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8 Daily Habits That Make You Look Dreadfully Unprofessional At Work

8 Daily Habits That Make You Look Dreadfully Unprofessional At Work

Bad habits at work are not a rare thing. We may see them every day in our colleagues or we ourselves may have them without even noticing it. I myself am quite a pessimist in life. I often complain about everything around not even thinking that it may be annoying for other people. At my last job I was lucky enough to have a colleague who pointed out this flaw of mine in a very polite manner. I started noticing it and working on it and now I believe I do much better and don’t annoy my colleagues that often. If you notice yourself in any of the following points, it is good time for you to work on it. If not, you probably look very professional at work and I congratulate you!

Complaining

There are always people in every office who constantly complain. They can magically find something to complain about even in the most perfect conditions. The boss is terrible, work conditions are unbearable, it is too hot in the room, it is too cold in the room, our lunch breaks are too short, my tasks are too big, this bird outside disturbs me, the water in the cooler tastes funny, this fly won’t let me work, etc. Surely, sometimes we need to share our complaints to feel better, but we should know our limits not to become annoying.

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Excessive flirting

Complimenting your colleague’s new hair, dress or watch is fine. A reasonable amount of flirting is possible at work, but knowing the boundaries is a must. If you flirt with anyone, especially with the aim of career advancement, you will look very unprofessional to everyone in the office. Those people who get promotions not because of their good work, but because they flirt with their boss, are usually not very much adored by their colleagues.

Putting off work all the time

Do you have colleagues at work who always call you to drink a cup of coffee, to smoke with them, to chat, to take a bite, to go for a walk, etc.? There are some people who cannot but put off all the tasks they have just to do nothing. Constant procrastination at work, especially if it involves other people, can make you look highly unprofessional.

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Trying to please everyone

Your manager wants one thing, the boss wants the other thing, the designer wants the third thing and the marketer says the fifth thing. If you are a true professional, you will decide what is best in this situation and do that. Trying to please everyone and create something that will be not so good, but suitable for all of those people is not the best choice for a professional.

Being late

Being late for a date is fine; being late for a friends’ meeting is also acceptable; being late for a movie is also your call. However, always being late for work is unprofessional and simply rude. Those workers who always come late may be not so popular among their managers because if you cannot come to work in time, how can they be sure that you’ll finish the tasks in time?

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Pulling too many jokes

Probably, every office has some people who cannot but joke all the time. Some at least limit themselves to only anecdotes and verbal humor while others can go hardcore and even play tricks on their colleagues. Humor is surely very important in our life and a good joke now and then can be great for a positive work environment, but becoming an office clown doesn’t seem very respectable.

Dressing inappropriately

Modern companies, bosses and managers allow more casual dress code these days. However, it doesn’t mean that you should wear something that looks like pajamas to work. It is also not a secret that women who dress too revealing to work, raise many doubts in terms of their professionalism. I’m not saying that you should wear suits to work every day, but try to look not to eccentric.

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Causing conflicts

Some people cannot live without quarrels. They get energy and satisfaction from fighting with other people. Some do it calmly, bringing other people down with mean words; some like to scream and throw things. In any case, this is not an appropriate behavior for work.

Featured photo credit: Businessman/vlczak11 via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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