14 Bad Habits That Just Might Cost You Your Job
Bad habits can be fatal to your career. But if you're aware of them, you can do something about them.
Forbes recently put together a list of 14 bad habits that are career killers. Not all of these bad habits will end up with you getting fired on the spot, but you can certainly lose the respect of your employer and co-workers.
If you catch yourself exhibiting any of these bad habits, it's time to ditch them and replace them with habits that make you more valuable. Your success depends on it.
1. Lack of MannersIt doesn't take much to be polite. But failing to say 'please' and 'thank you' won't go unnoticed by your boss and co-workers.
Roxanne Peplow, business career program instructor and student services advisor at Computer Systems Institute, says that you should always be on your best behaviour. Introduce yourself if you don't know someone and and excuse yourself if you have to interrupt.
"Manners are important, so don’t be rude," she tells Forbes. "And above all, if you don’t have something nice to say… don’t say anything at all."
2. Speaking Without ThinkingFor the sake of your career, Forbes says you've got to watch sticking your foot in your mouth.
Before you speak or write an email, think about what you're saying. If there is even the slightest chance that it's inappropriate, stop and revise. You'll be glad you did.
3. InefficiencyTime is money, so don't waste it. You're not going to impress anyone if you're not efficient.
"You may not realize it, but many of your co-workers are there to work, not socialize, and they may not want to be rude to you by breaking off from personal conversations," Amy Hoover, president of Talent Zoo, tells Forbes.
Stay organized, watch the chit-chat and get the job done.
4. Temper TantrumsThis is a super easy way to kill your career.
Peplow points out that if you can't control your temper, you probably can't work well under pressure or handle responsibility.
If you find yourself losing your cool all the time, you should work on reducing your stress levels through things like meditation and exercise.
5. Lone Wolf SyndromeSome people love doing everything themselves, but this can be costly to your career. It sends the signal that you can't work as part of a team and you might have some control issues.
If you're not a team player, says Forbes, you won't have much support when things go awry.
7. InattentivenessIn today's work environment, we're bombarded with things that are competing for our attention. The key is to focus. If you're constantly distracted, you may fail to notice important things about your workplace.
"Each workplace has its own culture and style, whether it’s the official or unofficial dress code, the social atmosphere, or the official and unofficial hierarchy," explains Dr. Katharine Brooks, author and director of Liberal Arts Career Services at The University of Texas at Austin.
"Failure to observe the culture and fit in can create tension or mark you as different, and potentially less desirable."
8. Bad Body LanguageForbes mentions the big three of bad body language habits: rolling your eyes, a weak handshake and avoiding eye contact. These non-verbal cues can make you appear impolite or unprofessional.
"People must understand that actions speak louder than words," Peplow says. "And the majority of our communication is done through non-verbal cues."
9. Social Media AddictionIt's great that you've got blazing fast internet at work. It's not so great if you're wasting time on websites that have nothing to do with your job. Unless you're the social media manager, you don't need to check Facebook and Twitter every 15 minutes.
Forbes says some companies may monitor your internet use, so it's best to play it safe. That doesn't mean it's OK to check on your phone either. If you're paid to work, then guess what you should be doing?
10. Poor Email CommunicationYou know those emails where people ramble on and on and take forever to get to the point? Other people notice them too. The last thing you want is for people to roll their eyes when they see an email from you.
Be careful with how you word things as well. Without body language, it's easy for people to take what you're saying the wrong way.
12. NegativityNegativity takes many forms and if you're sowing the seeds of discontent by gossiping and complaining, you'll soon come under scrutiny.
"Your boss is likely responsible for ensuring her teams are contributing to positive morale and anyone on the team who is counterproductive to that reflects poorly on her," Hoover tells Forbes.
"Negative employees are often referred to as 'cancer' by upper management for good reason: they will eventually be cut out."
13. LyingFrom fudging time-sheets to abusing expense accounts, it's all wrong. If you even have to question whether or not you're lying, you probably are.
Ann Kaiser Stearns, Ph.D., psychologist and best-selling author of Living Through Personal Crisis says the best and quickest way to torpedo your career is to get caught lying.
Integrity is everything.
14. ProcrastinationPutting things off is a terrible habit that can really harm your career, says Brooks.
Even if you always meet your deadlines, putting work off to the last minute can impact your co-workers.
Brooks says that you run the risk of making your co-workers unhappy and you'll get the blame if things go wrong.