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5 Workplace Habits to Break, Before They Break Your Career

Posted by Brian Spence on Jan 23, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Gossip, Career, Bad HabitsLet's face it: we all have some less than desirable habits. However, when bad habits start to impact our performances at work-- or stall our career advancement opportunities-- it's time to make a conscious effort to break them. What better time to make a resolution to break bad workplace habits than the start of a new year?

Let's take a look at the most common bad work habits that you may not even realize you're making:

  1. Constant negativity. We all know her: the person at the office that can take any situation and find a negative twist in it. She thrives on griping and complaining-- about the weather, difficult clients, the upcoming conference, your co-worker's fashion sense. You name it, she'll find a way to spew negativity about it. The problem with constant negativity is that it's contagious. One negative person becomes a cancer in the office, spreading negativity around and destroying employee morale. If that negative person is you, resolve to make a change.

  2. Habitual tardiness. If you're always arriving late to work-- even by 5 minutes-- you're creating a reputation for yourself. Instead of being known as the guy who's always running behind, work on being known as the employee who shows up early. No one cares if traffic was bad or your alarm clock didn't go off, so stop making excuses. Prepare your lunch the night before, set out your clothes so you don't waste time picking them out in the morning-- in short, do everything in your power to ensure that you're a timely employee.

  3. Excessive gossiping. Every workplace has one: the office gossip, who seems to know every detail about every employee's life-- and is happy to share that information with anyone who will listen. If that person is you, it's time to break this destructive habit. While it might seem entertaining at first, gossiping at work will eventually backfire. Everyone knows who the gossipy employees are-- and they're not the employees who are taken seriously by managers.

  4. Poor body language. Sometimes what we don't say can make a bigger impression than what we do say. If you regularly roll your eyes or stand with your arms crossed, you might come across as rude or defensive. If your handshake is weak, managers might perceive you as timid or lacking confidence. Be mindful of your body language in the workplace and make a conscious effort to adjust any bad habits.

  5. Misusing company time. Most managers will understand the occasional quick phone call to schedule a doctor's appointment. However, if you're constantly making personal phone calls, surfing the internet, or checking your Facebook page on company time, it's time to stop. Remind yourself to keep your professional life separate from your personal life. After all, you're not getting paid to post pictures from last weekend on Instagram.

For more information on bad work habits and related topics, check out the Career Advice or Self-Improvement section of the Staffing Plus Blog.

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Staffing Plus is a premier healthcare staffing firm that provides temporary, per diem, temp-to-hire and permanent Staffing Solutions for Behavioral Health, Education, and Healthcare settings. We have leveraged decades of experience to assist organizations with the challenges of managing their HR and Recruiting needs.