6 Bad Habits That Are Holding You Back From Your Dream Job


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Everyone has to start somewhere, even those who inspire you on a daily basis. They may look like that have ‘it’ together now. But there are mistakes we’re all guilty of making if you’re wondering what mistakes you might be making that are holding you back, read on. Change your habits, change your life!

1. Being too focused on the long term

We’re big fans of having a long term goal in mind but don’t become so focused on the future you forget the present. Stay flexible and understand that sometimes plans change. Do this and you’ll be able to spot the opportunities change brings rather than feeling thrown off course or like a failure.

2. Undervaluing your time

The market is tough and it always will be so it’s no wonder we’re all always looking to prove our worth. Especially at the start of a career! However, if you don’t set clear boundaries about your work commitments or expectations you may find yourself under appreciating your time. If you undervalue your time you invite everyone else to do so too. Learn to work smarter not harder.

3. Not negotiating salary

We get it, talking about money is terrifying. You’re happy enough to just have the job, maybe you should scrap the salary talk and just hope they guess you feel you’re worth more. You are worth what you believe you are worth. Go into interviews with an expectation and a list of reasons why you are worth at least that amount. If you don’t take the lead on your finances you leave yourself open to missed opportunities and wasted potential which serve no one, least of all you.

4. Waiting for the right time/role/position

This isn’t how it works and judging by the fact you’re on a proactive, empowering website right now, deep down you know this. You are the creator and author of your own destiny and if you are serious about landing your dream role you know that it isn’t going to just fall into your lap.

5. Being afraid of failure

It totally sucks when you screw up but here’s the secret: everyone does! Failing does not make you a failure no matter how many times you do it. It makes you tenacious, persistent, inspiring and most of all, human! Learn how to handle setbacks with grace early in your career and you will see how every mistake is actually a lesson in disguise, even the ones in this article. There will be moments with curled toes and sweaty palms but every success is all the sweeter when truly earned.

6. Not Believing in yourself

We’re all subject to self-doubt and the inner critic telling you you’re a fraud. But you can choose to believe the voice or to believe in yourself. Get up, dress up and show up every day believing you are already in the position of your dreams and your positive mindset will reflect in your positive actions. You’ll be CEO before you know it!


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  • Barbora

    This post is amazing! I totally agree with all of those! I wish it would be easier to get rid of these habits! :(

    • Ramona

      Barbora, in my experience replacing habits that don’t work well is a good strategy to go with.
      Humans tend to fall back into old patterns when there is a void, which happens when we want to get rid of something bit don’t know what to replace it with.

      Take #1 for example: Instead of spending most of your time in the future, you can practice mindfulness and experiencing the here and now (sounds, touch, senses in general). At first it takes a bit of effort – but it will become easier very soon and you’ll wonder why you’d ever wanted to spend time in the faraway future ;-) (this is based on my own experience).

      Or #5: I love the exercise of (re-)defining one’s own perception of words. Often, we think we know what words like “success” or “failure” mean….but we actually don’t! So what does it mean for you to fail? What’s the worst case scenario? What good can come out of failure, or has come out in the past already?

      Taking a more playful, less strict approach on all these habits makes them a little lighter already.

  • Ramona

    I’ve been stuck in #1 for years – imagining my future as commercial pilot in EVERY. LITTLE. DETAIL. :D Now, working as a coach and entrepreneur, my life has taken a very different turn and I couldn’t have chosen it any better.
    Terri, I like the list as we all experience these things (some more than others) and becoming aware of them is the first step for lasting change.

  • Virve Georgeson

    Those are great tips. Fortunately since I followed tip #6 and became CEO of my own company based on my own invention I have my dream job and I haven’t had to follow any of the other tips for the last two years! . I can empathize with others who are not self employed and the tips are very good for them. I have been in positions where I was less in control of my job environment. I was employed by others (as an associate lawyer for four years), and then had my own law firm for another four years, but as a lawyer you are hemmed in on all sides by rules so you don;t really have as much control over your job as outsiders may think, even if you have your own law firm, I traded my legal career for my invention two years ago. The irony is that I invented high heel shoe inserts because I became a lawyer, and as a female lawyer the expectation is that you wear heels. I do enjoy wearing heels, but they were murder on my feet so I said to myself the classic inventors line,”there has to be a better way” and invented high heels comfort. You can see my invention if your search “permanent high heel inserts”, on Google.

  • Helen Wakefield

    I think not negotiating salary is a big one! And also undervaluing yourself as you’ve mentioned in point 6. Its important to know you’re worth it!

    Helen | The Little Giraffe

  • Natalie Redman

    Not believing in yourself can be so detrimental to success.