Three Personality Traits That Hurt Your Career AND How to Fix Them

Is your attitude helping you our holding you back?

It seems simple enough to assume one’s attitude has an impact on success.  But what is not so simple is understanding if you exhibit certain attitudes that prohibit yours.  Unless someone actually pulls you aside and tells you that you should change, you will not know until you examine yourself.  That is because bad attitudes are like bad customer service.  People will just take their business elsewhere rather than complain…. promotions and opportunities work the same way.  Nobody is going to tell you how you really come across…they will just pass you by so they don’t have to deal with you anymore.  So how can you examine your attitude?  Here are three personality traits that hurt your career and how to fix them.  Ask yourself…is your attitude holding you back?

#1: Sarcastic Humor

Sure people may laugh at your jokes, but nobody likes you for them.  When you have to joke at someone’s expense it is a clear sign that you are not promotable.  How can you be an inspiration to others if they fear they will be talked about behind their back?

#2: Negative Complaining

You are at work, not therapy.  Don’t bring your problems to work and don’t share your work problems with others.  If you don’t like something, fix it…. if you try to fix it and it is out of your control, take control of other areas where you can have a positive impact and move on.  If you are really miserable every day, then go look for a new job, but do not complain in a negative way.  Keep in mind that you can still complain in a positive way, through identifying issues and proposing solutions.

#3: Crude or Profane Language

Look around at the people who are doing well in your company, in your field, and in business overall.  Do you notice that they all have gutter mouths in common? I don’t thinks so.  Pay attention to your language at work, it makes a big difference in how you are perceived.

Look, there are hundreds of ways to do well, but I think it is important to work on changing some things that hinder your performance.  Listen to yourself, hear what you are saying and pay attention to how you say it.  Start to watch the faces of those around you when you speak.  Once you pay attention, you will begin the professional development process to improve your attitude and break down barriers to career growth.  People will be more comfortable around you, they will trust you more, and be more open to seeing your abilities instead of the negative barrier you used to have in front of you.

I hope this perspective is helpful to you in your day-to-day life.  Test out these concepts and share your results with us.  Others can benefit from your experiences.  Good luck!


Written by Lisa Woods, President Lisa Woods Consulting & Founder of


Lisa is a successful entrepreneur, world-class marketing strategist, and dynamic business leader with more than 20 years experience leading, managing and driving growth. Throughout her career, Lisa has been influential in integration techniques, organizational and cultural overhauls, financial turnarounds and developing employees into exceptional leaders, results driven managers and passionate team contributors.

Strategic Consulting ǀ Management Consulting: Strategy Realized

      Contact Lisa

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