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 Manners
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 Thinking
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.
"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 Tantrums
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 Syndrome
If you're not a team player, says Forbes, you won't have much support when things go awry.
6. Poor Grammar
"When you hear someone using poor grammar, slang, or profanity, it translates into believing that person to be uneducated," Peplow says.
"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 Language
"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 Addiction
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 Communication
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.
"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."
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.
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.