Some people you hang out with at work could seriously impact on your success and ruin your career dreams...
“There are people in your world who are holding you back and don’t want you to get ahead – and they will do anything to stop you getting promoted,” states Rowdy McLean, author of Play A Bigger Game. “These people will tell you why your ideas will fail, why your goals are unachievable and why your aspirations are impossible.” McLean calls them the dream stealers and spells out how to deal with them.
The gossipy colleague: “They’ve got nothing nice to say about anyone, ever. They have their noses in everybody’s business and if there’s nothing juicy going on, they’ll make it up!”
Strategy: “Simply by associating with them, your integrity is questioned. As soon as the talk turns to gossip, walk away! Don’t become the sounding board for things that turn sour.”
The fun-time friend: “They might be fun, but they’re going nowhere. They arrive a little late, leave a little early and stay at lunch a little too long.”
Strategy: “You should have fun at work, but when it undermines productivity it gets frowned upon. When you hang out with these people you can be guilty by association. Have fun, but choose when and who with.”
The ex co-worker: “They left because it either didn’t work out or they didn’t cut it. Their hope is that you will get out, too. They have nothing good to say about the company or anybody in it.”
Strategy: “Let them know you like the company and you’re committed to building a career there. Tell them you appreciate it wasn’t right for them, but you’re in it for the long haul. Stop any conversations that belittle the company or the people you work with.”
The lazy partner: “They don’t like it when you work late or go over and beyond your job description. This is the toughest dream stealer of them all. They want you at home, helping out and messing about. They don’t get that a career is more than just 9 to 5.”
Strategy: “You need to have a tough conversation. Tell your partner why your career is so important to both of you, what you expect to gain from it, and help them see what they can gain from it, too. You may have to find some middle ground you’re both happy with, such as no emails after 7pm or before 7am. If they can’t support you after this, you need to have a think about whether they’re supporting you enough to continue the relationship.”