep and spare your co-workers from having to deal with you and the black cloud that follows you all day.

3. Laziness

lazy employee
You won’t be valuable to the company. | iStock.com

If you refuse to do more than what it says in your job description, good luck moving up the ladder. If you don’t pull it together and find some initiative, your rung just might get cut off. You should always be looking for opportunities to go above and beyond your required responsibilities. During the process you may even uncover a talent you didn’t realize you had.

4. Being a lone ranger

The Office, boss
You must work with others. | NBC

It’s important to be a team player. Let go of the attitude that this is your world and others are merely living in it. This is not your world, and you have to work with other people in order to get things done. If you don’t feel like being a team player, at least pretend that you actually like working with people.

5. Stealing

Money, steal, robbing
Don’t even think about it. | Warner Bros. Pictures

This one is pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many employees steal from their employers and even their co-workers. No matter how much you need a few pencils for your child’s homework assignment, or a pack of paper for your printer at home, don’t take it from your office. If you get caught, and you probably will, most employers will show you the door, no questions asked. So spare yourself the embarrassment and just head on over to your nearest office supply store. Furthermore, a recent study has shown that taking small things, such as a pen or a pack of Post-it Notes, could possibly lead to bigger crimes in the future. If you go to jail for a bigger crime it will be really hard to find a job later on, so try to control the urge.

6. Not keeping your skills current

hands covering golden piggy bank
Invest in yourself. | iStock.com/Kenishirotie

No matter how good you are at your job, your skills will need a tune-up from time to time. The availability of free and low-cost online courses and certificate programs leaves you with no excuse. You can even find helpful courses at your local library. Take the time to develop yourself. Letting your skills get stale sends the message that you don’t take your career, or the company you work for, seriously.