PROFESSIONAL EDGE with columnist Kim R. Wells, from the WWW.BLACKCOLLEGIAN.COM Career Center

Saturday, January 22, 2011

7 Deadly Workplace Sins of Black Professionals: New Posting Series

Over the last 20 years as an educator, consultant, and executive coach I have found there are 7 Deadly Sins that consistently disrupt and derail the promising careers of far too many Black Professionals. Many of the professionals who commit these "sins"do so in spite of being talented, educated, experienced, ... and yes even spiritual or "church going folk."

These "sins" we will discuss in this series cost some Black professionals dearly by limiting access to positions in top organizations, hindering professional performance, stalling pace of career advancement, decreasing long term wealth accumulation, and could ultimately affect their health and mental well being.

The good news is that all the "sins" mentioned can be avoided or changed with a renewed commitment to success, courage to make a change, and the boldness to take action.

1. Thou shalt not blame other people for your failure

The name of the game today is results. Today's complex workplace can be riddled with difficult people, complex leadership, limited or shifting resources etc., but it is still your responsibility when you accept that paycheck to map out a plan of action, stop all the talk, and add value daily to your organization. Success is a choice, a choice we have to make daily, and in a business environment of record levels of unemployment, failure is not an option.

Odds are there are other Black professionals that are advancing, growing and positive in the same organization that you are failing in, so examine yourself, its time to get real, the problem just might be you!

Strategies to consider:
  • See the challenge as an opportunity to grow, both professionally and personally
  • Look for opportunities to show your value, stop focusing on the negative
  • Find a trusted mentor - value and act on their feedback
  • Some challenges are simply the result of a poor match between you and the organization, don't take it too personally, in the right organization you can be a star.
  • Seek out an executive coach - this can be a very valuable professional investment
  • Befriend productive people - they have figured out how to produce in the environment
  • Take advantage of training and continuing education opportunities
  • Stop speaking negatively about the situation, start talking positively
  • Make sure you are not projecting an indifferent, arrogant, or nasty attitude
  • Remember success is your responsibility, not something you are entitled to
  • Take care of your "temple" through increased rest, exercise, and eating right, all will effect your ability to perform successfully at work
  • May be time to get back in that "prayer closet," I believe prayer changes things.

See the next posting for our series.
Would love to hear your comments.

Kim R. Wells

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