Expert Panel

Common job issues and solutions in College Student / Recent Graduate

19 Behaviors That Will Trash Your Career


By Lea McLeod, M.A. , Founder & CEO, Degrees of Transition{#/pub/images/19BehaviorsThatWillTrashYourCareer.jpg}

What are the behaviors that can send your career
in the wrong direction? Take a look.

I came across a Korn Ferry International study about the behaviors that block one’s career from moving forward, or stall it out completely. The study covers a global scope, both genders, and a variety of organizational positions, from individual contributors to executives in all kind of businesses.

For career starters (and others) I thought this might be an interesting read. Here are the 19 most prominent career stallers from the 2009 study. You can read the entire Korn Ferry International report here.

1. Over-managing
2. Defensiveness
3. Over-dependence on a single skill
4. Non-strategic
5. Key skill deficiencies
6. Failure to staff effectively
7. Lack of composure
8. Failure to build a team
9. Overly ambitious
10. Insensitive to others
11. Arrogant
12. Unable to adapt to differences
13. Political missteps
14. Poor administrator
15. Over-dependence on an advocate
16. Blocked personal learner
17. Performance problems
18. Betrayal of trust
19. Lack of ethics and value

Interesting list. Nearly half of these attributes reflect a lack of self-leadership whether working independently or in relationship with others.

What does this tell you about developing the right behaviors to take your career forward?


{#/pub/images/LeaMcLeod.jpg}Written by Lea McLeod, M.A., Founder & CEO, Degrees of Transition 

Lea works extensively with new grads who are tackling the job search for the first time.  She is a guest speaker, as well as facilitator of the “Find a Job Faster” Job Search Program and “Developing Patterns of Success” Workshop & Webinar series, bringing over 20 years of director level experience, most recently with Hewlett-Packard, managing, leading and serving worldwide employees. She holds a degree in Marketing from St. Bonaventure University, and a Master of Arts in Organization Development from Seattle University.


Do you have a question for Lea?  Post it here in our College Student/Recent Grad Community, she will be happy to help: Ask An Expert 


Did you find this story informative?  We would like the opportunity to keep you up to date on all of our training articles.  Please Sign Up for our newsletter so we can do just that. 


ManagingAmericans.com is a community of Business Professionals & Expert Consultants sharing knowledge, success tips and solutions to common job issues.  Our objective is to mentor and develop professionals to be better leaders, managers, team players and individual contributors. Ultimately, helping people succeed in their careers.

Ask An Expert

  • No Topics exist for this category yet.
See all


The most common interview question is "So Tell Me About Yourself". Are you prepared to answer?