Which Career Creature™ Is Sabotaging Your Tech Career?

Career Creatures™ Are 7 Archetypes For Career Sabotaging Habits And Behaviors.

They Are Based On Career Coaching Work With 110 Professionals in Tech With Lisa Kostova, Founder Of CareerClimb®


Occurrence: Common


  • Has no boundaries, has a hard time saying no 
  • Eager to please, often seen in a state of overwhelm
  • The solution to everything is “work harder”. Tries to keep its head down to get stuff done, while stressing out at perpetually being “behind”


Occurrence: Occasional


  • Misunderstood. Comes across as angry and pissed off. That may be because it has been overlooked, talked over and/or ignored, so now it feels it has to “up the volume” to make itself noticed.
  • Would rather be “right” than collaborative
  • It’s muscling it, trying hard to “convince” others to do things its way.  It knows what needs to get done but sees others as obstinate, incompetent or lazy.


Occurrence: Common


  • Thinks it wants to move ahead but is secretly afraid of what success will bring - too much work, too much bureaucracy, sleazy politics, lack of control over one’s work-life balance, etc.
  • Sets goals that are so outrageous, they’re bound to fail.
  • Convinces itself that it can find a safe place to stay in the org, usually as a “subject matter expert” so nobody bothers it or gives it too much work.


Occurrence: Epidemic


  • Never feels ready or good enough to raise its hand for new opportunities.
  • Doesn’t show its work to anyone because “it’s not perfect”.
  • Works in isolation instead of iterating on feedback from others.
  • Extremely self-critical.  Highly intolerant of mistakes. Sets an impossibly high bar for itself that’s hard to hit.
  • Likely a product of childhood conditioning of being an A+ student, where performance/outcome is always expected to be at the highest level.

Hang-On Kitty

Occurrence: Common


  • Has trouble letting go of the known (jobs, relationships).
  • Tends to stay too long in roles where it’s no longer growing.  Justifies that decision with misplaced loyalty.
  • Suffers from tunnel vision where it can only see what’s in front of its nose.  
  • Obsessed with security at all costs. Suffers from extreme risk aversion.
  • Afraid of the new and unknown.  Afraid to make “a leap of faith” with limited information.

Blind Batty

Occurrence: Common


  • Suffers from lack of awareness that if it was ready for the next role, it would already have it.
  • Thinks that it’s already operating at the next level and blames “politics” and mean / unfair people for not giving it its due. Likely blind to the actual requirements of the next level and lacking awareness of perceived gaps.
  • Doesn’t understand the need to decrease the perceived risks of its candidacy in the eyes of management.
  • Tends to be so specialized and good at its current level that there’s no incentive for management to ever replace it from its current role.


Occurrence: Epidemic


  • Is perpetually confused and doesn’t know where it’s going in its career.
  • Has FOMO and tries to do whatever everyone’s doing and applying to all the “hot” jobs.
  • Doesn’t know if it wants to stay on the mountain it’s on and if not, has no clue where to go next.  Does not have its own definition of success.
  • Looks to others or “the market” to tell it what to do next and which roles to go after.
  • Lacks a clear long-term career vision and a plan with milestones for how to get there.

Career Creatures™ work for Fang Unicorn Technology, a mythical "unicorn" tech company.  
In that company, they are joined by a few more characters - Evon the Founder and Stan the Manager.

Fang Unicorn Technology

  • The fastest-growing, most innovative Unicorn in Silicon Valley 
  • Transforming the world's gravitational field with break-through AI / ML technology

Evon, The Founder

  • Founder and CEO of Fang Unicorn Technology
  • Knows everything. Can’t do anything wrong.
  • Has a controlling stake in the company, worth $100 billion.
  • Flies to space, deep ocean dives, kite-surfs, advises presidents and races sports cars in his spare time. 

Stan, the Manager

  • Thought-leader
  • Rising Star in the Company
  • Considers himself a Coach Manager and Servant-Leader