You’re fired!

Many reasonably astute professionals hear these words chronically - but it's not necessary with a little thought.

Here are the most common career mistakes I see:

1. Failing to have a plan – All very successful people have a clear action plan for themselves. In the book, The Plan*, it's noted that the best plans consider each of our 3 key life aspects: personal, professional and financial.

Create a plan. Refer to it often. Don't tell yourself that you don't have time right now...this is your life we're talking about.

2. Not keeping your skill set current – The business landscape is ever-changing and there is more demand for jobs than supply. Not staying on par with colleagues and those vying for your job will be a deathnell.

3. Failing to deliver results – Winners in business know that it’s all about accountability. Those who harbor a sense of entitlement for simply having put forth effort are guaranteed to fall by the wayside.

4. Confusing efficiency with effectiveness – Those who think that communicating via e-mail replaces the need to actually talk with people around them fail to recognize the importance of personally connecting with others. Communicate in person whenever possible.

5. Believing that you are irreplaceable – As soon as you convince yourself that you - and only you - can do the job “right”, your star will surely start to fall.

6. Knowing all the answers – The old adage remains true: knowledge is power. Professing to know it all can readily stagnate a career. Winners remain unceasingly interested in learning new ideas and approaches.

7. Surrounding your self with suck-ups – Losers like having people tell them how smart they are. Successful pros accept and encourage intelligence and creativity in others.

8. Forgetting to give credit to others – Inappropriately taking full credit for positive events despite the help or input received by others creates anger and distrust. It will catch up with you. Give credit where credit is due.

9. But don't fail to self promote – Bragging is one thing, but letting colleagues throughout your industry know of your success through case studies, promotion bulletins, or other such tools is quite another. Recognize the importance of letting others know about your successes.

10. Losing perspective – Intuitive business people recognize that, despite their best attempts to do everything right, sometimes they'll hit roadblocks. They seek the advice and perspective of a respected friend, colleague or even a coach. They're shortcomings are destined to take them to the unemployment line.

Here's to your future....