BAD HABITS AT THE OFFICE

(As heard on the Darren Marlar Radio Show!) Do you know anyone with really bad habits at the office? Here are a few excerpts from a CareerBuilder.com article:

  • Bad Habit: Missing deadlines. What you think: “If it’s only a little late, it doesn’t mean anything.” What it really says: Your colleagues and boss can’t count on you. What to do: Don’t view deadlines as negotiable. Remind yourself that people are counting on you to do your job well, which includes completing tasks on time. Even if you just barely missed the deadline and everything turned out OK, you probably caused your teammates a lot of anxiety and extra work, which they won’t forget.
  • Bad Habit: Dressing unprofessionally. What you think: “I’m the office free spirit with a quirky sense of style!” What it really says: You don’t take the job seriously. What to do: You don’t have to be a boring dresser to be professional, but you shouldn’t look like you’re about to go clubbing or strutting down a runway. Take a cue from your co-workers to see what’s considered acceptable in the office.
  • Bad Habit: Not being punctual. What you think: “As long as I get all my work in, nobody cares.” What it really says: You think your time is more important than everybody else’s. What to do: Stick to the schedule. Everyone in your office would like to sleep in a little or leave early, but they don’t because people rely on them to be on time.
  • Bad Habit: Checking your e-mail, playing games, shopping. What you think: “I’m discreet.” What it really says: You’re not doing your job. What to do: Keep the fun stuff to a minimum. Most employers don’t mind if you check your e-mail every once in awhile or read your favorite blog for a few minutes in the morning. They begin to care when you minimize that game of Scrabulous every time they walk by your desk. You’re being paid to work, not play.
  • Bad Habit: Gossiping. What you think: “I’m just saying what I heard.” What it really says: You can’t be trusted. What to do: Sure, everybody gossips a little here and there, but it shouldn’t be your livelihood. Eventually you’ll gain a reputation for not keeping anything confidential –whether it’s a personal matter or work-related. Plus, your chattering could end up hurting somebody’s feelings or reputation.
  • Bad Habit: Being negative. What you think: “Everybody complains.” What it really says: You’re the person to avoid. What to do: It’s natural to grumble about work once in awhile. If you gripe and moan when you’re asked to do anything, however, people will not only get annoyed, they’ll wonder why you don’t just quit. Keep in mind that work isn’t always fun; keep the complaints to a minimum.
  • Bad Habit: Trying to be everybody’s best friend. What you think: “I’m just sociable.” What it really says: You don’t know how to set boundaries. What to do: It’s not uncommon for friendships to develop at work, but don’t expect it to happen with everybody. Unless you have reason to do otherwise, treat your superiors, colleagues and subordinates like professionals, not like drinking buddies.

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