The workplace of today is getting more competitive. Showing your best self is even more crucial for your career growth than ever before.

The problem is, sometimes you think you’re doing the best to be employee-of-the-year, when you’re actually in the running for most-hated-employee-ever!

Which of these less-than-obvious professional blunders are you guilty of committing?

  • Dirty habits – Failing to clean up after yourself in the office pantry will make you look disrespectful. Not only that, unwillingness to do your share of the chores spells out ‘lazy’. Just because a task isn’t part of your official job description does not mean the attitude you portray will go unnoticed by upper management. Dirty habits can put grime on your career growth.

Dirty table

  • Rude texting habits – Don’t bother hiding your phone while you text during meetings. You might as well do it out in the open because everyone in the room will know what you’re doing anyway. Using your phone, no matter how discretely, during meetings tells people you don’t respect their time and professional input.
  • Excuses and blame – We all make mistakes. What sets aside good employees from employees-from-hell is how they own up to a fall, pick themselves up and strive to do better. Making excuses tells your boss and co-workers that you are not only accountable; you are also not a team player.
  • Loud personal calls – The whole office does not have to hear about your personal problems. Making personal calls won’t hinder your career growth, but it’s best to limit them. Make the calls outside the office if possible. If you do have to take a personal call from your desk, at least keep your voice down.
  • Email-only communication – You would be surprised to know how common it is for bosses to complain about employees who communicate by email alone. Email will always have an impersonal touch compared to other modes of communication such as the phone. Get out of your safety net – reach out to your clients and co-workers by calling them from time to time. You will build better relationships this way, and this can propel your career forward.
  • Negativity – No one is expected to be joyfully positive all the time. It’s one thing to have bad days; it’s another to be a whiner. Expressing negative emotions regularly will make you look like you’re not in control. A capable can-do employee gets things done, especially when faced with a challenging situation. Instead of griping, come up with solutions to problems. This tells your colleagues and boss you are a force to be reckoned with – not a burden to the team.

Make an honest mental inventory of your work habits to avoid committing any of these blunders. Your career growth and maybe, even your current job can be on the line.

Do you have any office blunders to share? Tell us!

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Paul Bailey

Paul is a highly experienced Business Coach, Mentor and Personal Development Specialist. He works with people to enhance business and personal performance through a process of supported self-awareness and self- development. Paul is the Co-Author of the book 80 Tips.