12 Things Not to Do at Work

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We get a paycheck for the work we do, and sometimes we are fortunate enough to receive a pat on the back and a thank you. In the workplace, there is usually a diverse mix of people that create the culture and energy to which we spend most of our day. If everyone had the same high values and bought in to an environment of excellence, there would be more harmony and pride in what we do. With that said, here are some of the DO NOTs.

Ken in the office

Credit Image: J D Hancock on Flickr

1. Use profane language: We all slip up sometimes, but the time to do this is not at work. People may judge you poorly if you sound like a trash mouth, and you want to have your best foot forward at all times.

2. Cry in common areas: When work gets stressful or you mess up with your boss, don’t burst into tears. First, it is not appropriate and second, take the criticism or mistake and learn from it. Apply it to your work as you move forward and show that you have learned from the error.

3. Place blame: Man up, people: If you screw up, own it and work to make fewer mistakes. People may admire you for owning up to your error and you may come out on top.

4. Gossip in common areas or anywhere: This should be self-explanatory. The only person who looks bad when you gossip is YOU.

5. Share yours or anyone else’s salary: Not professional and just should not be done. Have some class, work hard and don’t worry about what your colleague is making. You will be rewarded for your good job.

6. Plan sick days: Have integrity and use sick days as they come. A sick day should not be used because you have a hangover. Be responsible for your actions and don’t blow the lid off the night if you have to work the next day. If you end up with a few sick days that you need to use before the end of the year, then okay, extend your holiday vacation by a day or so.

7. Bother your boss for a solution before you have exhausted every option, possibility and alternative.

8. Provide bad internal customer service: Your company and your job are only as good as the people who you represent. Be thankful for the customers who pay for you to have a job.

9. Provide mediocre external customer service: Same as above.

10. Leave your team before all work is complete!: Don’t expect your colleagues to do your work for you. Even when a group is working together towards a common goal. Be the last to leave a meeting or finish working towards a solution … not the first.

11. Miss a deadline: Don’t miss a deadline because you had a late night out or you spent time surfing the web. Make your work and its deadlines a priority.

12. Put out work with grammatical, punctuation or spelling errors: With spell check and grammar check there is really no reason to not proof your work before turning it in. Remember, your boss will notice errors but will be impressed by accurate, completed and well thought out work.

Turn each of these lessons into a positive by taking responsibility and remembering why you got the job in the first place. Remember all of the promises you made during your interview. Now is the time to make good on them by being a catalyst for necessary change.  Good luck in feeling great about yourself and instituting core values.

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