5 Mistakes Especially Smart People Make That Can Hurt Their Career

Sometimes smart people aren't as smart as they think they are.
by Stephanie Shi
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Smart people don’t have everything, and that’s because being smart can only take people so far. They can end up without a job or a business just like the next guy, or be disliked by relevant people in their circle.

“What are some stupid things that smart people do?” a person asked on Quora, the Q&A website where your questions are answered and edited by its community of users. Entrepreneurs, investors, managers and other professionals shared their insights, and here are the top responses:

1. Thinking you’re always right because of your education.

School isn’t the only place we learn about things; experience teaches us a lot as well, if not more. Putting experienced people down or not even minding them or their ideas because they don’t have your attainment will take a huge learning opportunity from you, along with the gains you might have from taking their two cents.

2. Behaving like being right is everything.

Being right isn’t everything. Other situations call us to be kind or sympathetic first and foremost—and that means having to listen to someone illogical or irrational and not arguing or fighting back. Not all smart people know how to pick their battles, unfortunately.

3. Putting down the value of effort and hard work.

Being giftedly smart or talented in something is a leg up, but that skill won’t develop further without hard work or practice and discipline. It’s been the case that smart people are don’t put in so much effort hence don’t thrive or stand out in fields where hard work and dedication are integral.

4. Being lazy.

This is a result of underestimating the power and value of hard work, or being overconfident that you’ll get by with barely anything because you’re smarter than most people. But what happens when you got a brilliant idea for a project but you’re just so lazy to research if it’s even feasible or check what your competition is doing? Nothing new, that’s for sure.

5. Not developing your social skills.

The age-old axiom “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” still goes around, and it does for a reason. We all need other people to get big things done with and for us. If you don’t have very good social skills—if you don’t socialize at all for whatever reason—you’ll have a hard time being in the lead since people either don’t like to work with you or don’t know you.

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