A friend of mine knows a woman through work who always seems to be complaining about other people in the industry. It seems everyone is a backstabber, or has done her wrong. Even people my friend has personally worked with and considered to be solid professionals have been bad-mouthed, causing her to wonder if perhaps the problem is instead this woman.
This woman has had some career setbacks over the past year, but has an excuse for every single one. According to her, she lost a consulting gig because she was discriminated against for being a woman. Somebody else got a coveted job because of nepotism. When companies stop using her services, they become the enemy. It couldn’t possibly be a reflection on her attitude or skills.
My friend says this woman now has a reputation for being too high-strung and quick to burn bridges. Understandably, she’s reluctant to communicate this to her friend, but finds her excuses exhausting. There are indeed bad things that happen to us all without rhyme or reason, but when a pattern like this emerges, it’s worth taking a step back and considering how this outcome could have been prevented.
Before you complain, try to explain. Ask for feedback. Try to take the high road when a job opportunity doesn’t pan out. There’s no use bad-mouthing anyone as word can get around. The world is a lot smaller than you think. Focus on the positive aspects and don’t be so quick to pass the buck.