In the end, Starks says, it’s not too difficult to tell if you’re the problem at work. “If you’re not a go-to person, if office conversations aren’t easy, and if you think it’s all about you, these are clues,” he says.
While Starks advises people to not try to be someone they’re not, it is possible — and advisable — to create a smoother path by changing behaviors that sabotage career goals.
It’s also important to pay attention to your organization’s culture, environment and politics. “Office politics are real. I never heard anybody say that they like them. At the end of the day, though, you need to be skilled at communication and relationship-building. This involves being honest with yourself and asking: Do I want to navigate that here with this team and this organization? If the answer is no, maybe it’s time for a change.”