23 Nov Be Better: Unprofessional Work Habits To Watch
When you’re looking for a job, it’s natural to be aware of your dress, your comments, and your actions. But once you’ve been working for a while, it can be tough to stay aware of what you do on daily basis. And yet, you might have unprofessional work habits, and without realizing it, be hurting your reputation.
Watch for these unprofessional work habits:
Cursing. Ok, some work environments are so obviously inappropriate for colorful language, that employees would never think of it. If you’re an elementary school teacher or a church secretary, this probably isn’t an issue. But in many places, the odd expletive is not a showstopper. However, be aware that the more you use profanity instead of proper words, the more you risk seeming inarticulate. Cursing appears lazy at best, and bad-tempered at worst. So try to watch how often four letter words are featured in your vocabulary.
Disorganization. It’s one thing to occasionally have an untidy desk at the end of a harrowing day. But it’s a problem if you’re constantly losing things or you can’t easily produce a requested document because it’s buried. While disorganization may seem a harmless offense, it can make you look lazy or as if you don’t take your role seriously enough to keep things organized.
Tardiness. Everyone has days when traffic, children, and just life keeps you from getting to work on time. But if lateness is your trademark, you are at risk of letting one of the most common unprofessional work habits undermine your reputation. For one, it’s rude – if you’re keeping others waiting it’s not respectful of their time. For another, you’re paid to be at work on time, and it’s an unofficial breach of that contract. It’s not an easy habit to break, but try to curtail how often you’re the last arrival.
Flightiness. If it was ever cute to be a little bit air-headed or absent-minded, it’s certainly not at the office. If you find that you’re often apologizing for being confused, for forgetting important details, being easily distracted, you might be perceived as being flighty. Some unprofessional work habits risk you looking not committed, but being flighty can make you look less intelligent. If you’re forgetful, put reminders in your phone. If you need to stay focused, take notes during meetings. But whatever you do, take yourself seriously . . . so that everyone else will.
Unprofessional work habits can be unlearned.
You may have to be an astute observer of your own activities for a time before you realize that you’re guilty of some of these traits. But they aren’t hard to identify. Are you showing up late? Do others make fun of your “creative filing system”? If you really want advice, as a trusted colleague if they notice any of these poor habits. And then get to work in making them part of your professional past.