Bad Habits That Could Get You Fired

(Photo by Jesco Denzel/Bundesregierung - Pool via Getty Images)

(Photo by Jesco Denzel/Bundesregierung – Pool via Getty Images)

Everybody has a few bad habits. Other than being slightly annoying to others, we never really think about the negative impact they might have on our lives or our jobs.

Forbes recently released a list of the 14 bad habits that can cost your your job.

  • Procrastination. While you may work best under the pressure of racing the clock, it doesn’t look good to the boss if they ask you about your progress on a project and you haven’t started on it yet. Try and set smaller goals to have some progress on projects before the deadline sneak up on you.
  • Lying. There’s a reason for the old adage, “Honesty is the best policy.” Even a small lie can damage your integrity and lose the trust of your coworkers. It’s better to fess up and be honest than be caught in a whopper of a lie in the office.
  • Negativity. No one likes the Debbie Downer of the office. If all you come up with is worst case scenarios, try to change your focus and think of a few positive things about what your working on.
  • Tardiness. Unless you’ve got a valid excuse like a flat tire, there’s really no good that can come of being late for anything. If you have a habit of showing up late, set your clock a little fast to compensate for the time you dawdle.
  • Poor Email Communication. Poor communication via email can include a myriad of things. From not responding to emails to not being aware of the tone in your written communication. Tone can be hard to interpret through email and some may become defensive if your tone comes across as rude. Set times to run through your inbox and prioritize emails to respond to. Also, unless it’s sensitive information, run your emails by someone to see if any negative tones can be reworded to sound more pleasant.
  • Social Media Addiction. Unless your job involves social media, many offices frown upon using Facebook or Twitter during office hours, and even go so far as to block the sites from office computers. If you regularly check your feeds from your phone, try locking up your phone until your break time.
  • Bad Body Language. Body language experts frequently remind us that the body does not lie or disguise our feelings. A weak handshake betrays your self-confidence and rolling your eyes is a dead giveaway to your derision. Your body language could be viewed as rude or unprofessional. Make it a point to have a firm handshake and to resist non-verbal reactions things that happen or are said around the office.
  • Inattentiveness. Day dreaming and distractedness could be harmful to your career as you could miss out on something important being said.
  • Poor Grammar. The grammar your English teacher always tried to hammer into your head is indeed important. The rampant use of foul language, mispelled words, or poor grammar could give the impression of being uneducated. When writing documents or emails, turn on the spell and grammar check.
  • Lone Wolf Syndrome. If you’d rather work on your own, you could end up harming your career. Many offices look for team players who can work just as well in a group setting as they can own their own.
  • Temper Tantrums. Throwing a fit, whether it’s in front of the boss or not, can make you appear immature to your coworkers. Not being able to reign in your temper could also bely a need to seek out anger management classes. Try taking some deep breaths and using some stress reducing techniques to calm down before you act out.
  • Inefficiency. Disorganization and talking too much to coworkers could have a harmful impact on not only your work output but the output of your coworkers as well. Remove distractions from your desk, minimize chatter, keep your work space organized, and focus on your tasks to keep yourself on track.
  • Speaking Without Thinking. If you often open your mouth and words come flying out with no filter, you may need to consider the impact of those thoughtless words. They cold come across as rude, inappropriate, or tactless. If you feel like you need to say something, take a breath and think about what you are going to say. Even if the moment has passed, you can always refer back to the topic. If you are making a request, always remember to say “please.”

Tony, David, and Julie thought about their office pet peeves and the things that drive them nuts in the office. Tony has often commented on his preference to avoid conversation in the restroom. He also adds his belief that office emails are not the place for humor. David adds the abuse of the “Reply All” button on emails to his list of office crimes, as well as the person who smells like they dumped a bucket of perfume over their heads. Fridge food thievery is also high on David’s list of office offenses. Julie often brings leftovers to the office for her coworkers, but it’s when her coworkers put the empty dish back in the fridge that upsets her. Julie also thinks that coworkers should always be properly dressed for the office, and people that walk around the office barefoot freak her out.


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