4 Mentalities That Are Killing Your Career

October 27, 2019 Candidate Insights Article Written By: Andra Chan, Director

AWAS is the Bahasa word for BEWARE which you will commonly see the roads in Malaysia. So do you have AWAS alerts you can apply in your work? The AWAS sign is a good reminder of 4 common categories of “mindset” that could hamper our career growth. The biggest fear is we could potentially be our worse enemy for growth. I like this article by J.T. O’Donnel highlighting 4 categories of mindset to watch out against which may hinder our growth.


Read on for the full details about:

1. Overthinker

2. One-track-minder

3. All-talker


Job security no longer exists (and that’s not a bad thing)

One of the most important ah-a! moments we can have today is to accept that employment stability no longer exists. Every job is temporary. The sooner we embrace and adapt to this mindset, the better. Unfortunately, many professionals are still working with. Things like, “My goal is to get a good job with benefits that I can stay at for a long time.” Or, “A college degree will ensure I get better job opportunities.” And even, “If I work hard, keep my head down at work, and just put in the time, they will see my effort and I will be rewarded.” If you believe any of those right now, you’re setting yourself up for a let-down. Today, there are no guarantees when it comes to career advancement.


4 career mentalities you can’t afford to have

A recent survey by LinkedIn of over 10,000 job changers shows that more than 53 percent of them made the change for better career opportunities. While money was important (it ranked second), the need to move to a job that could give them the chance to increase their skills was their primary reason for making the switch. These successful job changers focused on making sure their businesses-of-one stayed employable by keeping their career moving forward. Unfortunately, not every professional will succeed as these job changers did. Why? They have one of four career mentalities that hold them back.


1. Overthinker

The person who thinks about every career option as a scary risk, finding flaws and roadblocks to each one. Such people spend hours, days, weeks, and even years pondering what they should do next. Meanwhile, time marches on in their dead-end jobs. They don’t build any new skills. Eventually, they find themselves part of a “corporate restructuring”–they get a month’s severance and get thrusted into an unexpected job search.

2. One-track-minder

The person who knows exactly what he or she wants to do and has no desire to consider any alternate options. Convinced they’ve got the perfect master plan, they work like crazy, often to the point of exhaustion. Over time, their intensity works against them. Co-workers and managers see them as too rigid and controlling, which often gets them passed over for promotions–and, in some cases, let go for failing to be a good team player.

3. All-talker

The person who loves to talk about his or her career, but never really takes action. Such people are full of ideas and sound very convincing that they’ll be a huge success. They seem to have it all figured out. However, as time passes, you notice they aren’t moving along in their careers. They always have an excuse, and it’s usually someone else’s fault they aren’t where they should be. Eventually, they lose credibility and find people actively try to avoid career conversations with them.

4. Open-roadster

The person who feels fate will guide him or her on the career journey. If they just keep an open mind and let the opportunities present themselves, they believe they’ll find the careers they were meant to have. Over time, they drift from career to career, never really establishing any particular skill or specialty. They claim they’re enjoying the process, but as the years pass, they find themselves with diminishing options and not a lot of money saved for retirement. Looking back on your career, can you identify with any of these mentalities? If so, it might also explain why you aren’t where you want to be professionally.


If you’re thinking, “That’s not me”, consider this.

Studies by CAREEREALISM show that 88 percent of professionals feel unsatisfied with their career success. While you may not have a severe case of any of the mentalities above, even possessing one of them to a small extent can hurt your ability to move forward. Ask yourself, “Am I guilty of a career-limiting mentality?” The sooner you recognize what’s holding you back, the sooner you can make changes and take action to eliminate it.