To build a good professional reputation, you need to deliver great results and consistently show the right behaviors. Bad workplace habits create the wrong impression, and will damage an otherwise positive annual appraisal. Make sure that your boss has a good impression of you, and eradicate any of the following career-limiting bad habits now.
Regularly turning up late
If you cannot manage to get to work on time, there comes a point when your boss will tell you not to bother anymore. Everybody has occasional problems with public transport or unexpected problems at home, but frequent lateness is unacceptable. It is not difficult to get to work on time, if you make a few small changes. Go to bed earlier, set your alarm, or allow a little more time for your journey. If you are occasionally late, it is good sense to apologise as soon as you get into the office. Make sure you work later to get everything done, too.
Sending everything via email
Email makes life a lot easier, and is a great way to send information quickly and cheaply. One problem is that some people seem to think that it’s a substitute for a personal conversation, which is a big mistake. People who send everything via email either have poor communication skills or are just plain lazy to get onto their feet. Pick up the phone, or go over and see your colleagues face-to-face. Email addicts are rarely good team players, so it pays not to project yourself as one.
Gossiping about your colleagues
It is perfectly natural to show interests in your colleagues, but if genuine concern turns into gossip, you have a problem. If you engage in idle or malicious chat about people in the workplace, it shows that you are untrustworthy and disrespectful. Many minor issues in the office blow out of proportion once people start to gossip, and if you are the person that starts it off, your career there won’t last very long. Try not to poke your nose into other people’s business, and make sure office conversations are always professional.
Blaming other people
When you make a mistake, the most important thing you can do is take accountability, and correct the problem. Blaming other people does not help the situation, and proves to your manager that you are unreliable. In some cases, your colleagues may have contributed to the problem, but your boss will not respect you for pointing fingers. Work with your colleagues to resolve issues, and learn to admit when you get things wrong.
Failing to meet deadlines
Good time management is critical in any role. You will seldom have the luxury of having time on your hands, so if you want your boss to know that you are reliable, you need to meet your deadlines. Prioritise tasks and set up a daily schedule, so that you make the most of your time. Avoid last-minute surprises, and start tasks as soon as possible so that you can quickly work out if you need somebody’s help. If your boss can’t rely on you, he has no reason to promote you or to even keep you on the payroll.