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Most people can think of one or two people who have gone from being major names in their industry to becoming people infamous for failure. After all, it happens in Hollywood all the time - think Bill O'Reilly, Bill Cosby, or Sinead O'Connor for starters.
Though it may seem like they are outliers, the truth is that there have been many, many people out there who have blown their careers to bits by making a major gaffe or forgetting where they came from. It can happen to anyone, even you.
If you want to avoid accidentally pressing the nuke button on your career, it's wise to learn from others' mistakes. Here are some of the worst ways people accidentally annihilate their careers.
Sending the wrong tweet, posting the wrong status, or just being an idiot on Snapchat.
In today's day, it's easier than ever to put your foot in your mouth and have it be noticed on an international level. Social media is terrible like that. That being said, it's hard to avoid posting something. In fact, if you're in most industries, social media is a must.
Considering that most customers and potential employees will likely look up your social media, it's obvious that you need to take care to avoid looking like a twerp on social media. Despite that being common sense, many people have gotten fired because they trash-talked their job on social media.
Major social media marketers have also gotten fired (and come under fire) because they accidentally posted something private on a company social media account. A good example would be the recent McDonald's "compromised" anti-Trump tweet that made waves last month.
What we're saying is that you can probably avoid problems by really researching and thinking what you're posting on social media.
Screwing over the wrong person.
There are many people out there who paved their careers by walking on the backs of others. In extremely competitive fields, it's almost expected that you'll get screwed over by someone else at least once or twice before you get to where you want to be.
That being said, it's better to be honest and clear in your dealings than it is to get up to the top by screwing people over. The reason why is because you never know who that person you just shafted will become - or who they know.
A good example of this happened in the modeling industry when models spoke out against photographers, managers, or agents. Though many scandals get swept under the rug, occasionally, this is one of the ways people accidentally annihilate their careers.
When it does, guess what ends up happening to the people who screwed the models over? They often get blacklisted, sued, and avoided. It's not a good look.
And then there's actually screwing the wrong person.
No, that's not a typo. This time, it's not about screwing over people as much as it is about having sex with them.
There's a reason why people warn others not to "dip the company quill in the company ink." If you end up having sex with the boss in order to keep your job or even just get the job, people will find out. When they find out, any credibility you have as a worker will go down the toilet.
Moreover, getting sexual with a boss also means that you are giving them power to ruin your career. All they have to do is say that you offered up sex, and you're gone.
But, sometimes, it's not even about not having sex with your boss. Sometimes, even just getting caught with your pants down with someone that isn't a person you should be having sex with.
Think about how Josh Duggar tanked his career by being caught cheating on his wife, or how Bieber almost ruined his career with that escort, and you'll understand why it's often best to keep it in your pants. Sex scandals are very hard to come back from.
Going on a hateful rant.
Though it may have gotten Donald Trump into office, the fact is that the vast majority of people out there really will not fare well if they started spouting off hateful speech at work, on social media, or God forbid, on television.
Milo Yiannopoulos, the Dixie Chicks, and Michael Richards all ended up blowing up their careers due to rants that put down certain people or countries. It happens - and you don't have to be in Hollywood to have it happen to you.
People don't want to be associated with hatred, bigotry, or bullies. In fact, many companies actually have contractual clauses that ban people from saying things like this in public or on social media because it's such a bad look.
In other words, be a bigot at your own risk, as it is one of the ways people accidentally annihilate their careers.
Sexual harassment and coercing sex.
Bill O'Reilly isn't the first guy to lose his job because he tried to coerce random women into sex. Think about what happened when Bill Cosby's crimes came to light, how American Apparel's sex-obsessed CEO got ousted by board members, or how Trump's remarks almost got his presidency chances tanked.
Sadly, sexual harassment is very common in the workplace. But, it's getting increasingly frowned upon and companies are beginning to realize that the backlash that comes with sexual harassment suits can seriously affect business. As a result, they're really cracking down.
Most people who do this think they can get away with it, but that's not the truth anymore. Karma does catch up.
Keeping up with the Joneses.
Bernie Madoff has become synonymous with Wall Street greed because of his billion-dollar Ponzi scheme. The reason he did it? Well, he wanted to be the richest in his industry and impress everyone else.
In many industries, there's a very strong pressure to have all the luxury items that you see fellow businessmen with. There's also a very strong pressure to try to force growth that isn't necessarily possible with the resources you have.
Both of these pressured as a side of the same coin - that desire to "keep up with the Joneses" or exceed them. As good a motivator greed can be, it's not always the best one since it can convince people to screw over clients, lie, or steal to get their goodies.
Wells Fargo recently had a major scandal involving lying to customers to meet the quotas they wanted to meet. They're now dealing with major losses and banged up reputations. Many at the top of Wells Fargo are also being let go because of it.
All talk, no walk.
There's nothing wrong with talking a big talk as long as you can offer up a big walk. If you say you can do things you really can't do, there's a very good chance that you're going to be found out and discredited and this is one of the ways people accidentally annihilate their careers.
The end result of this, of course, is that you'll end up being outed as a fraud - and your career will effectively be over once people begin to talk. This happens so frequently that it's not even worth mentioning just one name.
If you have to see an example of this, then there are definitely some politicians out there who fit the bill.
Inability to adapt.
Back in the 80s, there was a Blockbuster video in every town and people would go there every Saturday for their favorite flicks. Then, Netflix came. Blockbuster had way more money than this fledgling company and could have easily created a Netflix-like network that would have whooped its butt.
But, Blockbuster didn't do that - or rather it didn't want to do that. During its last years as a business, they really tried to push the old way of movie rental hard. Unfortunately, tech advances made them obsolete and pushed them to the wayside.
The same thing can happen with individual careers as well. If you are stuck in the past, then you are going to end up having a very hard time in the future.
Stealing others' work.
Back in the 80s, music group, Milli Vanilli was poised to become the biggest boy duo on music charts. They had it all - and their hit "Girl You Know It's True" was playing throughout Europe and the United States.
Of course, this all went away when people found out that the two didn't actually know how to sing. Once the lip sync scandal broke out, they were an overnight disaster.
Even when they tried to resurrect their group with real vocals in 1997, it became clear that people wanted nothing to do with them. Such is the life of a person who steals others' work and calls it their own.
Getting too controversial, or doing something that's "too soon."
Controversy can be good in many cases, but it's all about timing and knowing how to push the envelope the right way. Unfortunately, even the smartest people can't always tell how others will take their controversial words or work.
Think about Sinead O'Connor. When she was a singer in the 90s, she had massive amounts of fans, especially in feminist circles. It was her highly controversial decision to rip up a photo of the pope that ended up being her undoing.
She and her music faded into obscurity as a result of media shunning her. This can happen to you if you choose to speak out when it's not the right time to do so.