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10 stupid things employees do to hurt their careers

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No matter what career you choose, along the way there are many pitfalls. In keeping with pop culture of the day, I formulated the following list.

Procrastinating: Procrastination is death for an employee. Many things we do in our jobs are time sensitive, and I always know that the one thing I ignore will come back to bite me.

Not prioritizing: Each and every day, you should look at your desk and survey your workload to decide the five to 10 most important things you need to do that day. Then you should set out to accomplish them. We all know some things are more important than others, and we should concentrate on doing the most important things first.

Not communicating with your boss and/or your clients: No one will know what you are doing unless you tell them. With e-mail, it is even easier to stay in contact with your boss or your clients. Your life will be much easier if everyone knows what you have been up to.

Not taking a lunch break: Taking some time out of your day for a break gives you relief from the grind. It can re-energize you enough to help you get through the rest of the day.

Never networking: Networking with other people in your field and staying in contact with people you used to work with comes in handy when you need a job, when you need a reference, when you need help with a situation you may be faced with or when you need a good vendor. Networking is key to finding a new job and getting help when you need it.

Never making career or personal goals: Professional or personal goals helps you keep motivated when things get tough. Goals help you to see what you are working for and give you a reason to get up every morning.

Not taking time off: We all need a vacation or time off to recharge our batteries. I have known people who accumulate months of vacation time because they never take any time off. But not taking time off can cause burnout and stress overload, which will wreak havoc on your job performance and your health.

Burning bridges: Never leave a company on bad terms and do not badmouth your former employer. The industry you are in may be very small (or smaller than your think), and this can come back to haunt you.

Not getting continuing education: We all need to stay up on the latest trends and happenings in our chosen field of business. Education is key to keeping up to date. Try to make it a point to go to a class, a seminar or a convention or conference at least once a quarter.

Never updating your resume: You never know when you will need to dust off your resume. Don't let too much time go by before you update your job history and accomplishments. You never know when a new opportunity will knock.

Eagle is an IREM member and past chapter president.

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