The 12 Most Common Career Derailers

Arrogance, defensiveness and bad listening are just a few of the so-called 'dirty dozen,' according to Korn Ferry CEO Gary Burnison.

Published: Feb 27, 2020

All of the stars seemed aligned in your favor: you're good at your job, your boss sees your potential, and you rise to a new level of responsibility. Then—suddenly, dramatically—you hit a wall. You can’t keep up. Deadlines are missed. You “lose it” in team meetings. You start to blame others. You’re arrogant and ignore feedback. People don’t want to work for you. 

This is classic career derailment. And if you’re like most people, until you crash and burn you won’t even know what hit you. The reason? You failed to notice the brick wall that was looming in front of you.

It’s not that you’ve lost all your potential, it’s that something bigger and more corrosive got in the way. And it isn’t just about the obvious few missed deadlines or product launch gone awry. It’s far deeper than that. You have serious blind spots about how you act, interact, and get work done that led you straight into that wall.

Here are the most common derailers:

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