5 Career Killing Moves


Some of us are starting at a new career, some of us are climbing the corporate ladder, and still others are venturing out on their own. There’s no right or wrong way to reach your career goals. Everyone has a different path. It’s not for me to tell you which way to go or by what means you should travel but there is some advice I would like to dole out. Please do yourself a favor and avoid these career killing moves.

Career Killing Move #1: Office Affairs

We spend the majority of our time at the workplace so it’s only natural that attraction might build between coworkers, but I beg you to proceed with caution. Office affairs can be steamy, intense, a bit naughty, and more than a little distracting. I really do consider this to be the biggest career killing move there is. All too often I hear about women who have to leave a job because things went south with a supervisor, a coworker they couldn’t stand to see anymore, or because the gossip in the office became too much to take.

Bullying as adults is rampant and ever present in the work force. When you become ‘that chick that bones her way through departments’ things are bound to get uncomfortable. Say things go south with your love interest but you still have to see them daily…hello torture. Sure an office romance can add a little sexy to your life but please get it elsewhere. In the end, it really isn’t worth it.

Career Killing Move #2: Bottling it Up

Too often as women, we let things roll off our shoulders or ‘go with the flow’, when really what we are doing is allowing ourselves to be taken advantage of. We don’t want to be the office bitch or that woman that complains about everything, so we bottle up our anger and bite our tongue. This is a huge career killing move and I will tell you why; a person can only take so much. The negativity will be noticed soon and it’s not productive.

I made the mistake of doing this at a past job. I allowed frustration after frustration to mount up until I loathed waking up and going to work every day. You can only last so long in that state of anger and one of a few things ends up happening. You will end up bitching to all of your co-workers until your negative attitude gets the attention of the higher ups and you get canned. Or, you get so angry you burst and go off on your boss and quit. Then again, you could just start to look for another job and give your notice. Any way you look at it, there is rarely a happy ending to this situation.

Speak up when something happens you don’t like or if you are being treated unfairly. Believe me when I say, you’d rather be ‘that bitch who doesn’t take shit’ over ‘that bitch who went crazy and trashed the President’s office’.

Career Killing Move #3: Push Over

I touched on this a bit in the ‘bottling it up’ section but being a push over in the work place is a career killing move way too many women make. You know the one person doing all the work and never asking for any credit, putting in extra hours but never getting paid for them, and carrying teams but sharing the glory. What exactly do you think you are gaining by doing this? If you are waiting for your boss to notice, they won’t.

It’s not bitchy to get the credit you deserve and earned. It’s OK to shine a light on all the great work you are doing or to tell coworkers that you won’t pick up their slack anymore. Know when to draw the line and when to lend a hand but know that there is a middle line and that you don’t have to be everyone’s servant girl. Even if your boss sees all the hard work that you are doing, they will also see that you require no credit for it and likely give you none.

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Julie Zantopoulos

Julie Zantopoulos

Julie is Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of The Indie Chicks. She's working on publishing her first book, a collection of short stories, and writing a young adult novel series. Other loves include whiskey, the Flyers, and anything LOTR, Harry Potter, or Young Adult Lit. Don't be shy about following her on Instagram or emailing her to discuss contributing to The Indie Chicks.

  1. I love this article . Thank you for posting it . I learned a lot from this article . I liked this guy at work . I told a few people at work . Soon , a lot of people knew . They went up to him and asked him , when are you guys going out ? He told me , he did not want to date me anymore . I learned not it is better not to date a coworker . I agree with you . It is very difficult to find a job . You are replaceable .
    Great Article !

    1. I’m so glad this article was helpful to you, Courtney. I can promise you that office romances need to be weighed heavily and that few people consider the true consequences. I’m sorry you had to deal with that kind of trouble.

  2. Thank you so much for writing this! I’ve been a pushover/bottled it up for a long time and in the last few weeks your prediction is coming true: my negative feelings are seeping out little by little and it’s reflecting on my whole team. It’s tough, especially for a woman, to put your foot down and assert when you feel you’re being treated unfairly, but we deserve what we’re worth, right?

    1. Exactly right, Jane! It’s not easy, and sometimes it’s even downright scary, but not speaking up will poison your workplace. I hope you find a way to remedy it so you don’t continue to hate work and let it seep into your work. If you need anything, you know how to reach me.

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